Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When I Am Old

"I have stopped worrying about living my life perfectly.
Oh my, what a relief!"

Do you remember Sky King? Jingles? Mr. Green Jeans? Did you wear your skate key around your neck or a circle pin on your jumper? If so, you're probably about my vintage. It's funny to realize that although I still feel the same inside, on the outside I'm getting old. I told my hair stylist that I was turning sixty soon, and she said, "Oh my gosh! I thought you were about fifty!" I was thrilled. But things have definitely changed if I think looking fifty is a compliment.

There are a bunch of things I've been saving up for when I'm old, and I've decided it's time to start acting my age. If I wait until I'm really old I won't have time for anyone to notice. At my funeral I want someone to say, "In her old age she:
  1. Saw the best in everyone.
  2. Was not judgmental.
  3. Smiled most of the time.
  4. Didn't complain much.
  5. Loved being around the kids.
  6. Hardly worried about what others thought of her.
  7. Motivated others with tact.
  8. Kept a positive attitude.
  9. Counseled wisely, but only when asked.
  10. Spoke with love.
In order to concentrate on these goals, I'm giving up some old ones. I'm not going to:
  1. Fret that I don't look like I did at 40.
  2. Brood about strange changes in my body.
  3. Wonder what everybody thinks of what I think.
  4. Waste time on activities that I don't care about.
  5. Worry about things I can't do anything about.
  6. Panic about the future.
  7. Obsess about possessions.
  8. Stress about $$$.
  9. Lose sleep over insomnia.
  10. Hold in my stomach.

I'm old, and I'm going to let it all hang out.

Jenny Joseph's Famous Poem

When I am an old woman,
I shall wear purple - -
With a red hat which doesn't go,
and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals,
And say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
and gobble up samples in shops
and press alarm bells
and run with my stick along public railings,
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit!

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go,
or only bread and pickles for a week,
and hoard pens and pencils
and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
and pay our rent
and not swear in the street,
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner
and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised
when suddenly I am old,
And start to wear purple.
—Jenny Joseph


Annie said...

Marty, from my (admittedly long-distance) perspective, you're already all of those things!

Christie said...

You ARE already those things, Annie is right. And I intend to be just like you.

gab said...

Mom! You are a spring chicken! You're not even 60 and you have a 39 year old daughter. Plus at least 34 grandkids...or something like that. You've packed a lot into your years. Enjoy!

Michelle said...

I love your list-- I'm going to make it mine.

polly said...

i want to join the club too!

mama jo said...

ah, come're not're just a spring chicken!