Not over for this boomer. Not even close

It’s only realistic for any baby boomer to acknowledge, we have more years behind us than ahead of us. Sherrill Pool Elizondo knows this— she calls it her Swan Song— and is trying to cope with it. From the looks of things, she’s pulling it off, because it’s not over, she says, until the fat lady sings.

Older boomers know we’re experiencing our swan song for doing what we want to do and chasing a few rainbows.

While recently parking my car, a woman in a red luxury vehicle was parking next to me. She got out apologizing for her bad parking saying that I must park far away, like her, so my nice car won’t get hit by other people’s car doors. She wistfully said, “This will probably be my last car.”

“Same here,” I replied.

So many “lasts” to accept after a certain age.

Sherrill Pool Elizondo

We continued chatting and, since this retired librarian had been so frank, I mentioned that I was curious about how others our age REALLY feel about aging. I wasn’t interested in merely hearing the same old adage, “Age is just a number.” I told her that I wake up terrified some mornings and get out of bed almost immediately to go work out and that I’ll do anything to stop thinking about the fact that I have fewer years ahead of me than behind me.

Remember when people had maybe ONE doctor and a dentist? In adulthood, until the age of 43, the only doctor I saw regularly was the one who delivered two of my babies. He finally felt uncomfortable prescribing cholesterol medication.

There was a message there: find an internist. I did. Turns out his specialty was geriatrics. I first met him when he was right out of medical school and I had taken my mother to see him. An elderly gentleman, who knows me from an assisted living center where I volunteer interviewing people and writing their biographies, asked me why I was seeing a doctor for old people? Couldn’t think of a good answer but suddenly, I realized, I AM that “old” person.

Little did I know I would be seeing more specialists. The list of doctors got longer. So did medical tests. Depressing. I’ve observed my primary doctor aging himself though… gaining weight like the rest of us and hair turning silver. I wasn’t happy to eventually have an irregular EKG in his office and be sent to a cardiologist. I almost skipped town that day!

When I knew I was in trouble concerning my feelings about all this, the doctor whipped out a questionnaire and asked, “Are you depressed?” I looked at him with an unsmiling face and said yes. He didn’t ask if my dog died or if everyone in the family was okay. Assuming my condition was age-related, he continued with his litany of “Look at all the wisdom you’ve gained at your age.”

Great! I was actually glad to get blood work completed so I could go to the doughnut shop and down some orange juice, some coffee, and several doughnuts.

Recent fantasy: I imagine a certain age when I’ll go to my beach house to stay. It’s a place where I don’t feel my age and am not reminded of it. I’ll dance at the Sugar Shack, where I’ll wear a Mumu and think that a hot fudge sundae sometimes makes a perfectly acceptable meal. In my fantasy, I’ll write without thought to word count, and I’ll greet each morning with happiness and contentment and live out my days on my terms. And I’ll never visit another doctor again.

Not over until the fat lady sings.

21 Comments

  1. As usual Sherry you’re right on. Happiness is a choice acceptance is a choice and through all of life I have learned that each stage has some positives and negatives we choose our level of contentment !!
    Your comments make me laugh you have such a way of expressing them with your subtle humor !!!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Patricia! I had hoped it would make SOMEONE laugh! You are correct about choosing happiness and acceptance. I try most days. Aging can be quite challenging though.

  2. Lovely read! You make me smile and as a friend that knows you and looks up to you, i believe you live this fantasy on the dance floor u like many others! Girl, that lady isnt singing anytime soon! Xo

    1. Akemi, It made me happy to read your comment! So uplifting. Thanks for doing so. Guess you know that I feel I have something to live up to (for myself and others) in showing up for so many jazzercise classes! I feel young while dancing….only later in the day do I feel like “what was I thinking?” If It ever comes time for me to enter the doors there with a cane or a walker, I will!…You KNOW not to put it past me. XO

  3. Yet again, Sherry, you perfectly capture what we all are thinking of… hating doctor appointments and remembering ourselves as vibrant life-loving women! I guess I’m somewhat of a dreamer because I tend to dwell on The life loving, blocking out the negative. Delusional? Maybe… And I know one day My rose-colored glasses will shatter to the tune of the fat lady singing. Until then…

  4. Yet again, Sherry, you perfectly capture what we all are thinking of… hating doctor appointments and remembering ourselves as vibrant life-loving women! I guess I’m somewhat of a dreamer because I tend to dwell on The life loving, blocking out the negative. Delusional? Maybe… And I know one day My rose-colored glasses will shatter to the tune of the fat lady singing. Until then…
    Shirley

    1. Shirley, Thanks for reading the story and sharing your thoughts. It’s good to be able to block out the negative! There is more of life to enjoy each and every minute of each and every day that we are blessed to be given. No time to waste having negative thoughts. Thanks for taking time to comment.

    1. Bob, I DID laugh at your comment. Haven’t had a doughnut in a very long time! I guess there are lots of doughnut shops everywhere but seems like a large number in the small town where my beach home is located and guess the reason is because there are so many fishermen.

  5. Dear Sherrill,
    Thank you so much for your article. It gives me hope as I look at retirement soon and my exciting European move over to Portugal. I can’t believe I am turning 64 in November and still have all of my dreams to live by a seaside on my retirement money.

    1. Dian, Thank YOU for even reading my story. Sounds like a wonderful life adventure awaits you…another positive at this stage of life.

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