forty-eight is the new twenty-eight

8 April 2009

The other day I receive a letter from a very dear and very well meaning friend, giving me an update on the condition of another friend who has had some health issues.  Throughout the letter my friend keeps saying that we are “getting up there” and “getting old.”  I balk a little the first time she says it, but by the fourth time it comes around – me and my so-not-old self are disturbed by my friend’s stream of thought.

I’m afraid I immediately rattle off a response that objects to the whole idea.  “I am not old” I say, and “nor to I plan to call myself old until I am rocking the halls of a nursing home.” 

Maybe it’s because my parents continue to enjoy good health as they enter their seventies, but I don’t consider THEM old.  And maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling so darned good lately that I really, really object to my 47 year old friend talking about reading the obituaries every day.   

I know for sure though that my issue is not so much about her calling ME old.  I think the issue is that I don’t want to see someone that I love dearly standing at the age of 47 with one foot in her grave.  Old is a state of mind.  And one’s state of mind has everything to do with one’s quality of life.  And if I were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, at least they can say I didn’t spend my last day scoping out nursing homes.

Now I think it’s time I pay my wonderful friend a long overdue visit and kick some rocking chair ass out of its reverie.

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