|Ya gotta laugh!|
If you met me today, you probably wouldn't guess that I really enjoyed jumping on beds all the way up through my 40s. And you might not know that I was a motorcycle maniac for about 18 years. No, I didn't drive, but I rode on the back for hundreds and hundreds of miles through all kinds of territory. Sometimes I loved it, especially on trail bikes in the woods, taking flight off the rises and always grateful for a successful landing. There were times we went around corners so fast and low that the footpegs scraped the road so hard they made sparks, and times we took long, long trips and got caught in the rain and thunder, on slippery highways dodging huge trucks that kicked up killer watersprays. It's a miracle we survived as long as we did.
When I was 12, I earned a bronze medal and a silver medal in swimming. I wanted to go for the gold but was too young and they wouldn't let me. For that one, one of the things you had to do was swim a mile, so when we got back to the U.S. (I earned them while we lived in England), I made myself swim a mile at the community pool just to see if I could. It about killed me and my sister's friend, who was a lifeguard, got in the pool and swam the last few laps with me. It's one of those "I DID IT" things that sticks with you.
I loved to run and I loved to hike. My rule for hiking in the woods was always No Shoes Allowed. I spent most of my youth without shoes whenever possible. Climbing trees was my number one favorite activity for many years. I came home with pine sap in my hair and on my body all the time. It stayed sticky for days. Couldn't scrub it off, it had to wear off by itself.
I loved to draw and paint and I loved to dance. I drew and I painted and danced my little heart out. I loved to cook and I loved to eat, especially outside. Everything is always so much better outside, though inside can be awfully nice too.
Lately I've been feeling like Rip Van Winkle, who fell asleep and missed a gap of 100 years. When did this age thing sneak up on me? I was so busy living I didn't even notice! But it's making itself known now. At 61, suddenly I can't climb that highest mountain or walk that longest mile. My sweet little body got a bit ravaged by life and I find that part of me facing the downhill slide. Not sure there's much I can do about that except find a good sled.
The invincibility of youth has been overtaken by arthritis (ouch!) and the vagaries of age and I find myself managing rather than spearheading, who knew? I'm grateful for good management skills, but I think there's a part of me that prefers the all out embrace of possibility as opposed to the more sensible escort of discretion.
What they don't tell you about getting old is that all those things you thought you'd ALWAYS do, welp, they peel off one by one, sometimes without much warning. As they peel off, I've found that one of the best things I can do is salute them with gratitude, holding them dear, and the other best thing is throw myself into the things I can still do, or explore new ones I haven't tried yet. Ah, thank goodness for those.
Isn't life grand?