I am well into my 60s. Aging brings few perks. Such “bonuses” as Medicare, mailed offers for motorized wheelchairs, hearing aids, pre-need funerals, adding such benefits as not having to drive carpool, not worrying AS MUCH about your children, time for yourself (whether you want it or not), compromise, compromise, compromise.
When we were barely in our teens, my sister and I were unusually gawky, so we were enrolled by our mother in Miss Stevens’ ballet classes in the hope that we would evolve into graceful swans from the girls who looked like hairpins with tennis balls for knees. As a dreamer of dreams, a hoper of hopes I wanted to look like the older girls did, to dance on my toes, to make gravity-defying leaps through the air. Most of all, I wanted to wear a tutu. Oh, not with my skinny, ungainly body, but with one of those perfect, athletic dancer bodies I had seen in movies.
Recital performance costumes were disappointments. My sister and I were always assigned duet parts, dancing together, once as lovebirds and once as hail, wearing net balls. No tutu in sight. But maybe if I worked hard enough, danced enough, practiced enough….
When I was in my thirties, I knew it was more than likely too late (!) to dance enough or practice enough. After all, I had children and a job and a life. But….but….if I really wanted to and devoted the time….I could still be that graceful tutu-clad swan. I just didn’t have enough time, did I? But…..I could….couldn’t I?
Then, when I reached my forties, I was really too busy to “get in shape” for a career in dance, for the adulation that would surely come to such a talented, fabulous, graceful “Star” wearing an effervescent fluff of a tutu. After all, I had those pesky carpools, my job at the humane society, cooking dinner every night…oh, hundreds of “important” things that filled my days. But…..there was still a chance I could do it … when/if I got time.
Fifties? Just didn’t think about it. It didn’t matter anymore.
Sixties? At least I can dream.