Over The New Forty’s hiatus I hit the enviable watershed moment of being able to order off the senior menu. Yes, indeed – 55 years of age, that I am. It was a moment in time that I had often thought of as creating a major shift in the earth’s axis (at least where I am concerned), but in reality it was pretty much a non-event. I say “pretty much” because it has caused me to actually survey that section of the menu when I visit restaurants. Having now perused a selection of menus, let me say that I wish restaurants would provide more diverse senior menu offerings. Try as I may to use my new senior standing to my advantage, I have yet to find the menu that has the item I want on the senior menu. Surely, there must be some restaurant that forgoes the whole senior menu selection business and just gives seniors an across-the-board discount. I presume I have not visited there yet, but those who have their aged finger on the pulse of this whole senior discount thing will hopefully clue me in to the happening restaurants.
I have been doing some intellectual re-framing and socialization since my arrival at 55. I used to often say when I had aches and pains or moved at a slower pace than I had in the past that it sucked to get old. I do not say that any longer because I have become acutely aware that getting old is a privilege denied to many. My new line is – it sucks to feel old. It is a more accurate representation of the physical realities I have noted. Make no mistake, 55 is as much an age as it is a responsible speed limit.
However, the real challenge in being 55 is not evident in the speed with which I function, it is in still feeling 20 years younger in my mind, heart, and soul. I expected that I would be more reserved, sage, and circumspect upon my arrival at senior status – that some miraculous change would occur and I would feel and act more like a full-blown grownup. Alas, I only physically aged and the rest of me hangs in a state of suspended animation wherein I think I am still very much a young whipper-snapper. And as a young whipper-snapper I get into mischief that may be unseemly for a woman of my age and for a body with my speed limit. I have reconciled myself to the fact that I will likely continue to serve as an embarrassment to my children as I further progress into my senior years. I have concluded that I can live with their moments of angst over my behavior because I realize that the whole point of being here and living is being the authentic me that doesn’t act her age.
I am digging 55. When I tell folks my age I use my jazz hands. This is the one and only year that I will be able to pull this off. I am going to use it obnoxiously until folks come to warn others not to encourage me to share my age. I have arrived – I am a speed limit – but I am still a sports car on the road of life. I am not looking to be a sedate sedan, at least not yet. Maybe at 75…but then again, maybe not. 😉
Day one thousand five hundred and sixteen of the new forty – obla di obla da