Henry and Albert made their way to their favorite bench across from the playground. They could hear and see the kids as they ran through the maze of monkey bars and climbed a slide so high it would have given either of them vertigo to be three steps up on the thing!
“Albert, I sure wish I had the energy of those kids.”
Albert chuckled, “Now, Henry, you know that would be like putting a jet engine in a Model T Ford! It would blow it all to heck!”
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wish I had the energy of a kid or even a fifty-year-old.
As we grow older, our energy begins to slow down. It’s a natural process that happens to the best of us. But, unfortunately, as we age, things seem to move at a faster pace, and we have to move back and let the younger folks have a run at what we were once able to do without breaking a sweat.
When I was in my early fifties, my aunt reminded me that she once had been able to run around and do what I seemed to be doing all the time. I foolishly thought to myself it wouldn’t happen to me. It has. And I’m not too unhappy about it.
Now I have time to smell those dang roses they told me about. I have time to read, write, catch up with friends, have lunch, or visit my granddaughter and her baby girl. I have time to get quiet and just let my mind rest. There is time just to be. There is still energy to cook, feed the birds and squirrels in my backyard and do a little house cleaning.
In some ways, I do miss the energy I had as a young woman. There was always so much to do, so many places to go to and work. There were children to attend to, a mother that needed my help, and a husband to be there for. It sapped my energy and left me wanting. I wasn’t too sure about it, but I knew something was missing.
After some serious soul-searching, I knew I had to take time for myself. I take time to renew my physical, emotional, and spiritual energy in ways I never felt I had time to do before. Taking time to renew myself isn’t an option; getting through the minutes, hours, and days is a must.
Getting older isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes more energy, in every way, to withstand the onslaught of ailments that can come with age, not just yours but that of a spouse or parent. And as a caregiver, it takes energy from a well I never knew I had.
It takes energy to hear the same stories that have been told many times before, listen to tales of when they were young and virile, and not do an eye roll! I speak from experience. There are moments when you take the time just to sit, listen again and let them talk. Then there are moments when you go to the bathroom, turn on the faucet, and cry because that’s the only room in the house where you know they won’t open the door on you.
Energy comes in many forms, not just physical but in everyday life. For example, it takes energy to continue loving someone with dementia, who is in failing health, and who isn’t always kind in their actions and words. But we do it.
There’s an old gospel song that says,” Still, I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey.” I feel the same way. I wouldn’t want to miss the experience, the love, and the personal growth. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, maybe a few.
Barbara Tubbs Hill
Writer, counselor, perennial student and seeker of truth and spirit is an apt description for Barbara. Currently, Barbara is working on her first novel with two more planned for the future. Her first book, “Let’s Talk, What You Don’t Know About Credit Can Hurt You,” was written after fifteen years in a career than spanned collections, credit and mortgage lending. Barbara is glad to have been a part of getting the Indian Mound in Florence listed on the Alabama State Historical Register and soon the National Historical Registry. She lives in Florence AL with her husband Johnnie and two precious rescue dogs; Snookies and Daisy.
Barbara Hill / BarbaraHillWrites@gmail.com / 256-710-9713