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Don't Judge the Day till Evening's End
Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck , cluck . . . . fuss, fuss, fuss, fuss, fuss . . . . squawk, squawk, squawk, squawk, squawk . . . . Well, I never! I went for Doppler tests on my arteries, and the two, cute, young technicians were wearing SHORTS up the there! It said "Abercrombie" across the butt of one. What ever happened to professional attire? Those were my ARTERIES they were testing.
My dear sister, Virginia, would have been scandalized. A 1940 graduate of the nursing school at the old St. Vincent’s hospital, she believed in a pristine, white uniform, cap, hose, and polished shoes. I still think that those nurses were lovely.
As I lay there, I realized that perhaps this was a wake-up call advising me that I’m in danger of becoming one of those bad-tempered old biddies who dwell on trivia. I gave myself a talking-to: "This is a different world, Rose Mary. Get used to it."
I abhor prejudice whether it be religious, racial or social; yet here I was, judging those professional of the basis of their youth and attire. Even if I think it’s unprofessional, their appearance has very little to do with their ability to perform. I may become old in body, but I don’t have to have an old mind or an old spirit.
Some people are so secretive about their ages that their birth dates aren’t in their obituaries or on their tombstones. I see no reason to hide my age. I agree with Will Rogers. "Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me. I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved."
The "Big Seven Oh" catapulted me into an introspective mood.. The decade birthdays cause one to look backwards and forwards. Some of the decade milestones are fun, but I see little reason to rejoice about my 70th. Seventy is just an unpleasant reminder that if you’re not elderly yet, you’re going to be so very soon. Here's one of the quotes that my niece, Cynthia, sent for my birthday:
"When you’re dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra." - Will Rogers
I’m like Father Tim in Jan Karon’s wonderful Mitford Chronicles. He even kept a mirror with which to examine the top of his head to see if he’d lost any more hair. He reminded himself of examples of older people who succeeded late in life such as the Grandma Moses. He resisted retirement, telling his Bishop that he was too tired to run and to afraid to quit. I understand that perfectly.
"Eventually you will reach a point where you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it." - Will Rogers
When one achieves eighty, ninety or one hundred, perhaps there’s a sense of triumph at having survived for so long. Bill and I have four friends who are ninety-five. Three of them still drive, and all of them are sharp-witted. Then there’s Knightstown’s own centenarian, Willard Avery.
"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." - Will Rogers .... Amen!
I blush to think of the stupidities of my youth. I have learned from them, but I must remember that growing old does not automatically endow one with the wisdom of the ages. Hopefully, I will continue to grow rather than becoming narrow. "The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for." Will Rogers
I hope that I’ll learn better what is important and what isn’t. The week before we left for Paris was difficult. I came down with a horrible bug during the Benton House Book Fair and spent three days in bed. That ruined my to-do list. Then people started calling about business as always happens when we plan a trip. I couldn’t find a pair of my pants. Bill found them. I needed new underwear. I was frantic.
I called Vivian Forst (ninety-seven) to chat. Just because one is old doesn’t mean that one is obsolete. She’s still as smart as a whip and cheerful even though her life has become restricted. "I read that you’re taking your grandsons to Paris." I replied, "It’s going to be horribly expensive because of the air fares and exchange rate." "It’ll be money well spent. You and those boys will have wonderful memories the rest of your lives.":
She’s right. So what if we eat bean soup forever? I can hardly wait to watch those boys the first time they see Paris. I’ve seen so many people deny themselves, store up for their old age, and then die or become too ill to be able to do what they would have enjoyed. Carpe diem! Sieze the day!
"One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been." - Will Rogers
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