Thoughts from the "Active Senior" community
So this is day four of round two of being “care giver” to my mom. I’m happy to report she’s doing a lot better. We got good reports from the doctor yesterday and she seems strong enough now to care for herself with a little help from my aunt and uncle. So yay. I get to go home tomorrow.
This has left me, once again, thoughtful. My mom will be back up on her feet and taking her water aerobic class and walking the indoor track and going to lunch and being a very “active senior” in no time. But I know that the time where she’ll be “down” for good is coming. I’ve not wanted to think about it a whole lot, really. Probably burying my head in the sand.
It made all of my siblings and I happy when she moved to this community. It gave her freedom, independence, but some security she didn’t have living in rural New Mexico. She was doing so great until she took ill. This has sure been a bad bout. She’s still fairly young, just 72, health is great and strong despite my dad’s passing two years ago.
But I know time is the big enemy. You can’t stop it. Can’t fight it, it just…happens.
Meanwhile, I think living here among the viejos for a couple weeks has had an effect on my own mind. It sure is a different way of life here. Obviously there are old folks with some money to be able to live here. My mom lucked out, was able to sell the house in New Mexico and roll that into a small condo apartment. But there are these huge fabulous houses on the golf course. Active seniors whipping up and down the road in golf carts. Slow moving Caddy’s up and down the parking lots. People talking about their other home in Michigan or Minnesota or wherever it’s cold and then their third home over by their kids. My little mom has her one home, this small but nicely made place.
And everyone knows what everyone is doing. It is like a damn college dorm here. Hell, even *I* know that X lady recently died, suddenly, and Y gentleman sold his small home for a big one because he moved in with his lady friend, but they broke up now he wants to buy his old house back but the market is soft right now, and oh by the way he paid < insert dollar amount to the dollar > for that place on the golf course, and so on.
Gotta give it up to these folks. The dating scene is rampant. Word to the gentlemen reading this: Take good care of yourself. Single older men are a *hot* property around here. You’ll be up to your eyeballs in lady attention if you can just manage to stay alive. I’d say the men to woman ratio is at least 2 to 1 if not higher.
There is a different in the pace of life here. All the active seniors look in askance at me as I spend my days on my computer…working. That was the deal I struck with my boss. I could have the time but I had to stay connected. They keep going “why don’t you come over here and talk with us”. For these folks, the biggest thing they have to do today is get some lunch. Then maybe a trip to the pool. Late afternoon happy hour then some dinner.
Hell, they’ve earned it. More power to them that they can make it work. Including my modest little mom.
Today I pretty much hate my job. But maybe this is my penance so one day I, too, can live in a modern community and plan my days around the Scrabble competitions, the Mah Jong classes, and meeting friends to walk on the indoor track to catch up on the latest gossip.
Maybe if I’m smart, and a bit of a spendthrift, I might one day live the “active senior” lifestyle.
But that is a LOT of years, a lot of work emails, a lot of conference calls via a crappy cell phone, and a lot of reports to my boss away.
For today, back to it. I am an “active thirtysomething” which means I still gotta pull a paycheck.