Longevity

My hair is too long, my nails are too long and I think maybe my teeth are too long. Well not so much my teeth, but is that not what they say when you are getting old? That you’re getting a bit long in the tooth?

I will do something about my hair in a couple of weeks. I don’t know how or when it decided to get so long. I had no intention of letting it grow to such lengths. Seems it snuck up on me. It could be that the feel and weight of it against my back and neck hypnotized me into feeling like yester-me.

My nails I will take care of tonight. For some reason, I find it soothing to care for them, to shape them and apply color. Maybe it’s because that makes my hands appear more like they used to. Seems time has left its mark upon them and now RA is working on leaving a trail as well. This week brought the news that I have an enchondroma on my right index finger, a benign tumor that forms in the cartilage that lines the inside of the bones. My rheumatologist said he was leaving himself a note to speak with the radiologist who read my hand x-rays. Won’t that be a thrilling conversation.

And as to getting old, this morning I realized with a start what today was. The first of December. The first day of my birthday month. I will be turning a number that I can’t truly get my head around. For one thing, I don’t feel that old, for another, how is it possible I am coming up on six long decades?

59 doesn’t seem so old, but 60? And yet, I feel 40-something. I feel younger than I have in over a decade. A dichotomy perhaps, between the calendar and my body. It was really my brain that started to feel younger first. And then my body followed suit. I became more active physically, and spent time doing the things that brought me joy, peace. And what resulted was that my odometer started rolling backwards, metaphorically speaking. Time gave me the gift of time.

So in recognition of this upcoming birthday, I decided to try something. To post every day for this birthday month. And right when I thought it would be a good idea to try it, the image of Yoda popped into my head. Telling Luke (paraphrasing): “There is no try, there’s only do.” He goes on to tell Luke other things, like we must unlearn what we have learned.

Yoda’s words were few and maybe not in the correct syntax, but he was always so profound. His words ring true to me now. I must not try, only do. I must unlearn the pain that I have known and accept the gift of time that has been given me, up to now and yet to be.

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