Too Old

A brief post I wrote this morning for our church blog sparked a realization that I consider myself too old to do some things I’ve always wanted to do.

The thing that triggered the awareness of how I see myself was my longtime interest in orchestrating a cohousing development. In the back of my mind, for years I’ve wanted to organize a group of like-minded people in creating a close-knit community that combines private and group ownership, privacy and community, and communal support. But, at sixty-six years of age, I think I’m too old to start something of that magnitude. My age, coupled with the fact that I’ve had cancer and am still dealing with the diminution of physical capabilities and stamina that resulted from it, tells me it’s too late to begin.

To be honest with myself, I’ve probably never had the ability to get people excited about the idea. On occasion, I talk about it with people only to find virtually no enthusiasm for the idea. I think a person either gravitates to the idea immediately upon hearing it or shuns it from the moment it comes up. I’m one of those who instantly loved the concept. But I’m not going to convince others that it’s an idea worth pursuing. And I’m too old to do it, anyway.

The same thing is true about another lifelong desire: getting a few acres in the country and working the land. A big garden, a barn, a tractor, a few animals. One of my brothers has a place in the country where I could do what I’ve wanted, but that wouldn’t do it. I am not interested in playing farmer during an occasional visit; I want to have the experience as part of my life. I could do that in the right cohousing environment. But I’m not going to do it. I’ve failed to generate excitement for the idea during all those years I’ve longed for it. And I’m too old to do it, anyway.

I realize, of course, that sixty-six years old is not really old. But you’re as old as you feel, they say. And this morning I feel much, much older. It’s not just this morning. It’s ever since I had my surgery almost a year ago; it’s as if part of my youth was removed with my lower right lobe.  That sense of loss is devastating in a sense. It’s like part of who I’ve always considered I was is no longer here.

All this damn emotion from a damn blog post for the church. I’ve got to stop writing the church blog.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Too Old

  1. Bev, while I appreciate the empathy and the suggestion that you, too, feel old, I have to say you could have fooled me. 😉 Chopping firewood, painting your house, etc., etc. Seem to me you have more energy in your pinky finger than I do in both hands. Seriously, though, I get it. And I don’t think you were crazy to do as much traveling as you did after Don died. I think that was perhaps the smartest thing you could have done. Yet we all have to slow down eventually. Today, I feel like I’m pushing hard on the brakes, maybe a little too early.

  2. bev wigney says:

    Yup. Time, age, health, circumstance. I think about such things a lot, especially this last eleven years. Just before Don was dx, we were discussing selling the farm, buying a van, and going exploring around Canada, US, Mexico and beyond. Obviously, that never came to pass. I’m glad I traveled as much as I did after Don died. Some people thought I was crazy (and said so) – but it was the right time to travel. I just watched a youtube video by a guy who has been living out of an airstream type trailer for several years. His travels have been followed by thousands of people. A few weeks ago, he announced that he had decided to give up full time nomad life. He was finding it too tiring and intense. He explained why and I so got it. Getting older and found it took so my physical and emotional energy. The stress of dealing with breakdowns. Dog getting older. What to do if you become ill. I sometimes regret that I didn’t buy a small farm after selling our larger farm in Ontario. Sort of think that might have been a better idea than traveling. Now I’m pretty much too old for that. It’s a constant readjustment of what is now possible and what isn’t. The train has left the station on many things.

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