Feeling thirty five in my head but I'm 84 in the body.
by Elna Nugent
Something seems to happen to people when they reach 80. I had heard this from experts in the geriatric fields and I find it to be true. When my husband died in 2009, my youngest son moved in to help me with everything which was great. But when he finally found an apt. and left I was astonished.
Why did I suddenly feel so peaceful and content and at the same time eager to do all the things I have never gotten to do before.
We are programmed from childhood to get up, go to school, or go to work and always have weekends off. This rhythm stopped for me when I began having four children. Suddenly at age 30. I was a 24-hr-a-day on-call mother who didn't get weekends off and family vacations were often twice the work than if we had stayed home.
When my mother had a stroke she came to live with us. I so enjoyed her but then there were seven of us living here, and I didn't have much chance to ever give a thought to myself.
When I turned 80 I was suddenly alone and the stillness was like a quiet symphony.
I found I could do anything I wanted whenever I wanted to. Good God.I couldn't believe it.
My 3 sons and daughter live nearby with their families and we connect on Facebook and e-mail, see each other weekly and have a lot of fun.
But now I suddenly feel like a child or a teenager again, taking interesting courses and meeting friends for lunch and painting again for exhibits ,playing the piano whenever I want, and constantly researching on the web because I send letters to the editor often.
Daily I feel filled with a trust in the future that is surprisingly strong--even when in late Jan. I recently slipped on the ice and landed on my back and couldn't leave the house for a month- and- a-half. But now I can walk again, don't need pain meds, can take my courses and go to the market.
Today I feel a deep respect for this body that has served me for so many years. I realize I had never thanked it before, just took it for granted.
Now I thank it and honor it almost everyday and so far, cross my fingers, it seems to be offering me health in return.