Time flies when you’re old

Last week, I went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription and to get my shingles vaccination. While I waited for my shot, an older woman went up to the counter to get her prescription filled. When she was asked for her date of birth, I heard the year 1948 and immediately did the math – she is fifteen years older than me. That prompted a lot of thoughts about how time speeds up when you’re old.

I turned fifty-seven last month. My brother posted a picture on Facebook of me with our mother on my 50th birthday. It doesn’t feel like it has been seven years even though a lot happened in that time. I quit a job I hated and started a new one, I lost several family members including both parents, and I moved to another state.

The process of aging reminds me of a ball that accelerates as it rolls down hill, though the reason is math and not physics, so the analogy quickly falls apart. When an object moves down hill, its potential energy is converted into kinetic energy – the energy of motion. When we get old, our physical energy decreases and we don’t move our bodies as easily. But we have the potential to convert that lost kinetic energy into spiritual energy. Our bodies may be going downhill but our souls can look upward.

Our perception of age is relative. Children have no concept of how old adults are and when they try to guess, their responses are funny. I will never forget the time a kid in middle school, standing outside the door of the school library where I tutored a student, looked in at me and said, “hey, old lady.” I laugh about being called an old lady back then because I was only about 40 years old.

When I was a child, a year seemed like forever. At ten, a year is 10% of your life. Now, one year is only 1.75% of my life; when I was forty a year was 2.5% of my life. Now a year, even seven years, flies by. This quickening of time reminds me of the importance of the lesser known lines of the Serenity Prayer. Live one day at a time. Enjoy one moment at a time.

Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace

Today I think of myself as an old lady, albeit a “young” old lady. I take good care of myself with diet and exercise but even the best health habits can’t prevent the effects of aging. As I age, I find myself comparing myself to women who are older than me, like the woman at Walgreens. I guess it’s because I’m preparing myself for what’s ahead and what could be ahead for me physically if I don’t continue to take good care of myself.

In fifteen years, in two blinks of an eye, I hope to be like the older lady I see on my morning runs. She is slender and walks at a good pace, moving her arms as if she were running. Until then, I will be…

Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting aging as a pathway to peace

5 thoughts on “Time flies when you’re old

  1. In a few months, I’ll be the same age as you. I’m an old man to my kids and to some of those who work for me. No worries for me, though. I’ll wear my age as a badge of honor … an honor from God my Father!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, we should wear age as a badge of honor. I have to admit that I struggled to accept wrinkles and other physical signs of aging in my early 50’s. Thankfully, it has gotten easier with time. And I love the wisdom I have gained!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s one thing we can’t outrun, time. Aging is just part of life. I will complete my 60th lap around the sun in two weeks. I feel like I’m in my 30’s. I’m happy I made the decisions I made when I was younger. I had many adventures and lived life to the fullest. Now I have great memories. Enjoy every moment of every day. It just keeps getting better. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

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