Nobody Taught Me

how to be old.  We go from preschool to precollege and all the following degrees and accomplishments.  I can figure out the square root of lots of numbers, but have no idea how to pass the time in my latter years.

When I recall about the classroom hours learning algebra and trigonometry, and what a waste of time they were, I wish somebody had instructed me on getting on in years productively.  Was I supposed to gain this knowledge growing up and watching older folks?  My mother didn’t live long enough to reach this point in the age progression so I have no example to follow.

We were a small family, no aunts or cousins nearby, and maybe I have always been lonely.  What I know for sure is that as the days get longer and lighter, they just provide more time to fill.  I went to a yoga class this  morning, and have a few other activities, but too much of my time I seem to spend in doctors’ offices and making appointments for future visits.  Will this be the sum of my days?

I can tell you what other contemporaries do-they play cards and mah jong, socialize with each other and enjoy the leisure time many worked a lifetime to earn.  I never had to work very hard in my life, and now the added minutes seem unnecessary and unneeded.  I have one good friend I meet each weekend for lunch, but although from another country, she is surrounded by family and acquaintances.  I envy the support circle she dwells in.

I probably should have made the attempt to keep friendships throughout the years, but I was too lazy or self-centered.  So now I am much older and alone.  I discarded interests like tennis and running and relegated them to discarded pile of past pastimes.  Oprah asks “What would you tell your younger self?”

I would pay attention more to relationships-male and female, pursue the interests that made me happy, and be kinder to those I encounter along the way.  I would realize friends and activities were not burdens, but blessings, and now I am solely lacking.  A neighbor invited me to see a movie at her home, and I declined.  Do I feel so much pressure to be entertaining and social that I miss golden opportunities for companionship.  I feel like the last person chosen to be on the team, and have only myself to blame.

My back hurts and my bones are thinning and the pain is my main friend.  No fun getting older, but it could be a lot better if I had made and make the effort to reach out not to grab sometime, but to extend my hand in kindness.