I Ain’t No Spring Chicken
By: Peggy Willms
Chicken in the hen house? No – she’s way too tired to lay any more eggs – no more …no more…. no more.
I used to roll my eyes when my “elders” would say:
- “I AM OLD…I am getting old…I ain’t getting any younger…”
- “When you are as old as I am, you [insert whatever: you will understand… you will do… won’t do… you can’t do…].”
- “I am just happy to wake up every day…get out of bed every day…breathe or talk or walk…”
- “Look at my wrinkles…my hair…my bat wing arms…my lard ass…my [insert any body part].
- “I can’t see…can’t remember…lost my keys…where’s the remote…don’t yell…turn that up…turn that down…you call that music…you call that TV…you call that a movie….”
- “You drive too fast…too slow.”
- “You’d groan too if you were my age.”
- “I started working when I was 9…my parents paid for nothing…I bought all my own [everything].”
- “We had no running water, a toilet, a car [insert anything functional].”
- “Back in the day…we walked to school in the snow, uphill both ways, naked…” (okay, exaggerated, but you know you have heard a version of that one).
- “I would get my mouth slapped, butt whooped, had to finish my plate or not eat for days…” Blah blah blah blah
I always had a respectful dismissal:
- You AREN’T old.
- You are only as old as you feel.
- You look great. You don’t look old. You are wise, respected, a hard worker…
- Look at all the stuff you do compared to others half your age.
- Focus on what you can do not what you can’t do.
- You have earned those wisdom lines on your gorgeous eyes.
- Of course, technology has changed. And your parents and grandparents said the same about your generation and what you “got away” with.
- We all forget things.
Then, guess what happened?
I slid right off the Cool Chic Slide into the Pool of “Elders.” Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing amiss with a bit of whining or even playing Bunko or watching CNN all day – but I WAS SHOCKED…I had “a-r-r-i-v-e-d”!!!
Yes, I go on and on about some damn body part screaming daily. I don’t SPRING (see below) out of bed as unwavering as I used to, AND I also talk waaaay too much about the weather.
OMG. WTH. I can’t remember when this happened. This process must evolve gradually. Maybe over decades. Had I already been doing the “old” chatter when I came into contact with anyone younger? I swore on my life I WOULD NEVER say I was old or judge a body part (at least out loud).
I wanted to be one of those “elders” who could still swim a mile in 30 minutes, squat 200#, work 15 hours a day every day, and embrace gray hair, wrinkles, skin that gently rolled over my kneecaps – whatever. I swore I would never say, “I used to wear heels, too…but then it happened – I have chosen “comfort over an image.”
Well – here it is – reality has arrived! I HAVE TRULY ARRIVED. I can swim like a fish -maybe a goldfish, not a marlin. I know I can lift those pretty “girl-colored” dumbbells. I can outshine a helluva lot of young peeps with endurance and strength. I can wear heels for at least four hours, but DAMN…I just got the memo…
You are human, and you are aging – though gracefully. I agree, yet I am now “wise” and will admit – “I Ain’t No Spring Chicken.”