“That ship sailed.” I say that a lot these days. So many things now, Â that I wonâ€™t or canâ€™t do again. Â I will not, Â for example, Â be partying all night, Â taking the “red-eye” cross country,Â wearing sequined jeans, Â getting a tattoo, signing up to run a 10K or any other kind of “K”, Â or totteringÂ around in shoes with spiky 4″ heels. Â And I’m OK with all of that.
If we’re lucky, we all grow old. Â And I’m OK with that too. Â Â But I neverÂ noticed it happening to me as I navigated life’s passages;Â graduation, career, Â marriage, Â parenting, Â the AARP card, grandchildren, downsizing and finally Â retirement.
But I didn’t feel old! Â Â OK, maybe I was starting to get arthritis, Â maybe it did take longer to “bounce back” from winter colds, Â perhaps I did need those “readers” more now. Â So I did giveÂ up running for walking, Â and power aerobics for yoga. Â And could it be true that ourÂ children were Â receiving their Â AARP cards? Â Unsettling,Â but… Â IÂ still hadÂ Â time, plentyÂ of time -Â Â to takeÂ that trip, Â to beÂ Â with family and friends, brush up my piano technique and Â attend concerts, Â to visit thatÂ lonely person, Â to read books, Â to write books. Â Those were my dreams. Â And I’d get around to them. Â Someday.
I don’t know the exact moment when I knew Â life Â actually had changed. Â Was it a day when someone opened a door I didn’t need opened – or ran to pick up theÂ sunglasses I dropped, Â was it my sharpÂ intake of breath atÂ my reflection under the harshÂ lights of the beauty shop, Â or (please, God, no), when someone called me Â “cute?” Â No matter. Â It’s true. Â Things have changed, Â they have reallyÂ changed. Â Â And while I haven’t experiencedÂ substantial losses, yet, praise God, Â a thousand “little sailings” unnoticeableÂ at the time, Â have Â manifested inÂ sea changes in my life over the years. Â LifeÂ was never, after all, Â endlessÂ journeysÂ to far horizons, Â but a voyage through tributaries, narrowing Â to one. Â I amÂ at that tributary.
And that was not OK with me. Â Not at all.
I haveÂ always worked toward goals thatÂ catapulted me toward Â new ones. Â That made sense in my 40s, Â but it was foolishÂ Â now. Â MyÂ fear of aging would not let me see that I was no longer sailing toward a destination, Â but had arrived. Â SoÂ I continued toÂ postpone my dreams
as I always had Â – to Someday. Â When I was older. Not now. Â Not yet.
But as I watchedÂ friends battling terrifying chronic diseases, Â becoming incapacitated, Â losing spouses with fat bank accounts still intact, I had to admit that in fact, Someday was here. Â Time to Â face my fear of growing old. Â I didnâ€™t enjoy that at first. Â But this foolish denial was costing me my dreams. Â Â Time to get busy. Â Things to do. Â Time to welcome Someday.
So I’ll be scheduling that Â trip, spending timeÂ with the grandkids, going to those concerts, writing, reading, Â hanging out with my friends and family. Â Â It’s Someday. Â AndÂ my ship has drifted safely in toÂ port.