Old Age is a Trade-Off

March 12, 2010

Sr. Wantabee was swimming her laps this morning, plowing ahead in high gear breast stroke, when she passed two little ole ladies in aerobic-walk-across-the-pool exercises. Sliding by with her head above water, she heard one lady say to the other, “Old age is a trade off. You give up your hip for flexibility.” Old age is a trade off, pondered she. What am I trading for?

  • speed for perseverence: my kids may run faster but I plod longer.
  • passion for companionship: perhaps the love life does not have all the passion of youth but the depth of companionship and partnership and comfort is unmatchable.
  • focus for depth: when young being task oriented but now having a wealth and breadth of experiences to enjoy any task.
  • 1/2 mile of swimming for 1/4 mile of swimming: but I’m still swimming!
  • the pursuit of financial security for the ability to pace “wants and haves”: I don’t plan as much for tomorrow because tomorrow is today!
  • finding the “right guy” for enjoying the guy who has been right for me.
  • Seventeen magazine to discover the right look for a good book and a cup of coffee: but actually my daughter has been reading Tale of Two Cities and enjoying it.
  • meditating on what the future might bring for meditating on the unexpected joys the future has brought
  • a big future looming on the horizon for a rich past with wonderful memories
  • friendships of the moment for friendships that have weathered a life time: my daughter has a “new friend” who called yesterday and asked if she wanted a samosa and I have an old friend many states away who faithfully prays for me.

Yes, old age is a trade-off but as far as I can tell, the trade is worth making. Perhaps the disappointed hopes, the grey hair, wrinkles, and the sagging muscles that need swimming are a small price to pay in the trade-off.  I wonder how many are willing to trade and how many are holding tight to a life that is passing in fear they will get the raw end of the deal?