Age is just a number. At least, I always thought so. Am I not supposed to tell you what the number is? What the heck, I will—but remember it is just a number.
Beloved and I haven’t slowed down in our seventies. We flew halfway around the world a year ago on our latest adventure. We walk, hike, dine out, enjoy museums, visit family across three states, fly two to three times a year, volunteer, go to conferences, travel abroad as often as we can, manage our own home maintenance, and, of course, write books. At least we did all those things up until last March. Now our life has narrowed to those last two, although we’ve also found we’re skilled at cruising by each other for quick hugs and even the occasional dance step several times a day, are becoming skilled with Zoom, and have gotten obsessed with doing warfare with the squirrels that exploit our bird-feeders.
The situation with the covid virus is complicated for everyone, but, in our case, we’re forced to consider that “number,” our age, as a factor in our response. Beloved and I have taken a super conservative position as a result. Since the start we have quarantined ourselves almost entirely aside from Mass on Sunday (just me), medical appointments, and family visits outside on the patio. We do this for three reasons. 1. Every time the doctors list “high risk groups,” we’re on it. 2. Our children ask us to stay isolated—and remind us. They worry. 3. We can’t do much for the country, but we can avoid adding to the pressure on our hospitals and medical systems, because if we get it, we’re likely to end up in care. We choose not to be part of the problem if we can. We consider staying well a responsibility, and it is the one that weighs on me most.
Age is just a number, but in this difficult time it’s a number we’re taking seriously. It helps to take it with a dose of comedy as well, especially comedy featuring well-seasoned actors. If you haven’t watched The Kominsky Method yet, you’re missing a gem. Or try The Love Punch in which Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson don’t pretend to be younger than they are, and which met my key criteria. It made me laugh out loud. I long for heroines of a certain age…
Stay safe everyone and stay entertained. Dare I suggest it? Read a good book.