A boomer sees the seeds of age

Baby boomers have to be honest and admit that sometimes— sometimes— things aren’t as easy as they used to be. Call it “the seeds of age.” That’s what Liz Flaherty, who describes herself as “a writer from the cornfields of Macy, Indiana,” has been grappling with. To read what she has written, it sounds like she has won.

I changed the bottle in my water cooler the other day and reflected a little grumpily that it won’t be long before I’ll have to start using three-gallon bottles instead of five-gallon ones because the weight and awkwardness are getting hard to handle.

I’ve been wearing the same necklace ever since the beginning of sheltering in place because neither Duane nor I can consistently manage to fasten or unfasten jewelry clasps.

When we watch Grace and Frankie, I nod my head the whole time— not just because it’s funny but because even at its most unbelievable, it’s shockingly accurate.

This morning I needed something from the shed. I found the item I was looking for and went into the house to ask Duane to go out and latch the door on the shed because even though I got it open, I couldn’t get it closed.

Walking is the only form of exercise I like, and I like to walk two miles. However, I’m tired enough after a mile and a half that I usually just do that. I might add that the mile and a half takes me as long as the two used to take.

Liz Flaherty

Our 49th anniversary was yesterday. We asked each other questions. Would you do it again? What would you change? The truth is, any change at all— including the times and incidents that create pockmarks on any enduring relationship— would alter the path of our lives together. It might be straighter— or it might not. It could put us in a place we might like less instead of more. We agreed it wasn’t a chance we’d be willing to take.

All of these things are seeds planted by time. By age. Some of them were surprising— who knew I wouldn’t be able to effortlessly put my own necklace on? Some, like walking slower, were expected. But not now. Not yet.

But I’ve noticed…

Water in the three-gallon bottles tastes and costs the same as the water in the five-gallon bottles.

Whatever necklace I have on has memories and love attached to it— doesn’t matter which one I wear or how long I wear it.

Grace and Frankie both make no pretense at not being the age they are. That they’re old doesn’t diminish their funniness.

People, even ones you aren’t married to, will help you with things like door latches. Maybe they feel sorry for you because you’re old or maybe they respect that oldness. Or maybe people are just generally nice.

When you walk slow, you smell the flowers and hear the birds and solve the problems you didn’t even know you had.

Scar tissue, some of the fabric that holds 49-year marriages and other friendships together, is strong stuff. Made to last if that’s what both halves want to happen.

The seeds of age are hard-won and we earn them whether we want to or not. How and where we plant them, and what we do with whatever grows from them… well, that’s up to us.

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Liz has written several books but The Healing Summer seems like the one for this time of the year.

13 Comments

    1. A sobering reality of life—aging. When I’m struggling with age-related issues my husband reminds me that this is my new normal, and that I have to accept my limitations. It’s not easy. I can’t wear heels anymore, and I’ve worn a small pouch instead of a pocketbook for the past few years because my shoulder aches…and those are the minor things. But I’m grateful that I’ve lived as long as I have. Some haven’t.
      Thanks for writing this and validating my own sentiments. Happy belated anniversary. ( :

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