|illustration of Lost Boys, Wendy, Peter Pan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I went through that phase when I retired and moved to our winter home in Arizona for six months of every year. It seemed that living in a cloistered world with other retirees, most of them much older than myself, gave me the freedom to be young again...in my case it may be that I was actually young for the first time. Who knows? What I do know is that I felt like I had found Neverland. I even talked about the "pods" in the pool that those people in the movie Cocoon swam with. Remember, those alien pods were like the fountain of youth.
Years went by and I began to grow up again...it may be that boomers/retirees will all go through this when they are free to do just what they want without worry about a job or even the care of children. Aging may have a youth, middle age and old age all it's own. It is something to think about.
In the youthful part of my old age I belonged to a group of women online called Fab Over Fifty. Geri, the owner of the website, was a beacon for women that were growing older. She promoted the idea that young was something we could have if we just played our cards right. Beauty products, clothing choices and just a little bit of ridicule for women that did not have that special sense of style filled the website. I stayed with the group for a while then...
Geri wrote a blog post about getting old. She talked about Pilates and baldness and night creams. She worked hard at doing all the right stuff so her thinking was that she was not going to get old. She could not understand why everyone was not like her. Then she posted pictures of old people with big moles. At the time I was about 69 I think. You can imagine that I was just a little offended and a lot angry. I was beginning to become more mature in that stage in my life. I became aware of the realities of aging. I could not wrap my mind around the mindset of a group of women like that.
See, it doesn't matter if you do all the right things...you are going to get old just like everyone else. It is one of the givens in life.
I just returned from a place in Mexico, a haven for artists and expats. I was not aware that this place existed and I don't think that a lot of retirees are. But, for those people living there, there is a quality to the air, a inexpensive lifestyle and a unspoken hope that youth may be forever available. It is one of the many possible Neverlands people are seeking.
As I was driving down a back road near Leon, Mexico, it occurred to me that staying young forever is not what I want...not really. The idea that I would forever have to walk endless miles to keep fit or eat just the perfect healthy food or even maintain the regimen of beauty creams and makeup began to feel like a burden. I don't even want to begin with how to dress! Sometimes I just want to sit and read in my housecoat. I want to get up in the morning, wash my face and hair, get dressed and nothing else. Sometimes I just want to sleep. In a word, I just want to be who I am at the age I am. Isn't that perfect?
So, Peter Pan, you can have your forever youthful life. Getting old is not bad, not at all. In fact, when it comes down to it, life just gets better and better. That is what I think.
Have a wonderful day!