Take the train

A couple of weeks ago, we were in the car behind an older driver, who clearly was having difficulty. I said that when I got uncomfortable with my driving skills, I was going to take the train. We had a whole conversation about how my kids should gently let me know that my driving skills were deteriorating. I said, “Just tell me to take the train. I’ll know what you mean.” Moments later, I said something silly, so my family said, “Maybe you should take the train.”. So now they say that whenever I’m acting a little goofy. I’ve already heard it this morning if that tells you how goofy I sometimes am.

On a serious note, Mr. Geeky and I watched How to Live Forever, a documentary about aging mostly gracefully. Aging kind of sucks in our youth-focused society. The minute the wrinkles appear or you show up in comfortable shoes, you get the old label. I try to ignore most of it, but it’s hard not to. And I succumb too often to rituals and practices meant to keep the aging process at bay. Every morning, I stare down my wrinkled and aging eyes and sigh. I know those wrinkles were earned, in long nights up with kids or studying or preparing for class. But most people don’t think that way–about themselves or others. So I try to repair or cover them. At some point, I know I won’t care anymore. But in these middle years where I straddle youth and age, I can’t help but try to stay youthful. Someday, I’ll take the train, but right now, I want to keep driving my own car.

3 Replies to “Take the train”

  1. I know I’m still young but, I already find myself thinking about these things (perhaps it is really noticing my my mother getting older).

    This post reminded me a few years ago (maybe when I was 20) I was watching The Guardian on a bus ride somewhere. The film was alright but, there was a scene between two characters where one guy quips, “When the heck did we get old?” and the woman’s response radically shifted my views of getting older. Her response, “Hell, I’ve always been old Ben. Ya’ know what though, I don’t mind. I mean if my muscles ache, it’s because I’ve used ’em. It’s hard for me to walk up them steps now, its ‘cuz I walked up ’em every night to lay next to a man who loved me. I got a few wrinkles here and there, but I’ve layed under thousands of skies with sunny days. I look and feel this way, well cuz I drank and I smoked. I lived and I loved, danced, sang, sweat and screwed my way thorough a pretty damn good life if you ask me. Getting old ain’t bad Ben. Getting old, that’s earned.”

    It may be a bit cheesy but, I still go back to these lines over and over again. Reminds me to keep living life. Keep on driving the car while you can, the train can wait 🙂

  2. Shannon, I like it. I wish society felt that way. Instead, it often seems as if the message is that aging is a sign of weakness. I really don’t want to be 20 again. I have learned so much since then!

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