Do you ever have those moments in life where you come to this strange realisation that you may be deluded ? or maybe you just think differently about yourself and possibly the world around you.
I am wondering if it is ego, vanity, delusions of grandeur or something else but you see a few small things in my wonderfully mundane existence caused me to look inwards and it kind of surprised me when I looked in the mirror at self.
As a retired lady of leisure, I have all this time to work on myself and better late than never I have finally decided to focus on me and my health, and ask all the big questions. Great idea I hear you say - and yes I agree it is at the time but then I always wonder why it takes so long, but that is another story.It all started quite innocently by absorbing myself in some good old fashioned self improvement. Maybe it was the torn tendon in my foot that seemed to limit my movement and freedom to do as I wished ,so I wanted to spend my time being productive mentally.I suspect it could also have been the creaking bones that I need to limber up when I get out of bed and the extra time needed as I move a bit slower to just get up and moving on these cold winter mornings. I am not quite sure how my body started to suddenly feel really old but I am not liking it.
After the tendon had healed ( well sort of, I am impatient ) I then committed to walk daily, just a few easy kilometres a day but between the increasing heart rate, breathlessness, uncomfortable limp as I increased the kilometres I often wondered why I was doing it. Then I remembered the reason I am doing it began with the awakening of my dormant competitive nature , I love a challenge and on retirement my smart son, who knows me well , purchased this app for me knowing it would push me to accept the challenge . The aim is to walk around Australia virtually , so everyday I walk the kilometres to get me where I need to go. The app calculated I would finish in 2080 based on my current level of fitness and care factor , insulting really, yet to be fair an honest assessment, I'll show that app. was my first response and off I went. Within weeks I had torn a tendon due to my over enthusiastic delusions of my capability. Pre torn tendon I had lowered my finish date to the year 2037 but due to my forced break and the slow steps back to walking it's currently around 2047. The competitor in me says I'll do it much earlier than that. I can not believe how ridiculously excited I am to have currently walked from Canberra and reached my first goal of Sydney . I have this internal little battle with myself now and as is my nature I have a goal to focus on.
Walking country also gives me so much thinking time and so for now it's all about health , fitness, mind, body and all that. For some reason I have also started to ponder mortality , ageing and dare I say it death. I think these thoughts are around "popstars or icons " from my era suddenly dropping like flies. Looking at my own mortality and a yearning to tick off a lot more things on my bucket list I decided to smarten up my physical act - so to speak.
Now this is where it gets interesting - I began to look at some exercise programs and came across an age appropriate class for dare I say it OVER 55's - it strangely hit me that I was one of them and some !!! yet when I looked at the glossy brochure I did not really connect with the images looking back at me.
I have seen me in the mirror so I know I would fit in nicely but I seem to have this strange visual disconnect to self around ageing. Does anyone else have this I wonder? I am not sure if it is a deluded vanity or ego but as I hurtle towards my sixty fifth trip around the sun in many ways I feel socially disconnected from my age group. It is why I do not do a lot of social groups or programs that are advertised as I just can not connect with what I am presuming I am slotted into connecting with. ( disclaimer : these people look lovely and cheery and I have never met them so I can not presume anything, in fact they are way braver than me as they are putting themselves out there ) Knowing myself, I am possibly to sweary , to political, to crazy, to left field or just to not engaged in the status quo to fit in. Try as I might I often drown in unstimulated surroundings and get bored easily and then distract myself with wicked thoughts and humour or write stories in my head.
It is disconcerting to be in an old body when you want to do things it just can't and yet have a relatively young mind that wants to be sparked up and even stranger when you realise this strange alternate universe you live in, with a foot or connection in neither camp. These thoughts are not around the shame or ego of ageing itself , I love being an elder and the wisdom and freedom age has given me, plus the gratitude I feel to reach this older age, my headspace is between marrying the young mind and old body as one. Oh for this aged wisdom in a young body, and yet I can see why this would not occur , my goodness it would be a lethal, powerful combination of a life force :)
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Another window into my new perspective on self happened when I went to the movies to watch a delightful movie "Good Luck to you Leo Grande " and again it got me thinking around age and expectation and men of my vintage. Look I know there are some delightful gentlemen out there but the men I see, observe or meet around my vintage are well to be honest not my thing and set in their ways, these ways I am not familiar with. In this thought provoking, poignant and very funny movie Emma Thompsons character reflects on the beauty and sexuality of youth and her lust for that experience in an age averse world. No further spoilers - but it really created a conversation between us girls around ageing and expectation. It was then it really hit me about delusions of grandeur and what the eye wants versus what the reality of expectation is. It was a strange and yet quite funny self reflection.Seems it is back to drawing board on all that self improvement I've been working on.
But progress has been made, I am joining up to the wellness/ fitness class. Being of a certain vintage I have had to present a medical clearance to begin it - yes another realisation I am in the risk category or observed as such. I am also going to venture out and do some water exercises after again getting the medical clearance, I just hope no one wants to discuss with me the specials at Woolies and Aldi's , the daily news from the Herald Sun, any subject from morning TV or anything along a similar vein.
However if you're looking for a rum drinking, football loving, quite sweary, politically aware , social justice card carrying leftie, dance twerking, Rap singing , trash TV loving human with a thing for young delicious athletic men with great calves and even better arms mmmmmmm , well I'm up for a chat anytime .
Now just excuse me whilst the reality part of me needs my afternoon nap , a cup of tea and the heater on. We are all a paradox of this wonderful thing called life , may your heart and mind always be young and your body - well treat it kindly , you won't realise how much you need it till it starts to fall apart.
Till next time keep punching and breathe :)