Okay, let’s not sugar coat this – getting old is not for wimps! There’s no instruction manual to read or special training we can take along the way. The scary world of ageing is filled with shocks and surprises around every wrinkled corner. And you know what shock does to ageing boomers? It makes our hair whiter, our poop tighter, and our pacemakers pound out the beat to Jerry Lee Lewis’s Great Balls of Fire.
Personally, I thought I would always be thirty-two because that’s how I feel on the inside. And in my dreams, I’m always thirty-two. But then, mother time kicked me in my assets and announced my coming of age into the crusty rusty years. I looked into the mirror and found a white-haired grandmother with a few battle scars in her wake and a closet full of comfortable shoes.
I once read that certain species of sharks have to keep swimming forward to maintain oxygen-rich water flowing through their gills. This seems like a good rule to follow as a metaphor in human life as well. Standing still or hanging on to what we once had can be suffocating. When I stagnate and marinate in my own juices for too long, I feel sad, lonely and old - very, very old. So I make like a shark and keep moving, regardless of my growing list of limitations.
Now here I am, in the dawn of my twilight years, surrounded by a gaggle of gently used human beings. I live in a condo full of seniors; I sit next to the senior-set at the doctor's office; my friends are getting more wrinkled every day, and my dentist is as old as I am. Even my younger sister is fast approaching in my rearview mirror. As younger women, we used to talk about husbands, designer shoes, stressful careers, bringing up kids and vacations. And while we still giggle over a glass or two of chardonnay and hope our heart palpitations don’t kick in - now we talk about sciatica problems, joint replacements, grandkids and constipation.
It’s way too easy to become marginalized as we age and have our voices drowned out by the ubiquitous chatter in the world around us. It’s important for our happiness and wellbeing to remain relevant and be heard by staying informed about topical events that matter to us. And we shouldn’t hesitate to challenge those in charge by asking questions and advocating for ourselves at every opportunity.
A big part of each life-breath I take is the writing I do every day. Occasionally, I post an article on my Boomerrantz blog about how I see the world around me in all its glory and carbuncles. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of cranky old senior who always feels perpetually aggrieved. On the contrary, I’m actually an unusually happy septuagenarian, and my half of the glass is always the top half. But the act of ranting about things I find unjust or unfair is like a good liver cleanse; it helps to flush out the clogged arteries of my cranky zones and restore a sense of balance to my life. Sometimes the rants in my pants simply need a good airing out, and blogging about my aging boomer opinions seems to do the trick.
But it’s not all about the dark side of seventy that gets my granny-bloomers in a knot - I love to do my share of raving as well. There are still many joys in this world, and I’m at the front of the line to appreciate the good things in life; as simple as ‘the tip of a brim’ from a stranger or taking a walk to the beat of my feet - as I listen to Dancing Queen.
But here's something about many older women. We love to worry about age spots, wrinkles and waistlines, instead of celebrating our cellulite and the wisdom of our years. We worry about that dreadful whisker that popped out on our chin overnight instead of taking comfort in the freedom that comes with getting older. We worry about our grey hair and thinning locks, instead of enjoying that second cup of coffee in the morning, happy that we no longer have to strap ourselves into a pair of pantyhose to go to work. And we wear far too much beige and black and never enough electric blue, fire-engine red and emerald green.
Everyone has something important to say. Blogging can be a wonderful way to stay connected with a talented online community and get our voices heard. It’s a way to organize our thoughts and tap into the things that really matter to us. It’s a way to simply have fun and entertain our friends and family with our stories. The way I see it - blogging is like opening a steam vent on a pressure cooker of unspoken words. So let ‘er rip people, and I’ll see you between the lines.