Saturday, May 19, 2012

There Was An Old Lady...

For some reason, going to the nail salon always proves to be interesting to me. Maybe it's because I'm forced to sit still for a little while, and I'm able to observe the things other people are doing. Anyway, today was no different. While I was having my nails done I noticed an older lady who came in to get a pedicure. She made the comment that she was 74 years old. As often happens to me, I started thinking, "Well, that's me before you know it! Yesterday I was 28, today I'm 48, and tomorrow I'll be 74. It's just a blink away, really". Kenny, the guy who does my nails started asking me some questions, so I got distracted for a bit. Then the next thing I knew, another old lady was walking over toward the chair to begin her pedicure. A younger woman helped her get seated, then helped her remove her shoes and knee high stockings. She looked a bit older than the first lady, but in all honesty, not that much older. My Dad's next door neighbor who works at the shop was assigned to do her pedicure. Then, the woman who had helped her with her shoes, told the nail tech that the lady was 93 years old. This instantly became intriguing to me, and my mind began to race. Physically, the two ladies looked very close in age. The older woman was dressed nicer than the younger, and was quite prim and proper. I could see some difference in agility, and after listening to them talk to each other for quite awhile, I noticed the older of the two ladies seemed to be a bit less alert than the young thing sitting next to her.

I started thinking, if I'm healthy enough to get out of the house at 93, or if I'm still alive, I hope I'll feel like putting on my cute little outfit and going for a pedi. Then I thought, what will be important to me at 74? What will be important to me at 93? I seriously doubt that the things I think and worry about today will matter much by then. But when will I lose the desires I have now? When will I decide it just doesn't matter? Will it happen in 5 years? 10? 20? Who knows? I decided to listen to the two ladies' conversation. Complete strangers, getting pedicures. They talked about their children and grandchildren, and that was really about it. No worries about lovers. No worries about their weight. No worries about their jobs. Just what their children and grandchildren were doing.

Life is short. I don't know if I'll live to be 93, or even 74. Hell, I don't know if I'll live to be 50. I guess none of us do. But I do know that however long I live, I want to keep growing. I want to keep learning. Maybe by that point in my life I will have found contentment. Maybe I'll be able to relax. In fact, maybe we should all be writing letters to our 74 year old selves, instead of our 20 year old selves; it's too late to help those kids. But it's not too late for our future selves.

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