Today’s Weekend Reading is a delightful look at some women who have shown me lately that you can be your own, authentic self as long as you want to be. Let’s all forget about aging gracefully; today’s post is about aging awesomely.
I found our first woman on my Facebook feed. I woke up Friday morning and was scrolling through my feed, looking for something that would motivate me to get out of bed when I came across a post from the inspirational author Anne Lamott. Anne’s post didn’t exactly motivate me to get out of bed; Anne was complaining because her Twitter account had been hacked. It was the first comment from a Ms. Claire Persily that got me smiling and ready for the day:
Seeing your name on Facebook (and your post) has made my day! Not the fact that you have been hacked and that you are overtaken by the technology of our daily lives. And I don’t have a twitter account because at 91, I cannot learn one more new thing. So often, when you write something that I get on facebook, I think – I should call Anne Lamott and see what she thinks. I watch the bouncing ball – Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker. I want to go running into the night. Except I can’t go running anyplace and mostly the “residents” “occupants” in this senior community think everything is hunky-dory, except for “that man” in the White House. And Jon Stewart is going off the air and I think elderly people are persecuted – but – my son came over an installed my new flash player and I just finished reading “All The Light We Cannot See” and I have really good raisin bread to toast for lunch. Thank you for being in my world today – As the days slip by for me, I know there are people who are cheering me on – people who are no longer in this world – and so we all move on and do the best we can. Thank you so much for being in my day.
The last time I checked her comment had 2,578 likes and 304 replies, most of which were basically “YOU ROCK”. I sent her a friend request which she accepted. I noticed she had added 25 new friends in the last 48 hours. I wouldn’t be using her name on this post except she has a blog which we must all read.
We’ll move on now to Doris Long, 101 years old and a woman who enjoys helping others even now. That’s so sweet, isn’t it? Probably she knits blankets and sends them off to the underprivileged. Or maybe she descends 100 metre buildings in order to raise money for hospice care? What are you doing with your life? Whatever it is, you have time to step up your game. Doris didn’t start descending buildings until she was 85.
To be honest, I’m pretty sure trying to scale down a tall building would send me to the grave at any age, but when I’m 92, I want to be the subject of an article about how I’m the oldest person to run a marathon. I guess I’ll have to be 93 actually to break the record; damn you, Harriette Thompson!
Here’s a photo of her at the half-way point. Look how fresh and happy she looks.
Perhaps this can inspire me to overcome my nagging, annoying injuries and run a freaking 5K in 2015.
There are, of course, quieter ways, to keep on keeping on. You don’t have to scale tall buildings or complete marathons.
Carmen Herrera sold her first painting at 89 and today her work is in the permanent collection of MoMA, the Hirshhorn, and Tate Modern. She’s still going strong at 100.
And who can forget the Notorious RBG?
Finally, I’ll leave you with this picture I took in Washington Square Park a few years back. If this is your Sunday, you’re doing something right.
And remember: Always dance like you might be YouTube’s next viral sensation!