What if it's not about a woman's age

July 26, 2016

Natalie was buying ChapStick and I was buying a magazine at the local drugstore when an elderly woman stepped up to the second cash register. I guessed her being late 60’s or maybe early 70’s. She had a slender figure and a sweet smile complete with mascara and lipstick. Her hair was a curly, silver, senior citizen doo that just worked for her. She was asking for one prescription with 2 bottles of folic acid in her hand.

 

I went back to eyeing the caramels on the counter as I glanced through my magazine offering 5 ways to beat belly fat. Then I heard a question that I found quite intriguing. The pharmacist asked the well dressed woman for her birth date. I have no idea what day or month she spoke of but I heard 1925 with clarity.

 

 

1925? I began doing the math in my head. Wow!! This woman was 90 years old. I looked down at her hands. She was holding her car keys with red manicured nails. All I could think was that I hoped when I’m 90 years old I am driving to the drug store by myself to only pick up one prescription and folic acid supplements.

 

Her smile held a story that would never be told. She was peppy and seemed to have somewhere she needed to be after the drugstore. I enjoyed her…zazziness and her spirit. I never spoke to her but listened to her conversation with the clerk. She was clear, articulate, friendly and had a lovely laugh.

 

In this little fire ball of a woman I observed inspiration for not only seeing aging in a different way but maybe “doing” aging in a different way. What if we didn’t have to experience age like our grandmothers or even our mothers? You can’t watch TV or look at your phone without seeing something telling you how to look younger or be younger. What if it starts with attitude and expectation?

 

One would wonder if this interesting woman had always been inspired by her experiences or if at some point she made a choice to experience her life in High Def. We can’t know what her life has been about, but what I saw at the drugstore told me that she had a life that was more expansive than the traditional 90 year old.

 

What if we made a decision now (whether you are 20 or 60) to be totally present. What if we committed to look for the good in the world? What if we chose to love our bodies in a way that keeps them moving and upright? What if we decided to show up every day with a smile, and red fingernails? She inspired us to cherish the days and years that are between now and 90 and maybe to buy some folic acid.

 

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