Today, I’m reading a novel where the child asks his father what it’s like to get older. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. I guess I was thinking about it back on June 9, 2010 also when I wrote this:
Young mother, young father, young child. That was us in 1973. One year into marriage, family and continued college life. Part time jobs, intramural games for Dan, dance classes for me: Modern (which involved getting up on a chair) and Arabic (also known as belly dancing) through the “Y”.
Small dwelling. A mobile home purchased with my parents’ co-signing the loan. It cost $2,000.00, and that included the deck extension. We moved that home from Breda, IA to Towncrest Mobile Home Court in Iowa City, IA.
Young marrieds next door arguing loudly and throwing dishes at 2 AM. Me selling Avon door to door. Dan janitoring at Hillcrest boys Dormitory (now demolished). Me, getting a full time job at University Hospital in the File department, after dropping out of college. Dan, picking up our son, Bryan, from the sitter after class, and bringing him to visit me at work, placing him up on the counter for a bit.
Me taking tennis lessons over my lunch hour—Imagine! Some days watching soap operas in the break room with co-workers. Every day eating my home packed lunch.
A move to Omaha in 1975 for Dan’s new job with a $12,000.00 annual salary. I would never again take a full time paid job. But I always knew that I could if I had to, or wanted to.
Going back to school at UNO (University of Nebraska Omaha), living in a Benson apartment, then house, 3 more children, a big 96 lb. dog, and lots of neighbors/friends to meet. Getting a degree while settled into our 2nd Omaha house in west Omaha near 120th St. Discovering quilts and gardening along the way to add to general creative, artistic outlook on life. Laughing often, with Dan and kids, at Dan, at kids, at myself, and by myself thinking about Dan and kids.
1997, a family move to Long Island, New York, at age 45—our big adventure.
1998, coming back to Nebraska after 1 year and an ethically challenging experience. Tears all around. Some called it a Baptism by Fire.
Somewhere, back in N. Y., I got older. I no longer moved without thinking about it. I was active as ever, but now I was more AWARE of my movements. I felt like I had to chart my course each day to stay on track.
Like telling myself this: I will get up, go shower, go downstairs, make coffee. Along the way, pick up lint on the carpet (sometimes), open blinds, walk to laundry room. Anyhow, I no longer just DID things. I now had a heightened awareness of each action.
Enjoying excellent health, I thought it was due to my nutritious eating, early AM walks, and optimistic outlook. I really didn’t understand illness and disability.
So, now at age 57 (in June, 2010), how humbling it is to have a painful knee for no apparent reason, and not to be able to keep up with fellow travelers at the airport. I’m on every moving sidewalk, standing still, and every escalator.
No dancing on this trip, inconceivable!
Note: On 9-23-2010, I wrote that the awareness of knee soreness is still there, but I’m walking up steps, around NYC for 2 days, and dancing a little. I think it’s getting better!