The concept of ‘growing old together’ sounds delightful and evokes images of gentle aging, changing-yet-still-shared objectives, MAS (mutual assured support) for any challenges or pitfalls along the way, and a general assurance that each person WILL still need and love the other just as intensely as the years march by.
The reality can be far less encouraging: we all respond to aging and changed objectives differently, and if you’re a ‘half full cup’ joined to a ‘mostly empty cup’ worldview, those different approaches to life can become quite challenging over time.
For some of us that 10 years or so age difference ignored in youth is NOT the same 10 years difference in later years, and the gap can actually widen.
You KNOW you’re ‘widening’ if…
- A brochure invitation to Explore theArcticevokes two very different responses, i.e.:
Diane: “Oh boy, this has been on my Bucket List for YEARS!”
Bill: “I’ll ‘Explore the Arctic’ from the comfort of my LazyBoy, thankyouverymuch…”
- A flyer for a Town Social Dance results in obvious differences:
Diane: “WOW – I haven’t done this kinda dance in years but I still remember the moves!”
Bill: “If I tried to dance now, my arthritis would kick up and my best move would be from the dancefloor to the hospital bed!”
- An invitation to attend the local Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight brings forth:
Diane: “GOODIE – I missed doing that years ago; now we CAN!”
Bill: “The only thing I’m doin’ at midnight is SAWING LOGS.”
- AARP sends its annual solicitation:
Diane: “AARP?? I won’t feel eligible till I’m AT LEAST 90!”
Bill: “AARP?? Where were they in my forties, when things really began to head south??”
- Efforts to exercise together result in a few mismatched goals:
Diane: “Let’s gorideabike! There’s a smooth off-road trail nearby which is perfect!”
Bill: “…and what’s wrong with the stationary bike in the sunroom – aside from brushing off a few cobwebs??”
Yup – we’re DEFINITELY heading in different directions these days.
One of us is heading for the Great Outdoors and Everything Zany in Life.
The other is commanding the solo ‘Fridge Inspection Unit, and then off to bed (in that order…)