For those of you with no clue what AARP means, you’re obviously not one of “us.” You don’t yet have a bathroom drawer loaded with hair coloring and you’re able, or more importantly, willing, to look into a magnifying mirror without wanting to lose your lunch. So if you’re in that group, AARP means American Association of Retired Persons.I’m now an official card carrying member of this club, one I never particularly yearned to be part of. But since hitting the big 6-0 Friday, I’m closing in on being at peace with what put me in this prestigious group; things like gray hair, wrinkles and occasional aches and pains.
The most important criteria for membership in AARP is simple: live long enough and they beg you to join. No tests are taken. You also don’t need a sponsor vouching that you aren’t a lunatic who will eat all the chocolate chip cookies at the meetings. Do they have meetings? I guess I’ll find out. If so, they better have cookies.I suppose I should be grateful to be included in this “club” because it’s so much more attractive than the alternative — not being asked to be a member for one simple reason; I’m already dead. So I suppose being a member of AARP is sort of a relief and if you want to know the truth, a privilege. It says: You’ve made it this far, keep goin’ girl!
It’s funny, this aging thing. I look in the mirror and who I see staring back is sometimes unrecognizable. When did that happen? I still feel 30 but my body didn’t get the memo. It went right on aging without consulting me.Naturally, I did all the wrong things as a youngster: sat in the sun slathered in baby oil; rarely applied lotion to hydrate my skin; didn’t have a mindful diet (fast food, Ho-Ho’s, candy)…I guess I was a disaster waiting to happen. And now at 60, I’m staring at the disaster.
Now don’t get me wrong; I did ONE thing right. I never smoked. Unless you count the time I took a puff, coughed for an hour then had a sore throat the entire day. Seriously, how does one end up loving to inhale carcinogens that coat the lungs in tar? What am I missing here? Besides lung cancer, that is. But as usual…I’ve also always exercised in some form, so you’d think that would be a check in the GOOD THINGS I DO FOR MYSELF column. Just yesterday I had a 2-hour tennis match so exhausting I actually went to bed before midnight. That never happens. So am I getting old or did I just add another month to my time on the planet through strenuous aerobic exercise? My vote is for door #2.
Let’s just say… The fact is, we will all be old someday. That’s if we’re lucky. Besides, the term “old” is all relative, right? If I make it to 90 I may look back on this birthday and realize what a spring chicken I was at 60.In the meantime, I’ll look into this AARP stuff to see what they have to offer. This month’s magazine features an article on Sex in the Nursing Home, one called Brain Health and another about new Medicare scams.On second thought, I think I’ll go for a long hike then enjoy a veggie burger with a protein drink out on the patio while reading my Fitness magazine. Afterward, maybe I’ll go to a club I actually chose to join — Marin Tennis Club — and play another 2-hour match.
Hey, who you callin’ old?