I can tell you a few things about aging. The best way to express my philosophy of aging is through the words of an unknown writer: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”
If you’re wondering which little girl is Naomi, I’m in the 2nd row, 2nd from the left. If you’ve spotted me, it should be obvious why I didn’t invest my early years in beauty pageants. How well I remember these girls and miss mightily the ones who didn’t make it this far.
Living every day as fully as possible, living large, is how we honor those who, through accident of birth or bad luck along the way, didn’t get the chance. I’ve lost so many friends and family, so many wonderful people with whom I had hoped to share much more of my life, that there’s a little bit of survivor guilt mixed in with the sheer joy of watching each day’s sunrise.
But it hasn’t all been easy. One of the toughest things about aging is that required maintenance increases, if not exponentially then certainly at a quickening pace. I remember when I could leap out of bed, breeze through a shower, and be dressed and out in fifteen minutes. Arthritis has long since ended my leaping, long hot showers have gotten longer because of the relief they bring, and I can’t even remember where I’m going in fifteen minutes, let alone be ready to go there.
I’ll be pretty much offline for a few weeks to do some of that maintenance, not scary, just time-consuming, painful, and expensive. I’m blessed indeed to have great health care coverage and just wish that everyone were as fortunate. If you’ve had a rotator cuff repair, you know what I’m facing. If you haven’t, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy — well, that’s not true, I’d like to see all of the despots, serious criminals, wingnuts, and other undesirables have complete breakdowns of all their rotator cuffs. Perhaps the human race could make some real progress while they were in physical therapy, screaming in pain, rather than doing their day jobs.
If you need to reach me while I’m pretty much offline, or if there’s breaking news I shouldn’t miss because I’m off Twitter, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Flowers are always appreciated, but there’s no need to get carried away. I’ve got a few backlogged posts that will show up while I’m “gone,” but who knows if they’ll get tweeted, so please do so if it’s convenient.