After a weekend skiing trip with a group of teenagers from church, I’m feeling very old today. I’ve chaperoned dozens of teenage outings and trips, but this is the first time I’ve come home with the feeling that I’m getting too old for this stuff. I have bruises on my backside, my left palm and my right arm. I also have a blister on each foot. My tailbone hurts something fierce, especially when I get out of a chair, and I feel a little stiff all over.
If I weren’t such a failure at skiing, I’m might not hurt so badly. However, the two tumbles I took while ice skating were the source of my sore fanny. I need to start thinking less about keeping up with the young folks and more about risk management.
What’s bothering me more than my aches and pains is the realization that I am not as young as I used to be and that I WILL get old, just like everyone else. I’ve been in denial about that for soooo long. For some reason, I thought I would be immune to the effects of aging or could at least delay them longer than most. When did this foolish notion start, and how did I become so delusional to think that I would be any different than the rest of the world? I don’t know. People often tell me I don’t look my age, and that just feeds my delusion. It’s a wonderful compliment, but it’s leading me down a dangerous path.
I want to be someone who accepts age with grace and gratitude for the wisdom age brings. I want to be a woman who is comfortable in her skin, regardless of how wrinkled that skin becomes, but I’m afraid I won’t. I’m afraid that I won’t always remember that age has more to do with attitude than it does appearance…that it’s not the type of activities you do that keep you young, it’s the decision to keep moving and learning. My burning backside will be a week long reminder of this lesson I so badly need to learn.
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