I stopped in the local pet shop the other day to buy meal worms for the remaining class pet, one of two sweet girl geckos I brought home when I retired a year ago. She's . . . can she be 9 now? Her sister died recently, and this one--Tillie or Lizzie, I never kept them straight--lives alone in the aquarium that has prime real estate in the living room . . . so I won't forget to feed her. And, okay, so she'll have "socialization," such as it is. Sometimes she gets more attention than I do, but that's a post for another time.
I live in a home of old creatures. An old gecko, and old cat, who at 18 is amazingly youthful despite her missing teeth, and gives me more attention--and eye contact--than my husband (also old) does. But this is for the other post I mentioned.
I'd made a comment to the woman at the pet store, a joke really, about having mid-life issues. And then I thought, "Midlife. Who am I kidding?" To be truly MIDDLE aged I will have to live to 116.
I got a book from the library the other day, Memory Lessons: A Doctor's Story, a memoir by a gerontologist who writes of his father's Alzheimer's disease. He calls his father the "oldest old."
It seems that in the world of gerontology "old" has been split and redefined in several categories. Age sixty-five to seventy-four is considered "old." Those between seventy-five and eighty-four are labeled "old old." And the "oldest old" are eighty-five and up.
The young me
I'm none of those yet, but I hope to become each of them in due time. I'm "old mid-life" if I may create my own label, but I feel ageless inside. As my father said in his latter years, "I feel like the young me looking out of the same eyes." I guess this is why mirrors or photos provide a jolt. Who is that old middle aged person that looks a little like me?
May I someday be among the oldest old?
Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative. ~Maurice Chevalier