In the Home Depot of thought, I seem to be caught in the”Tools for Old Folks” department. Since age has caused me to give away most of my trusty devices, I find myself trying to replace them with ones of modern version or reclaim old rusty ones, with the thought that they may be re -purposed.
Well, to set aside that metaphor and go to straight talk. When you get to be over eighty (maybe sooner) you look for structure and relief from the common chores of life.
Developers are building Condos and Senior Living “Villages” that are supposed to bring that relief and keep us active physically and mentally. To some, this may be oversold…. and others maybe not so. Certainly, for those who have ended up alone and with diminishing health, it may well be the answer.
Back to the metaphor again (I love ’em): Life is a journey and we must change buses from time to time… some times you head out, you check on Mapquest, and find it isn’t going anywhere near where you had planned.
Here’s the case…. My wife and I chose to sell our house and move to a “Senior Residence”.
She was recovering from pneumonia. It was everything promised; No household responsibilities, no cooking or bed making.. no lack of choice in an active schedule of activities and trips.
Our bodies began to adjust to the less active routine, and although they had a few basic exercise machines, and a pool (we didn’t use)… I fell into a routine of three-wheeled bike riding, walks to the park, and ritual coffee conversations with the single ladies in the morning. (few men ventured forth).
My mind and body began to say; “Is this all there is?” In short (and maybe not so short), we found ourselves on the wrong bus; Surely headed for the companionship of a walker ( as had many, because of falls and visits to the hospital).
Once you have adopted a walker…….You’re His !
When our retiring daughter, Vicki, suggested that we move with her to an owner-duplex, yet to be found in the same familiar neighborhood, we could not wait to buy and move; Not because of dislike for anything at the “Lodge”, but we were just not ]ready at age 86.
What we discovered upon moving, was that the purpose in our lives started to kindle. Projects began anew. My body found that it needed the stronger demands, and my mind reacted to the problem solving that goes with the fresh challenge of income property ownership and fix-up.
We were getting old all over a gain: This time… still in the game; calling for substitutions now and then, requiring a slower pitch; never hitting it beyond the shortstop, and often being called out at first. But, somehow occasionally scoring points with the help of others.
What then would be my conclusions?
Never turn things over to others that you can do yourself.
Don’t ever let your body get away from you.
Involve yourself in projects that require patience and problem solving.
Re-engage the Spirit full time, and challenge Him to encourage to things forgotten, and imagined difficult for you.
Finally, when you see the bus coming, don’t worry about the destination…get on and savor the trip…. just have a plan for getting off before dark.
And, Oh yes……..Bring an umbrella, just in case.