I finally did it! What an intriguing title. At least I hope it grabbed your attention.
I could be talking about a number of things that have never happened before… Like having a novel on the New York Times bestseller list. Or getting a recording contract–or even just having some famous musician record one of my songs. Or being able to quit taking all of the medicines that keep me in such good health. Or having a member of my family come to live in the same city we live in.
All interesting possibilities, none of which has happened…or is likely to happen. And I’m okay with that. Mostly.
This accomplishment–if you’ll permit me to call it that–is a little closer to home. I attended my first meeting of the Young at Heart (senior adults) group at church yesterday.
Humph! you say? All of that buildup for something so simple?
If it sounds that way, maybe that’s because it wouldn’t be a big deal for you. But it was for me.
You see, I’ve kept watching myself get older year by year–I turned sixty-eight in September–and yet I’ve always felt at home with a younger crowd. I’m the oldest person in our Sunday School class and in our Wednesday night Bible study as well, and I don’t feel old being among those younger people. Well, not usually.
My fear the past few years has been that I might begin feeling older if I started hanging out with an older crowd. Although I know and really like some of the folks in the Young at Heart group, those are people I don’t really think of as “old”–just “older than me.” So I’ve kept putting off attending any of the Young at Heart meetings to avoid taking the chance the other members might make me feel I was aging faster than I want to. (Okay, so who really wants to get older once they reach a certain age?)
What made me bold enough to attend this group…finally? Did I feel less self-conscious about aging? Did I want to enjoy the abundance of fattening food? All reasonable questions.
So I’ll answer with a reasonable (but polite) no. I wanted to hear the speaker, someone who had been a friend of my parents and had helped us clean out my parents’ attic after my mother’s death in 1994.
Dr. Fred Anderson is a professional historian, and he was speaking to the Young at Hearts about Baptists’ 300th anniversary in Virginia. Not a topic of interest to everyone, but I knew it would be good. Plus I hadn’t really had any contact with him in twenty years and thought seeing him again was way overdue.
So attending the meeting of a group I’d felt hesitant about previously not only gave me a chance to reconnect with Dr. Anderson–he remembered our time in the attic very clearly–and to enjoy his talk, but to discover that being among people older than me wasn’t that intimidating after all.
Who knows? I just might attend next month’s meeting, too. Without even caring what the program is.
Do you have any hangups about aging? How about leaving a comment?
I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.
“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.
Be on the lookout for my next novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, which releases on November 25.