Easter Sunday, March 24, 2008
16w. 3d to pictures-166# (26 to goal)
Slept 10 hours of broken, dream-crazed sleep.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rainAnd pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
I wonder, sometimes, about what I will be like when I'm old. I try to picture it, imagine where I'll be and what I'll be doing. I've always done some form of this. In college my mental picture of life at 34 certainly wasn't what I'm living now, and I'm sure my image of myself in 40 years isn't exactly accurate either. But when I think about it from time-to-time, I see myself old but very vibrant, living actively, and I found myself wondering this morning if I'll still be swinging the 16kg or if I'll have to step it down a notch. I began to wonder at what point active people have to step back the amount of weight they use or otherwise decrease the intensity of their activities. Is it gradual? Does it follow an injury? Or, if one is consistent through the years, does she never have to back down?
Then as I was going to get some dinner before work tonight, I watched a not-so-little old lady waddle up to the door of the grocery store. The trek obviously took her quite a bit of effort, and her movements were slow and labored. Like so many people I see, she was bound by her own body, its age and its size, its wear and tear. Again I wondered what the previous decades had held for her and what her image of herself had been. Would she have done anything any differently if she had known what life held for her?
I like to think that the ER is my glimpse into the many possiblities of my future and that of my loved ones. As much as I would like to have more influence, I know that I cannot change the habits of the ones I love and, therefore, can do little to change their futures. I can, however, take as much action as possible to be as active as I can be for as long as possible. This possibility is one of the many reasons I push myself to get up early and work a little harder. So when I am old and start to wear purple, I really can do all of those things I envisioned myself doing 40 years earlier.