My mother’s voice is in my head – "You know – you aren’t 20 anymore."


October 21, 2008 in 

I am heavily invested in politics and this is election season. So last week I had meetings and campaigning to do – and I did it..all week – day and night for 7 days!

The upshot was that Monday my body said “No way we are getting out of bed for the cycling class.” I tried fighting back but my body won and so we slept in for a while longer.

When I got up I heard my mother’s voice saying “You know – you aren’t 20 anymore.” And that’s still in my head today. I’m sure there are other of her sayings that appear from time to time but the 20 anymore is the one that comes back with some regularity – especially when I am doing “things” that we ancient elders are not “supposed” to be doing :-).

My mom started on that mantra when I was in my 40’s and began playing competitive slow pitch softball, touch football and learned to play squash. All of these sports came with the possibility of injuries and I was not immune. Broken finger, twisted ankles, sore quads, and when I pitched – hit by line drives! Ouch…but I did not stop – my mantra was to continue playing when injured….finished a double header with the broken finger and only stopped after the orthopod asked if we were in contention to win the division – when I said no – he suggested I stop for the season as another break would result in my not being able to easily type at my computer…and we know that would not be a good idea. [If we were in contention he would have figured a way to protect that finger but with no promises. ]

Through all this – when I would tell my mother of my latest games – injuries or not – she would repeat her mantra. It became a regular laughing point of our conversations…and she admitted she wished she still could do what I was doing! Her mantra continued until she died when I was in my early 60’s – still playing softball and still skiing.

So when I had my exhausting week – her words rang in my head…..and I wondered if she was still somewhere shaking her head thinking “that daughter of mine” and saying “You know – you aren’t 20 anymore.”

Native of NYC who moved a lot, got several degrees, and has been a lifelong writer and reader... I am interested in many things - and I write [and teach] about them - especially the human lifespan and healthy aging

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