My friend, L, whom I visited yesterday is one cool lady. I don't have the time nor the mood to go into her coolness in this post but I'm sure I'll get you better acquainted with her in future posts.
"When I dream, I am ageless" Elizabeth Coatsworth
Anyways, L is nearly eighty but you'd never know it to see her or hear her or be in her company.
Now, that's one of the silliest things I've said because,. unfortunately, it's reflective of a mind with a preconceived idea of what an eighty year-old (or thereabouts) is like. It's something that I'm consciously trying to change and my bringing it to your attention here is one way of doing it.
I mean, whatever age a person is and however he or she looks at that age is exactly how that age looks on him or her. Know what I mean?
When people tell me that I look a lot younger than I am, I tell them, "No, I look exactly my age and this is exactly how my age looks on me".
Anyways, I really wanted to tell you about what had happened to my friend, L, a weekend ago when she was out with her grandson, P, and his family. They'd all gone to a theme park as a birthday treat for P who turned twelve. But no sooner had they got there, when L, excited as she was about spending the day with the family, fell over an old tree root that had cracked through the footpath.
L admitted that she literally had't looked where she was going, not that that tree root had much business being there. Oh, I suppose you could argue that the footpath shouldn't have been built near a grand old tree, but let's save that discussion for another time, shall we?
Well, L took a bad fall, which, miraculously, resulted in only minor physical injury (a swollen wrist that is still painful) and some bruises over her arm.
So, how was the fall bad?
It was the shock of it, the actual physical trauma resulting from the body falling suddenly and uncontrollably. As L related her story, I could see that she was not completely over it. And soon, she confirmed it:
"I'm still feeling a bit scared. I don't feel so confident now. And I was so upset because it was P's birthday and we couldn't enjoy it because we spent the first part at the doctor's surgery and for the rest of it, I had to hold on to A's arm all the time. They (the theme park management) offered me a wheel chair but I didn't want it. I ruined his birthday".
"Oh, L", I thought but didn't say, "No, you didn't. It could've happened to anyone". Instead, I just let her continue talking. It felt right to.
I remember going to a theme park with my boyfriend at the time and his mates when I was about twenty. We went on as many rides as we could but at one point, I felt quite ill which I'm sure had to do with all that swinging on the 'Pirate ship' not long after we'd had some lunch - bad idea. Well, before I knew it, I'd thrown up right in the middle of the area next to the ship.
I cannot begin to tell you how embarrassed I was and later, how surprised and touched I was that neither my boyfriend nor his mates were repulsed. On the contrary, they came right over to comfort and console me, offering me water and tissues to clean up and then taking me over to the toilet.
Throwing up, falling over, spraying saliva are things we do no matter what age we are. I can't help thinking that poor L, like so many older people, are likely to blame age for their 'accidents' even if they don't say so openly.
I think we've been conditioned to expect things like this to happen to us as we get older and so, surprise,surprise, they do! There are enough people and advertisements to caution us about aging and help us 'prepare' for it. I mean, if you prepare yourself for a disaster you're not exactly going to be showing yourself a good time, are you?
Now, I had no idea I was going to be writing about being conditioned to 'age' but there you have it. I've just followed a thought and it's brought me here. Which is one of the reasons I write - I love surprises :)
So, anyways, what are your thoughts about any of this?