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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Reflections on Aging!

There was a post today on FB of an older woman, well she has almost white hair piled on the top of her head and held in place with chopstick-like embellishments. She is in a meditation pose and wears a lovely burnt orange sleeveless shell through which one can see she has a small bust, flat midriff and toned arms. She is serene and quiet. The quote surrounding the image is: " Don't regret getting older. It's a privilege denied to many." Well, I assume that pose every morning and evening. I meditate and feel calm and serene. I love meditating. My bust is heavier and sags. My midriff sometimes makes me look pregnant. My hair is long but my old brown color with help. Here is my post to that one--I may not look as good as she, but I feel as grateful as she. How very true. Not much about the aging process has bothered me except jowls and those prickly hairs that appear on my jawline. But they are cosmetic and I can live with them. I'm grateful for the fact that at 73 I still have all the parts I was born with except teeth I lost in a youthful car accident and the wisdom teeth I had extracted in my 50's. My eyesight isn't what it used to be but contacts take care of that. My hearing is not as sharp--kids could talk in my classroom now with my back turned and I don't think I'd be able to name the culprit without looking now--actually, if they whispered softly enough, I might not hear them at all. I don't move as fast as I did and climbing stairs is more painful but I can still do it. Still don't like the gray so I wash it away with my natural color--may go blonde if it gets gray enough--they say blondes have more fun. Grateful that I take no regular medications and hate taking any OTC's unless I feel like I'm dying. My most serious illnesses are the occasional cold or flu and, if I must, I'll take a prescription then! On those rare instances of insomnia I'm grateful for my vast library of books from which to choose until sleepiness overtakes me. And though I may not look like some of those pictures that are favorites of mine, that young woman is still inside and sometimes, when I look in the mirror she winks and smiles back at me, before we both head down to morning coffee. ( She usually skips down ahead of me) Often when I look at Betsy, I see her there, too. It is interesting that the comments and likes have come from teachers with whom I taught and who are of my age group and one former student. I'm going to share their comments, too: Nicely expressed. And if you are anything like me, sometimes you know the wink from the young woman in the mirror means she wishes she had the older woman's sense of perspective many years ago.--former colleague who is still teaching My response:Oh, don't get me started on that--although for the most part I don't regret the paths I took! And from a former biology student of mine: How lovely! I'm thinking maybe you would have made a nice English teacher as well as science! 😊 To which I responded: I almost majored in English and minored in Biology or vice versa. It was a hard choice for me. At the time I was quite irritated as only an honor student 16 year old can be when I was told if I majored in Bio I HAD to minor in Chem. Also that the required courses for an Eng/Bio combo would be difficult to achieve. In those days the goal was to get you graduated with a degree in four years. So I did the Bio/chem thing and actually, for my career choice it was truly the way to go. By the time I retired I taught as much biochemistry and chemistry as straight bio. I never examined the possibility of a scientific writer because I assumed they'd want a greater concentration in English than I'd have. BUT, that goes back to Joyce's comment--if I'd been older and could see that I could sell myself to periodicals as a strong science person with a good gras-p of writing I might have pitched myself successfully as a writer for a scientific journal or PR for drug companies. BUT, look at all the kids I would never have had the pleasure of teaching--I'm happy with my path--though some of them may not as pleased!

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