I initially wrote this post while we were still camped in the boonies near Quartzsite. Ever write a post that you wonder whether or not to post? Well that’s this one. I had it scheduled then took it down, Trashed it then brought it back. After running into a couple here at Cave Creek Regional Park, a couple we met back in Dec., I decided to go ahead and post. This couple looks and acts ten to twenty years younger than their physical age. I had to ask them their secret…….hmmm, sounds familiar………
So here we go………
It’s Tuesday morning Jan. 29th in the sunny desert outside Quartzsite, Arizona. Al’s lying on the couch sick and watching an old black and white western on TV. I glance up from my computer and on the TV I see…..a vast barren desert, a rough make shift road, plumes of dirt churned up from a stage coach…..my how tough and hearty those folks must have been. I look out my RV window….a vast barren desert, a rough make shift road, plumes of dirt churned up from 4 wheelers…..
Bottled water, modern technologies, and RV’s with every convenience may be quite different from the equipment available 100 years ago, but the human spirit remains the same. During our stay at Boomerville, Al and I participated in some events. One group discussion I anticipated attending was on “Ageing Gracefully”. I ponder, “Yippee…..will this be a Botox party? Fillers, perhaps? Or a recommendation on a miracle cream?“ Nope, not this group. This was all about attitude and lifestyle.
Over the next hour, I heard tales… tales of adventure and a zest for life. Physical age didn’t seem to matter or even be a focus. The gal next to me was a divorcé, a retired nurse, mother and new grandmother. She admits to living a nice and comfortable life in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but wanting something more, wanting an adventure of sorts. She wanted to travel the country in an RV, but didn’t want to do it alone. After a two-year search, she met a partner via the internet and they now travel the country together in a Motorhome.
Another couple met at a bereavement group ten years ago and they haven’t looked back. Yet another met via the Solo’s and Winds, both are RV Clubs for singles. One couple lost a child. In dealing with their grief they sold everything, moved into an RV and are traveling full-time exploring the United States and Canada. In all cases, these folks could have sat home feeling sorry for themselves, but they chose to live, really live, and set out on an adventure. I see such a similarity between the characters in the black and white western on TV and these modern-day pioneers. Confronted with adversity they face life’s challenges head on. They forge their own path without a care for convention. They seek adventure, friendship, a zest for life without a thought to age.The discussion takes a turn…… aging parents. I think about my parents versus Al’s. My parents; after traveling all over Europe on a motorcycle, immigrated to the U.S. with a two-year old child to travel America. Well, life and more kids happened thus eluding that tour. With the last one out of the house, it wasn’t long and they were on the road in a motorhome exploring. Even when my mom turned 80, she would refuse to stay in a 55+ RV Park saying, “I’m not old enough…who wants to hang around with a bunch of old people anyway”? Boy, I miss her. What a zest for life and my dad hasn’t lost that zest either. Whenever I call…..”Have you been to Ajo? Have you driven that road? Be sure and check out……..” I easily hear the excitement in his voice.
Al’s folks….well that’s another story. They stayed home, didn’t have hobbies, rarely socialized, and complained a lot. They appeared years and years older than my folks although they were the same physical age. Why did they look and act so much older than my parents? What was missing or different? Why didn’t they age gracefully?
The discussion continues on the importance of staying active and involved; working or volunteering at something you enjoy; engaging in hobbies; maintaining a sense of adventure and lust for life; not allowing age to dictate can or cannots.
So although I was somewhat disappointed the discussion wasn’t on the physical aspects of ageing but rather on the mental, I was enlightened. It was definitely thought-provoking.
Ageing gracefully? It’s all about attitude and lifestyle! Do you have what it takes to age gracefully? Do I? Maybe…. but perhaps…… one day….. a little Botox might just help 😉
Eleanor Roosevelt – “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, BUT beautiful old people are works of art.”