Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two things about getting older

While reading the Kansas City Star (which I still love, I don't care what anyone says), I ran across two things about aging. One was Robert Butler's review of David Lindsay-Abaire's "Kimberly Akimbo," now playing at the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. Kimberly suffers from progeria, "a disease that accelerates the aging process, leaving kids with the bodies of senior citizens." Think Benjamin Button but backwards. Butler writes that Kimberly is "acutely aware that she's approaching the end of her life. Most kids with progeria never make it out of their teens."

I, who very rarely go to plays, may have to go see this. The elasticity of time is curious to me. I've had days when five minutes felt like five hours, and vice versa. You probably have too. The play may help remind me that my clock is ticking faster. That fact , as people who get on my nerves say about various ideas, "is neither good nor bad, it just is." They're usually right but that saying bugs me, especially if the one proselytizing to project Zen-like serenity has been known to shake the vending machine violently when their Fritos are hung up in A8. (That is dangerous by the way. And noisy. So don't do it, OK? I can't afford to lose any of my five followers. Plus I know who you are and I like you.)

The second, and cheerier piece, I saw in the Star is that Stephen Walker's documentary "Young at Heart" is on PBS tonight at 9 CST. It's about a group of people deep into their Second Act of life--I don't like the terms "senior citizens" or "elderly. Anyway, they form a chorus and perform songs by Coldplay and the Clash. I saw it a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. Especially the African-American woman who works so hard to memorize the Pointer Sisters' "I know we can make it. I know darn well we can work it out. Oh yes we can, I know we can can. Yes we can can, why can't we?" My friend Pam K. loved it too. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Very tender and inspiring.

So, about getting older, here's what I think--"I know we can make it. I know darn well we can work it out. Oh, yes we can. I know we can can. Yes we can can, why can't we?"

P.S. Thanks for reading. Also, sorry about the error in my use of the word "effected" yesterday. I'm usually so much better about that. Thanks to the reader who brought it to my attention.


  1. How does "is neither good nor bad, it just is." help anything? Sometimes people who go around saying stuff piss me off.
    Love the blog!

  2. Great blog!

    I want thinking the other day about how being in a church makes you feel pretty good about getting older. If you're in your 40s or 50s, you're still fairly young in terms of most church congregations. And you see people in their 80s and 90s running committees and doing all kind of things, which is cool.

    I need to see that chorus. Wait...I want to be in that chorus!

  3. love your writing, very fun and thoughtful. however, i don't think time is necessarily age dependent ('cept maybe for that baby; wonder how she experiences time?). my 56th birthday is this week, and i try to e x p a n d time when i need to. often works, i just need to remember to do it. i get so wrapped up in the idea that i don't have enough time, i end up manifesting it that way.
    one suggestion on the blog: reading large areas of small white type on black can be hard to read. creates visual vibration. you can probably make a change in your settings. otherwise? you're the perfect person to be blogging. thanks!

  4. Thanks for all your comments. I will try to keep my posts shorter,
    and I will mess around with the type on the black background. Will another color type work? Or is it just the black background, which I feel compelled to say that I love more than a person should love a background and type. Love the church idea. Feeling younger may be just the thing to push me through the doors and wait for lightning to strike. :) You guys are really nice to read this. In the words of the lady in the cafeteria "I appreciate you."

  5. This is similar to Stacey's thought: I saw a shrink once who advised that the best way to ensure mental health is to have friends of all ages. From babies to seniors. The younger people help remind you to be open to new experiences and stay in the moment. The older people (probably) have more perspective and help you see that there is life after x, y, or z. This was good advice for me.

    Another shrink said the secret is to have something to look forward to at all times. This one hasn't worked out as well, because for me, staying in the moment is the only thing that keeps me sane. Well, that and 50mg of pristiq.

    For some reason, I've never thought much about milestone birthdays. Also, I don't really care how old i am, or how old anybody thinks i am. We're all just human beings trying to make it through the day/night.

    I'm 55, and so far my 50s haven't been different than any other decade. I have my good days and my bad days. I wouldn't want to revisit any of the previous years, because it would mean missing what's happening right now. It's not that I'm all that positive or optimistic: it's just that I'm nosy about what's going to happen next.

    Renee, I love the blog and am so happy you included me in the invitation to read it!

  6. I think of it as "getting older" instead of "aging" 'cause we're all getting older and
    only some people are aging. I want to stay with the getting older group.

    I like getting older. It helped me let go of a
    lot crapola I'd been carrying around for a long time. I don't miss any of it.

  7. Molly, glad you like Pristiq. I'm not digging it so much. Too many unpleasant side effects.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I miss YOUR blog.

    And it's obvious you live the "friends of all ages" philosophy. You're the most popular girl at Hallmark High. I aspire not to care how old anybody thinks I am. It worries me, not from a vanity standpoint. OK, maybe a little from a vanity standpoint since I have a younger sister who looks like a Jackie O and recently freaked out since she went "UP" to a size 8, but that's decades of sibling rivalry. I DO worry about appearing older with regard to relevance in the workplace and society at large. Sometimes I think if I were an old lady, living in Italy, making great puttanessco, no one would care that I don't text.
    Wow. How I do go on. At any rate, thanks. You're an inspiration in many ways. Oh, by the way, it's me--Renée, but I forgot how to post without being anonymous.

  8. I loved "Young at Heart." Every girl in my all-girl family boo-hooed when the old dude came out, sat down and sang "Fix You."

    And regarding "effected," does that mean Ron Clemons is reading your blog? Does the guy ever STOP??? He's always in my head. Every time someone uses the word "over" to refer to a quantity of something, I immediately hear "more than" in my head.

    Carry on, young friend.

  9. I love the "...to 50" countdown. I'm sure a slowly descending crystal orb will mark the moment. If not, it should. Glad you're blogging. Emails aren't my thing but this, this blog is something I can dig.