Having fun over fifty involves a little more thought than it used to. For example, I can’t just jump on my shopping cart and fly down the produce aisle willy nilly anymore. First off, I can’t do wheelies—at least on purpose—because I DO NOT WANT TO FALL! Something might break, or worse, fracture.
Thus, when attempting said maneuver I am now choosy about which cart to pick. All four wheels must be oiled and turn well. One bad wheel and you’re a goner. Then, I must be sure I have some considerable weight in the basket first. I have found that one watermelon, or a good 25 lb bag of organic carrots is terrific ballast. Also, I must be wearing tennis shoes. In the old days, sandals were fine, but it’s hard to get a good running start if one of them flops off and you roll over your bare, naked arthritic toes. Also, I have to look to be sure the aisle ahead of me is clear. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a great ride and having some idiot suddenly turn in front of you with cartons of eggs in their little front section. So, I try limiting myself a bit during Easter.
One good thing about getting older is that experience has long taught you what does NOT work. Therefore, you should be able to completely ENJOY yourself without killing yourself. It’s a fine balance–aging that is–using what little you’ve got left to your utmost ability. I could just hang it up I suppose–forego the giggles from the store clerks, the eye rolls from teenagers, and the head shaking from little, old ladies. I could push my cart leisurely down the aisle like everyone else my age. But as long as I still have that little, inner desire to just GO, it seems kind of stupid to hit the PAUSE button. I mean I’m not dead yet.
Granny used to say, ‘You can’t put the cart before the horse.’ In her day, that made sense, because the horse would start eating whatever was in the cart instead of pulling it. In my case, I just want to ride it. So, as long as there’s a little horsepower left in this chassis that’s exactly what I intend to do. (Helen Hudson is the author of, “Kissing Tomatoes,” a memoir of her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s. http://www.helen-hudson.com