I’m thinking that as you age, it must be necessary that you develop a keener awareness and a bolder, even fearless attitude – and to basically not give a shit. Otherwise, this fast and furious culture we live in would eat you up, and the resonate fear of it could drive you to want to do nothing but curl up in a ball and hide in your house. Stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this. And right now I am giggling because of what is making me have these thoughts. Let me share a darling story…
I am sitting in my car at a stop sign at a shopping center in front of Williams Sonoma, and I am observing this adorable little old gal – I’m guessing 70-ish or older. She’s dressed to the nines on this cold and windy fall day, donning a hat, gloves, her Sunday shoes, and a warm woolen coat and colorful scarf. Below her coat you can see her brightly colored dress with a yellow background and big purple flowers dotted with green foliage and blue and fuchsia smaller flowers. Her look is perfected with her 1940’s sunglasses and those thick pasty skin colored tights we remember our grandmother’s wearing – oh, and the huge handbag across her arm, I’m wondering if it is helping or hindering her balance. She is slowly making her way across the intersection, walking with the help of her walker. Judging from the stern look on her face, she is completely focused on the task at hand. However, I think she might be unaware that she is holding up traffic – about 5 cars deep at this point – no, no, I reconsider, I think she totally knows, she just doesn’t really care!
In my inpatient mind I quickly think “oh brother, lady, hurry and get across”, and then I stop myself and say “Oh my God!, no. This precious gal is doing the best she can. She knows she is slow, she knows it will take her longer to get from point A to point B, she understands there are younger, more inpatient people around her, and she is aware of the traffic, but hell, she doesn’t care! This lady was bold and brave enough to get out and take on a busy Sunday shopping center, do you think it matters to her that we are waiting all warm and cozy in our cars for her to cross? Dear Sandy, you can only hope that you will be so brave when you are her age!” She inspired me. In that moment I thought “I want to be as confident and focused as her… I want her chutzpah!”
So of course I waited patiently while this princess crossed the intersection successfully, reminding me of the small joys of life and the beauty of our elderly citizens. Hummmm… being bold and brave and not caring what other people think. I’m thinking if you can’t learn that by the time you grow up, you have totally missed the boat.
Kudos to that little lady who made my day and reminded me of how important it is to live out loud and to live NOW. My heart is deeply warmed by our friends and loved ones who know without question that they look different, they’re slower, sometimes not as agile, they can’t see as well or hear as good as they used to, but still they possess an energy and joie de vivre that tells their story in living color. Let us learn from them not to let the changes we experience in our lives (yes, and in our bodies) keep us from enjoying the gift of life we have been given. That is my take away from this moment.
Wishes for peace and love in this world… I hope you all have a beautiful evening and a wonderful week!
Featured Photo Credit: MO Log: A Comic’s Journey – Check out his adorable blog post “Mo Stops Traffic“