“I don’t wanna be retired!” I plaintively proclaimed to a younger blogger friend when we met for coffee last week. “I’m just not there yet. Retirement seems to indicate for me that I’m on the final downhill slide and soon the whole fucking thing will be over. That chills me. I still have so many things I want to do. Contributions I want to make.”
She sagely nodded in approval, but it was an approval based on the fact that she’s not yet at the same place so how could she empathize.
Anyway, I’m not ‘really’ retired. I still freelance write and I still do some counseling, and I still belong to a couple of committees, and I still have my own manuscripts to work on and continue to avoid – out of stark terror of rejection – sending off to publishers even though I think they’re rather good, all things considered. Those ‘things’ being the unadulterated shit that actually is published so often. But, that’s just me being bitter.
Yet there are signs that age encroaches. I’m not denial and much admire the innovations of pharmaceutical science – nuff sed about that. But, among ‘other’ signs – even though the cerebral stuff remains largely functional, and at some times even original and/or innovative – and the physical prowess hasn’t diminished substantially – I do find I have an increasing problem with names.
For example, there is a lady I know who works in a business I frequent, who is a charming and mighty fine looking representative of womanhood of a ‘certain age’. She is a person I’ve known for a few years. Yet, the other day, as I dropped by and stopped to chat, her name was ‘gone’. It had moved into a mysterious zone. Blessedly I remembered it a few days later, but it did me no good at the time.
I faithfully remember my wife’s name though in that case I might have an excuse since I’ve had three of them. Yet, I have never made the embarrassing gaffe of referring to Wendy by the name of one of her predecessors. Phew!
Speaking of women of a ‘certain age’, I have also found that females in the plus gradient of years are increasingly more agreeable to ponder. God is good in that respect. On the other hand, sweet young ‘thangs’ of unlined faces and pert little boobs and bums are most agreeable from an esthetic viewpoint but the old ‘you could be my granddaughter, damnit,” thing encroaches as in ‘get real.’
I thought that recently when I was watching a DVD of the quite astonishingly good Adele (who also has a great propensity to induce earworms, if you hadn’t noticed) that Wendy bought me for Christmas. And I could only think – you’re 23, girl. I can vaguely remember what that was like.
I’m genetically a bit blessed in that I think I still look pretty good for my age. But, for my age, mind you. For any age? Probably not so much. Too bad vanity doesn’t go away. Recently I ran a photo of me on Facebook. It was one taken in the 1980s, and of which a woman of my acquaintance said: “Oh wow, Ian!” Nice compliment. But, you know, what about me now?
Welcome to life in the sunset realm, buddy. And it’s really not so bad, and it could be ever so much worse. But I’m still not ready to retire. Though I do cherish an afternoon nap on occasion.