Yesterday, I felt 20; today, I feel more like 90. Tomorrow, who knows? It’s a roller coaster, this business of aging-without-being-old. Having youthful interests, vibrant friends, challenging reading matter — all good. Remaining physically active — important. And most days, I look forward to some or all of those things. It’s exciting to meet friends at a museum, walk around for an hour or so, then discuss the experience over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Or see a movie or a play. Or ponder a challenging book.
But, some days, about the biggest challenge I want is trying to figure out whose project will win on Flea Market Flip or who will be eliminated on Chopped. Some days, I can conquer the world. Others, a cup of tea is a victory. I can walk miles in Manhattan, except for the days when from the bed to the couch seems quite enough exercise, thank you.
When I used to complain to a friend of mine about having no energy, she’d tell me about a 90-year-old man who ran the New York marathon. My response was — and still is — when I’m a 90-year-old man, I’ll run the marathon. (And not a moment before!)
Now, this may sound like a complaint or a rant, but it’s neither. It’s really about expectations and how we feel when we’re not living up to our own expectations. Remaining young and vibrant is a wonderful and achievable goal. But maybe not every minute of every day. Enjoy life! Celebrate all the things that you can do and are doing. Keep reaching. Just remember that even a teenager has a down day. Give yourself a break if the weather is dreadful or that cold just won’t go away as fast as you’d like or you know you’re going to bail on an event because you just don’t feel like going out. It’s okay. You’ll get back into the game tomorrow — probably feeling better for the break.
There will be days, weeks, months where you’re amazed at how young you feel. And there will be days where you feel like the thousand year old man. It’s fine. Just average them out.