april lewis zoomer

PENINSULA ZOOMER: Age has a way of creeping up on all of us

Looming birthday a reminder that ‘I’m no longer young’ eventually becomes ‘I’m old’

April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire…

Perhaps I am being a little melodramatic in quoting T.S. Eliot but I am in a bit of a funk this month.

Don’t worry about me as I shall snap out of this ennui, but I am sick again for the second time this year.

I have no idea if it is COVID-related as I have been housebound with just me and my pity party of one.

I was delighted when the mask mandate was removed as I was looking forward to wearing lipstick again without it being smeared all over my face. So off I went, maskless, to a community event and two days later, this sickness hit me like a tsunami.

Oh and did I mention I am turning 70 this month.

Seventy! How is that possible. I can’t believe it was a decade ago when I wrote in my column Truth on Age Old Problem the following:

I can’t fake it any longer. Nor can I rationalize or pretend. The truth is…I am no longer young.

Well now I must admit I am old. My mother was old. My mother-in-law was old. My 99-year-old friend was old. But I am a baby boomer. I am not supposed to get old.

As my guy reminds me, we are running out of life.

And then these little gems pop up on my Facebook feed: Age is simply the number of years the world has been enjoying you.

Oh, please, spare me.

And how about this one where a Hollywood actress says, “I look forward to being older, when what you look like becomes less and less an issue and what you are is the point.”

Tell that to my mirror.

Yes, I am somewhat maudlin these days but I have had ample time to self-reflect and to read.

Books are my constant, consolatory companions.

I just finished reading Going to Ground: Essays on Aging, Chronic Pain and the Healing Power of Nature by Luanne Armstrong.

The author writes well as her prose is both fluid and lyrical as well as engaging.

And depressing.

At 71, Armstrong writes, “after seventy, you are mostly done with your life and you know it.”

She adds plaintively, “I hate old age…and I rage against it.”

I am more or less the same age as her! This doesn’t help my current emotional state.

However, she has had to endure years of chronic pain and sees pain as her “life partner.”

I honestly do have empathy for this woman.

She has had two major car crashes back-to-back, neither of which were her fault. In my present sullen state of mind, I am thinking at least you didn’t have these accidents in today’s ICBC no-fault insurance climate.

Be nice, April.

For those of you living with chronic pain, you will find a friend in her words, one who understands the grief you might be enduring. She will validate your lived experiences and give voice to your personal journey of chronic pain. And aging.

Definitely worth a read.

But let me end on a lighter note. I invite you to forget your troubles and fall down the rabbit hole with CARP at its Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on Saturday, May 14, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at Oceana Park in White Rock. Tickets are $60 each, available online at www.sswrchamber.ca/events or in person at the White Rock Chamber of Commerce.

I suggest you might want to leave your lipstick at home and wear a mask instead!

ColumnSeniors