Today I want to make a few observations about life and aging. They are not profound or even particularly important. As an introvert, I have lots of conversations in my head, and these are a few of the observations I have made from the conversations with myself.
First, why does one side of my face sag so much more than the other? I don’t spend a lot of time looking in the mirror, but when I do I try to be realistic. And my face has plenty of sags and wrinkles. But the right side of my face has more than the left. My right eyelid is folding into my eyelashes. The wattle on the right side of my neck is bigger than the left. My right eyebrow is lower than my left. I feel like the right side of my face is sinking and the left side is holding its place much better. I’m not particularly vain and I’m not planning on doing anything about it. But – really. If I have to get wrinkles and be saggy, couldn’t it at least be symmetrical?
I have plenty of other body parts that are getting saggy and wrinkly but they are easier to hide. I am pretty happy in my skin most of the time. My body still does what I want and I feel strong and healthy. I’m not complaining – just making observations. Other people don’t seem to notice my asymmetrical face or they are too nice to say something about it. And I don’t notice the asymmetry as much when I smile. Perhaps the lesson is to retain a cheerful countenance and then people won’t notice the sags and wrinkles.
Another observation, and one that lots of other people have made, is how hard it is to make friends as you age. Again, as an introvert, I have a few very close friends that I want to spend time with. Most of these friends were made when I was much younger. I’ve known most of them for 30 years or more. We got together because we went to school together. Or our kids were in the same activities. Or we attended the same church.
I love these friends but most of them live at least an hour away. I would love to get together for a quick lunch or drop by the house for an evening of games. Distance, and busy lives, however, prohibit regular get-togethers. But how do I make new friends? Especially when I am gone for four to eight months a year working in the National Parks? We’ve made friends with some rangers and other volunteers and we get together with them when we can. Maybe I should just be happy that my Ohio friends are willing to meet with me when we are “in residence.”
I could join some groups and get acquainted with folks that way. But I feel like I am a bad group member when I am gone for months at a time. Same for volunteering locally. We are greeters at church – when we are in Ohio. I signed up to work at Vacation Bible School this year. For the first time since we retired, we will be in Ohio during Vacation Bible School. Maybe this will be a way for me to get to know some church folks better.
When we lived in Mogadore and had the swimming pool in our back yard, our best friends had keys to the gate and would drop by to swim for an hour or two anytime. Maybe we should build a pool. Or stay in one place.
On the other hand, friends bring obligations and commitments. If I don’t have enough time to see the friends I have, how will I make time for new friends? Obviously I am somewhat ambivalent about this. I am pretty happy just being with Tom most of the time. And seeing John and Jackie and Mom and Dad on a regular basis is wonderful. The isolation of the pandemic wasn’t really a hardship for me. Balancing me time with my relationships has always been more of a challenge.
I don’t know what, if any, changes I will make in my life to address either of these observations. They are random thoughts that go through my mind at different times. Life, health, friends, and family are the biggest blessings in my life and I try to appreciate what I have every day.
How about you? Do you have any random observations about aging? About wrinkles? About making new friends? I would love to hear your thoughts.