“Just wait ’til you get older,” my mother says, in that buzz-killing tone of voice she’s been perfecting for decades.
She’s said something similar for years and years. The first time she said it to me, she was younger than I am now. So I’ve reached some iteration of the menacing “getting older.” I’m “older” now. A good bit older than her youngest “older.”
And frankly? It’s not bad at all. Oh, sure, I have some physical quirks, some mechanical issues. This body is like a car that’s been driven for a bit. It has its knocks and rattles. Its parts that have had to be yanked out. At this point, I’m a refurbished model at best.
But I’m still chugging. I’m still kicking. And life is a pleasant experience.
And the little health quirks aside, I’m happier emotionally, happier mentally, than I’ve ever been.
I’m having a really hard time understanding what my mom was talking about. I mean, you do end up with health quirks. You injure more easily as you age, and the injuries take a bit longer to heal. But it’s more than balanced out by the improved sense of wellbeing and progressive sense of caring less and less about things that frankly just don’t matter.
It makes me glad I didn’t listen to her. That I didn’t take the threat seriously. That I rolled my eyes and just did what I wanted to. Because dreading the coming of these years would have been a terrible mistake. There’s always something about life to enjoy, even as your body gets shakier, even if health concerns are progressively more obnoxious.
It’s very similar to those people who tell you when you’re newlyweds to just wait, one day you’ll hate your spouse. That didn’t happen to me either. Instead, after a decade, I’m told things by strangers like, “You don’t act married. You like each other too much.”
It’s terrible advice — “just wait ’til you get older.” Because you’re going to get older, whether you’re dreading it or not. Why waste your life worrying about something that’s not so bad? And frankly can be kind of great?