I turned 60 years old recently. I did not see this as a big deal. After all, I’m not even old enough to qualify for Medicare. I fall into that donut hole that catches some of us between retirement and age 65. If the government does not see me as being of concern for health care, I should still be young, or at least middle aged, right? I’m going with it. I’m young! All in all, I do feel pretty good for my age. I don’t suffer too many aches and pains or other concerns. I do feel blessed about this.
I credit part of still feeling young to the fact that I have a little brother who is 16 years younger than me. When he was in college, I was in my mid-30’s. Since I was his sister, it seemed natural for us to run around doing things together sometimes. We spent many a Friday night hanging out at the local Borders bookstore together. Ok, maybe mentioning Borders, dates me a little. That store has been gone for years and a sad thing it is. My brother and I also spent some afternoons at Lake Erie and took a trip to North Carolina to see the Biltmore and Colonial Williamsburg. We went to local festivals and events in northeast Ohio where we live. Including a few trips to the local Buzzard Festival when we would get up at 4:30 in the morning to be there for the first sighting of the turkey buzzards returning to the area for the season.
As my brother became an adult and had his own family, complete with his wife and my two nieces, they all continued to keep me young of heart and mind. When you are playing with two little girls, it is hard to feel old. There is so much laughter and excitement. And all that crawling around on the floor and playing hide and go seek probably helps keep me flexible. Crouching behind furniture and hiding beneath clothes behind the closet door is sure to help. In case you haven’t guessed, my brother and I have always been, and continue to be, quite close. I’ve heard it said that everyone needs a “bandaid” person in their lives. Someone who thinks you can do no wrong and supports you through everything. We are that person for each other.
Now that my daughter is an adult, she helps keep me young too. It is true, a daughter is someone who grows up to be your best friend. And when you have a daughter who is supportive and always willing to listen and cheer you on, you have a built-in support system. When my daughter, who is the next generation, wants to hang out with me and do things together, doesn’t this mean that I am young? We are enjoying the same things, so this means I have interests of a young person, right? I choose to believe that it does.
I also believe that having five dogs, and three cats, keeps me young. The number of dogs varies sometimes, if we are pet sitting or fostering another dog or two. I read a book a while back that had the following quotes. I’m sorry, I did not write down the author’s name, just the words, but they are not mine.
“I’m ten years older than when I brought home my last dog…and I hope I have it in me to be there for one more… I am almost sixty. What if I just don’t have the energy to keep up with the physical demands of a young dog?”
I read this and I thought, wait, what? I am not having trouble handling my dogs and I am nowhere near done having dogs. In fact, I am still rescuing dogs and my specialty is dogs with behavioral issues. This is a part of who I am, and I don’t see that everchanging. I can’t even imagine ever having only one dog. (Don’t worry, my daughter says if anything ever happens to us, she wants ALL the dogs. Yes, she is definitely my daughter.)
I will concede that there may come a day when I can no longer handle the large or troublesome dogs. I have a plan! When that day comes, I will get Pomeranians, and maybe a whippet and a French Bull Dog. It’s good to have a plan, isn’t it? Actually, our most difficult dogs have never been our biggest ones. And the most difficult dog of my life (Zekie!) has been a 35 pounder! Size is not a precursor to ease or difficulty. Small dogs are of course, easier to pick up when needed.
And in reference to the above quote, I do not find it necessary to get my dogs when they are young. Young dogs are fun, but old dogs are equally rewarding. Bottom line, I have always been, and will ever be, a dog girl.
So, from this 60 year old woman, you’ll have to watch and see what I get up to next. Because I am nowhere near done making a difference in the world. I have many things to do and try and see what trouble I can get into next.
Take care, my friends!