LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT.

LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT.

“To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.”  Bernard M. Baruch

In high school, I played the ingenue in ‘Arsenic and Old Lace,’ but really wanted to be one of the ditzy old ladies.  Thirty years later I auditioned for the play again with a community theater group, and finally got the coveted role of Martha.  She was sweet, but addled; kind but homicidal.  Playwright, Joseph Kesselring, described her, as an ‘elderly woman,’ about 60 years old.  I thought, “Times have certainly changed since the play was produced in 1939.  Sixty is no longer old ladies dressed in black, but vibrant women running businesses, playing tennis, and working out.”

Fast forward another 15 years.  While watching the news, a young TV reporter announced, “An elderly woman was struck and killed by a hit and run driver early this morning.”  As she went on I pictured a feeble old lady, rather like Martha.  Then the reporter mentioned her age.  ELDERLY!  She was five years younger than I!   Had we gone back in time?  Was it 1939?

The reporter apparently had not read all the “50 is the new 30, 60 is the new 40 and 70 is the new 50”  articles and books.  She was no more than 30.  Using the philosophy of 50 or 60 is the new whatever, she had the mental acuity of a 10 year old.  That would certainly explain ‘elderly!’ When you were 10 anyone over thirty was also over the hill!

Took a break today, and the hosts of ‘The Chew,’  discussed how their grandmothers influenced their lives.  Clinton mentioned  his grandmother (she’s 94 and doesn’t look it at all) gets up every morning and says, “this is going to be a great day.”  She lives in San Francisco and walks 2 miles every day!  Carla’s grandmother told her, “it’s your job to be happy.”  Regardless of what life brings you, it’s up to you to decide how you will react.  Daphne’s grandmother said “only boring people get bored.”  She too, felt that you are responsible for your own happiness and enriching your life.  Sounds like these ‘elderly’ ladies were on to something.

Like the grandmothers of the Chew Crew, how you feel and how you age has more to do with mindset.  I’m not suggesting that nothing changes (I notice my joints aren’t as flexible as they used to be).  So, am I elderly?  I don’t know.  Mature sounds better and like Mr. Baruch, old age is AT LEAST 15 years older than I.

Here are my top reasons for enjoying where I am in life (pass it on to Letterman, he’s retiring this year):

10. You make your own rules

9.   Think about the grandmothers above.  Life experience makes you wiser.

8.   You can do all those things you’ve wanted to do, because now you have the time.

7.   You love your grandchildren but, face it, they go back to Mommy and Daddy and you can rest.

6.   You can have a leisurely breakfast and actually read the paper.

5    Again, like the Chew grandmothers you realize you are what you think.

4.   It is your schedule — not a company schedule.

3.   If you work out, you don’t have to go to the gym at 5:00 am to accommodate your job.

2.   There’s always time for friends.

And the top and number one reason to enjoy your age (whatever it is):

1.   Consider the alternative….

 

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4 thoughts on “LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT.

  1. Sharon,

    I really liked this one! I can offer some punctuation suggestions, only if you like. I am a former communications instructor.

    One new freedom I am enjoying now that I am older is the freedom to “look like what I look like, weigh what I weigh, feel like I feel, and dress comfortably.” Those freedoms were there all along, but only since hitting 60+ have I come to recognize and accept them!

    Keep writing, girl!

    Like

    1. Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed this. Of course, if you have any suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them.
      When you say you were a communications instructor, what exactly did you do.
      I think the great thing about getting older is not only hearing but listening to your own voice. When we’re young, we want so much to be in the “in-crowd.” And sometimes that gets out of step with ourselves.

      Look forward to hearing from you.

      Sharon

      Like

  2. Sharon,

    I taught English grammar and composition and writing for business professionals at a technical college. Put a red pen in my hand and I go crazy. I tend to be a purist ad nauseum!

    Here is my suggestion.

    You wrote: In high school, I played the ingenue in ‘Arsenic and Old Lace,’ but really wanted to be one of the ditzy old ladies. Thirty years later I auditioned for the play again with a community theater group, and finally got the coveted role of Martha.

    In the first sentence, you do not need a comma after “Lace.” Commas may be used in compound sentences, and you are treating this sentence as a compound sentence when it isn’t one. You have a compound verb (played/wanted) only. If you had said, “In high school, I played the ingenue in “Arsenic and Old Lace,” but I really wanted to be one of the ditzy old ladies,” then you could have used a comma because you are combining two independent clauses. Your two independent clauses are: In high school, I played the ingenue in “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “I really wanted to be one of the ditzy old ladies.” You are combining “I played” and “I wanted.”

    Try the same thing with the next sentence. You wrote, “Thirty years later I auditioned for the play again with a community theater group, and finally got the coveted role of Martha.” Again, you have a compound verb (auditioned/got) but not a compound sentence and thus do not need a comma. Rewrite the sentence to read “Thirty years later I auditioned for the play again with a community theater group, and I finally got the coveted role of Martha.” (“I auditioned and “I got.”) OR, simply leave the sentence as you have it and omit the comma.

    I’m deadly when it comes to punctuation but I never, ever want to be offensive. Please tell me if I have been. Editors will fix such errors for you anyway. You have the gift of words, which is the import gift because NO ONE can fix that flaw for writers. Be thankful that the biggest thing you have to worry about is an unnecessary comma!

    Like

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