I see him almost everyday on my way to or home from the local country store. Clutching a newspaper purchased at the same store, running up the low, long hill at the base of our road, I know from his hair color that this man is very likely older than I am. But everyday I see him jogging up that hill, his relaxed smile pronounce to the world that he is not old.
He’s not the only “senior” citizen I’ve noticed lately who’s refused to retire to a rocking chair. Mornings, I see a woman with steel grey hair and steely determination in her eyes running that road. She keeps the same pace going down hill or up.
I love these scenes. I love seeing a Facebook status from a family member who may be retirement age according to some calendar but has chosen to make her own schedule while leading hiking tours in the Rockies. I loved being part of a race whose highlights included a 92-year-old finishing a 5k for the 32nd time. It reminds me everyday that I can choose to grow old (something I’ve been thinking about a bit more as the “change” rolls in), or I can choose to keep growing.
Tuesday was momentous. I finished cleaning out my office. You can now enter the room without signing a waiver of liability in the event that one of my stacks of books or supplies or other-crap-that-gets-tossed-in-the-office-when-we-don’t-have-time-to-find-the-right-place-for-it.
Wednesday my office became a multi-purpose work and workout room when I moved a weight bench into the briefly empty space along the back wall. About 5 minutes into setting it up, however, I realized it was missing something very important – weights. I added their acquisition to the to do list for the next morning.
Thursday, I stepped on the scale, hoping I’d hit the forty pound mark, and I crowed. Forty-one point six (I do count the points). Then I headed to the grocery store for necessities and capped of my trip to town with a visit to Kmart, hoping they’d sell the round weight plates I’d need. I only wanted a pair of pairs of 5 and 10 pound weights – Schwarzenegger I’m not – but the only thing that came close was a 40 pound box of round weights on sale for $25.
I grabbed the plastic tape that was holding the box together and hoisted it to the top of the shopping cart. It wasn’t back-breakingly heavy, but I couldn’t imagine carrying it from the back of the store to the front. I slid the box from the top of the cart to the bottom, setting down my load and laughed, ignoring the puzzled look of the nearby stock clerk.
I still carry plenty of stuff in my head wherever I go, but thinking about the plastic tape-wrapped box I’d lost kept me smiling through the rest of the day.