I think it was Garson Kanin who wrote that as Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy got older, her world kept expanding, and his kept shrinking. He died at 62, I believe; she continued to stun the world at least into her eighties.
As we grow older, it’s too easy to sit back and let our interests diminish. The aching back keeps us from taking long walks…the rheumatic fingers keep us away from playing musical instruments…fading eyesight makes painting and sketching more difficult.
When presented with a new opportunity, we stop asking ourselves, “how much pleasure will this yield?” Instead, we ask, “how much of an effort will this require?”
That’s what I caught myself doing this morning. After looking at some glorious pictures of opening night at the Metropolitan Opera, I went over to their website, to see what’s playing this season. As I was perusing and dismissing each title, I realized I wasn’t asking “Do I wish to hear this piece?” or “Do I wish to hear this performer in person?” I was asking, “Is this worth the schlep into New York?”
When did visiting my beloved Manhattan become a “schlep” rather than a joy??? And when did coddling my aching back and my swollen feet take precedence over nourishing my soul?
Lately, I tend to do the same thing when someone sends me information about possible employment. New field? Too much trouble to learn about it. More than a few miles from home? I don’t want to commute. Travel? Oh, God, no… I’m done running through airports, and wending my way through unfamiliar locations.
This is not the person I used to be…and certainly not the person I ever expected to become!
But is it the person I want to stay? I don’t know. I seem to suffer from less anxiety and uncertainty, that’s for sure… and I spend a hell of a lot less.
But don’t I miss having fun?