Wednesday, February 2, 2011

At my age

This morning my husband Art and I attended the Silver Sneakers class at our local rec center. It's three days a week for 55 minutes of stretching and strength training for seniors. Today there were 15 of us, mostly women. We arrived slowly and left invigorated. I'm the youngest person in the class, but I connect with many of the women, as none of us are working any longer. On Monday we talked about "The King's Speech" and they've talked Art into going to a matinee with me some rainy day soon.

Yesterday I went to the gym to do my balancing exercises on a bosa ball, since I don't have one at home. I do that two or three days a week. At the gym during the day there are people of both genders and all ages. I'm neither the youngest nor the oldest. I've only talked to a couple of people since I joined last month, but I suspect before long there will be faces I recognize and conversations I have before I leave for home.

At the end of my work life I was one of the dozen oldest people in a company with about 100 employees. The dozen oldest of us were near retirement, doing our calculations and making our plans and marking our calendars, at least mentally. The rest of the employees were juggling babies and children and teenagers and kids in college and young adults and young grandchildren along with fulltime jobs and a commute. The longer I was at that job, the more separate I felt, as I began leaning toward the post-work world.

Now, in my post-work life, I share my days with others who are not working. My next door neighbor Jenn is early 30s, a husband and two small children and 15 chickens. We have tea from time to time and really enjoy each other's company. She's my kids' age, but I don't think of her that way. She's a friend. Younger, but a friend. Last Tuesday I went with her and her daughter Kaela to a homeschool class, and I got to spend an hour listening to other young women who have chosen to homeschool their children. They are an articulate bunch. I was glad to be asked to go along.

My neighbor Judy across the street is mid 70s, a husband with Alzheimers in a group home, four grown children, no pets. We have tea from time to time and really enjoy each other's company. She's a friend. Older, but a friend. On Monday she was having a bad day, so I went over. Turns out she is sick of January rain. We commiserated and laughed, and by the time I left we both felt better.

I meet with my writers' group on the first and third Tuesday of each month. We're all in our late 50s or early 60s. Two of us work and two of us don't. We have dinner together before we talk or write, and we enjoy each other's company. They're friends, about my age. We're attending two writing workshops together this spring, and we've talked about traveling together to Puerto Vallarta next winter, where one of our group has recently moved.

In my blogging community, I interact with all ages. We share an interest in writing and in communicating about things of importance to us. Some of us work and some don't. I haven't met any of these people face to face, but I suspect I will. Online, we enjoy each other's company, and we're friends of a different sort.

I like being part of a community of all ages and stages of life. When I was younger I preferred the company of people my age. Now, though, I want to experience all the other ages, not just my own.


13 comments:

Olga said...

Sounds like you are staying active and staying connected.

Story Connection - Our Memories Bring Us Together said...

You life sounds great and you described it so well. Makes me want to retire.

DJan said...

I like the way you tied it all together with the idea of enjoying each other's company, in each case. I surely do enjoy your company, and as we sit around the Internet Teapot, I find many of us are in quite a good place in our lives. I have made some really good friends at the Y where I work out, and I am missed when I don't show up for some reason.

Arkansas Patti said...

I know what you mean. I enjoy all from teens to late nineties. Each group has something to offer.
I wish my town was big enough to actually have a gym. That would be neat. Keep enjoying.

Linda said...

Interacting with all ages is vitally important in life and especially as we get old. You seem to have done a very good job building community all around you, all walks of life, and all ages. Good for you.

Linda Reeder said...

As Linda said, you have done a good job of building comminity around you. I could take some lessons from you. I don't have that many daily contacts, which is why I like blogging.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

You have a very nice set of friends and contacts. That plus your travel and physical activity seems to add up to a really nice life!

Teresa Evangeline said...

It sounds like you have a wonderful variety of friends and things to do. I need to be less reclusive. This is a nice post.

#1Nana said...

You are much more social than I. While I enjoy the social contact, I don't often seek it out. I like the interaction among age levels...although I've had my fill of the middle school ages for now! My writing group is also thinking of attending a writing conference this year.

Retired English Teacher said...

I love that you are making these connections. I find that my daily interaction with others just doesn't happen if I don't work. That is not a good thing since I thrive on interaction with others. I like that you seem to reach out more than I am. I need to do that more. I get stuck in ruts when I'm not working.

I need to find a writing group. My little writing group (one friend and I strong) is not meeting because she is too busy teaching and working on her masters.

I enjoy my blogging friends very much. You all keep me connected.

Jennifer said...

We are very glad you came, Friend. Wasn't it cute how my little one chose to just sit on your lap instead of playing for a time? He loves the preschool room. You must be pretty important to be chosen over the TOYS.

Deb Shucka said...

I really like this post. I know as I've gotten older, I seem to be less concerned with age-driven peer group needs, and more open to being friends with anyone who seems interesting. It's one of the many things I love about the blogging community.

Paul C said...

I appreciate how you enjoy a multi generational interaction too.