Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dealing with Aging

When I was young, I was always the youngest person in my group. Because of my birthday in the fall, I was the youngest in my high school graduating class. At work, I always seemed to be the youngest in my peer group.

But times have changed. Today, it seems that I am the oldest person in every activity in which I volunteer. I try to tell myself that this doesn't matter--my mind is still sharp and I am an active person--but when I get dressed to go out, I look in the mirror and see the gray hair, the wrinkles, the many signs of aging
One of the worst thing about being an old lady is that no one notices you! It seems like I meet some of the same people over and over but they don't remember me. Today I attended a meeting on a volunteer project and the committee chairman, with whom I've met for almost a year now, sent out a message afterward to all of the participants and in it called me by the wrong first name!

I have a theory--the best spy would be an old lady. No one notices old ladies. No one takes us seriously. No one pays attention to us. We are forgettable.

I'm not ready to give up living, volunteering, participating. Recently on a volunteer project, one of the others asked me if I was "up to this." I think she judged, by my appearance, that I was "too old" to participate. Granted, I am certainly not as capable, physically, as I once was, but I'm not ready yet to retire to the "home."

I found the following poem on the internet--no indication of who wrote it so if anyone knows please tell me. It expresses how I feel:

do not judge me

wrinkles, gray hair and hearing aids.
glasses, walking sticks, and dentures.
although when you look at me, this is what you see,
do not be a judge of me, for there is more of me to see
individual and human, I am unique, alive with personality, ME,
do not judge me

To "old ladies" everywhere--we rock!!!



Rebecca said...

You go girl! I agree, I don't know who that old woman is looking back at me from the mirror! I still feel young inside~and that's what counts!

Porch Days said...

You just keep on volunteering or whatever you want to do. Any group would be lucky to have you with all your experience. We older people have lots to offer!