Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sigh

My mother turned 80 a few weeks ago. I had no idea that this occasion would cause me to feel old. But it did. It seems that now, when I talk on the phone with her, she says things like, "I'm 80, I can't do _____ anymore." Or, "I'm 80, I get confused."

As frustrating as this is for her, it is also frustrating to me. I feel badly for her and I wonder how much of this is truly valid or just her giving up. Since I've only seen her a few times in the last 20 years, it's hard for me to really know how she's doing. I hear from her and then I hear from my sisters (once a year or so) and the two stories are usually in conflict. Who to believe is anyone's guess.

Either way, it just makes me feel old. I don't know why. I suppose I get concerned that I'll be that way someday and I don't want to. I don't want to be reminded that I'm not 25 or even 30 anymore (30 seems SO young when you are 46!) It's not that I want to be that young ever again. I like the knowledge and wisdom I have now. Insight I didn't have then I'm so thankful for. Being able to see the whole picture is such a blessing. I wish someone would have filled me in on such things way back when. But when I talk with my mom, I just feel ... well, old.

I feel guilty that I really don't want to talk with my mom much on the phone. But I will continue to call her because I love her dearly. I'm sure this is just a phase (for me) and I will adjust.

Gosh, if you aren't depressed by now, then good for you! Now, how can I end this on a lighter note? Let's see ... I recently read in a magazine that married couples in their 40's who "cuddle" (or whatever your code word is) three times a week look younger. You can choose to tell your hubby that information if you wish!

5 comments:

Cate said...

We are in a very similar boat in that my mother lives in another country altogether, so I hardly see her at all. She's not as old as yours, but has really aged over the past few years, and I was shocked at how frail she looked last time I saw her.
Aging parents - it's a hard one isn't it? I remember my mum being my age......

On the other hand - will certainly be letting the hubby know about the cuddles!
Cate x

Leingang Family said...

Remember, you're as young as you think you are... :o)

jugglingpaynes said...

Kate, I'm afraid to even tell you what the sarcastic New Yorker in me was thinking about your mom's complaints!

Sometimes you need to remind yourself that you are not your mom. You can do whatever you want at whatever age you are! I think having a love of learning and always looking for ways to improve yourself do wonders for keeping you young at heart! My mom is 68 and my father will be 70 at the end of April. I swear they are aging backwards. They are always pursuing their interests and probably exercise more than I do! My mom is thinner than she was when she was raising me and my siblings!

Look for your inspiration and follow it. You are not doomed. ;o)

Peace and Laughter,
Cristina

call*me*kate said...

Christina - You are awesome!

(Grateful) Kate

P.S. Your New Yorker restraint is impressive!

Mama Self said...

My mother is terminally ill, but she lives in Massachusetts, so I probably won't get to see her before she is gone. She and I write, but I see her slipping even in her letters. She doesn't complain, though. She's always been active, and I hope I can emulate that contented, active attitude as I continue to age. After all, I am thoroughly convinced that I will make an AWESOME old lady. You know, the fun kind. And Lee and I will be the absolute cutest old couple... ;)