too soon we get old

Not me, of course, but other people. It's not the wrinkles or the appearance or even the RBF I told you about (Resting Bitch Face: it settles more heavily as time passes); it's the strength, energy and stamina that dwindle and shrink and sideswipe your drive and desire.  You know that feeling: you want to do something, even something quite pleasurable but you "just don't feel like it".  That's okay for slight tasks or small efforts, you can always do them tomorrow.  But consider something larger, requiring more effort and time, and you pass on it completely.  I'll give you the example that brought it home to me and has made me change my mind about an idea I had.

A friend of mine called me last night. She is 91, exactly 7 years older than I, exactly: we share the same birth date. She has always enjoyed abundant energy and has always expended it on other people and community projects, in fact, she received an Order of Canada for her selfless dedication to others. In her "spare time" she devotes her energy to politics; she's a pathological Liberal. We used to live in the same city but now we are almost the whole continent apart. We have still managed to see each other. I get to Vancouver every other year or so and she has been in Toronto often enough to maintain contact. After her husband died she spent a decade on serious travel but now, she told me, she doesn't have the strength for it. Her travelling days are over She was responding to my question.  I had asked her if she thought she might be able to make it to Toronto next February to celebrate my birthday (and hers).  Her answer was no, her travelling days are over. I guess those days are limited for me now, but it wasn't the travel limitation that impressed me and made me change my mind.

I have been thinking of having a large party to celebrate my 85 years and I have been canvassing a few of my older friends in other places to find out whether they might be able to attend. The first obstacle, no, the first and second obstacles are money and weather.  I mean who wants to go to Toronto in February if you could go somewhere warm instead? But the third and fourth are age and energy, and those are even more limiting and definitive. So, reluctantly, I have come to the conclusion that I will not have a party.  If I have the money and am granted the time and energy, I think I will try to travel to see some of my friends where they are rather than make them come to me.  It will actually cost less than the party and will give us each in  turn, a chance for a more significant reunion.  

I hope there's enough time.