“Underwater Fantasy” original watercolor by kayti sweetland Rasmussen
I don’t know about you, but I’m not getting any older, despite evidence to the contrary. The hair may be a little lighter in color, the skin a bit more flabby, and my eyeglass prescription a little stronger, but —I am not aging. Is that clear?
I had to get new eyeglasses and after seeing an old picture of Dorothy Parker in dark horn rimmed glasses, I thought it gave her a more intelligent look as opposed to grandmotherly. I asked my husband what he thought; he gave them a thumbs up. An old man sitting in the waiting room said “Scary”. I countered his attack with “They’re meant to be”.
I came upon my 25 year old bathing suit and though it still fits in a baggy sort of way, the exposed body is a little lumpy. When I bought it, my 8 year old granddaughter sneered and said that “her mommy would never wear a suit like that”. “We’ll see about that” I sneered back.
My friends however, are getting a bit on the shaky side, maybe even a little forgetful. One woman came for a Sunday afternoon bridge game with curlers in her hair. She thought we were to play the next day. She’s fine otherwise.
The popular word around town these days is “downsizing”, and because others out there are aging, or so I’m told, it’s not too soon to think about downsizing—in fact, it’s hip. After listening to friends who have done this, and in some cases moved into retirement apartments, it’s a real mess. You might say it’s asking for trouble doing this before it’s necessary, but think of the pleasure you will have clearing out desks and closets you haven’t looked at for years. My daughter cleaned out a closet and found three outfits she forgot she had—two with sales tags still on. Her sister began bargaining with her to buy one of them and she ended up with a small profit she used for a new toaster.
Several years ago my friend asked me to come help her clean her closet and get things ready for a rummage sale. Much to her sorrow she gave me a cute pair of green shoes which hurt her feet. They hurt my feet too, but they were so cute I thought it didn’t matter. The next day she arrived at 7 a.m. and wanted them back. But she got my free help in downsizing.
But you say “Wouldn’t this make you feel like you are winding down?” Not at all. Think of it as the first step to freedom. The less you have the less you worry. It doesn’t matter if you are 40 or 80 years old, we can all do with less. I may clean my studio one of these days, but I’m not aging, is that clear?