A BABY BOOMER GOES BUST
By Suzanne Murrell
The Art of Being Still
I worry I am becoming too sedentary, too content just being still; loving my home routines and way too content with reading my books. I used to love afternoons at the library sipping flavored coffees and reading after my mile walk around our local lake.
Mobility then was part of a pleasure package - walking, sipping and reading.
Then one day the clerk said she'd order up the book that was out of stock and have it delivered to my door.
Hence, a terrible thing for me to discover so young in life!
Since then I've gotten to know the delivery guy as a regular and brew us both a quick cup when he comes to deliver my books.
Travel, the elixir of my life, has even taken a backseat to my new found stillness. I haven't been anywhere in over two months.
"What's the matter with me" is my most recent lament? Boomers are said to possess boundless interests and untapped energies.
Among a cache of worries hidden deep in my mind's closet is the worry that surely I 'm not well physically. But other than still having to custom order my clothes from the tent maker, I feel perfectly, stupendously well.
I just don't like going out much anymore.
Can we, like bears, go into hibernation too?
It's winter after all.
Out of fear of a prolonged lapse in sensibility I dusted off my diet and started walking again (not a bad thing), thought about getting the bike out (but didn't), scheduled a round of golf (then cancelled), joined a volunteer organization (sorry, I quit) and went back to sitting still--reading and writing notes to friends and researching trips I might never take.
"Okay, so you're getting old, live with it" was the self-message.
And that's how I viewed it until a recent visit to a friend's house and a weekend with my two-year old grandson changed my thinking.
My friend has four cats who all act very "cattish" and distant, as she puts it, until I come over. As soon as I sit they come around to perch as close to me as they can, each one vying for the lap space, staying put until I leave.
I don't even like cats.
I don't invite them up and I don't do much about petting them, I just sit there.
It really unnerves my friend since she's quick to point out she feeds and cares for them but gets no respect or glory when petting time rolls around.
'It must be because you are so still", she laments.
The flight from California to Cincinnati to see my grandson was horrific. Thoughts of home, sunshine, books and coffee are ever present and definitely on my mind but I've promised to visit for the weekend.
Nine hours of cancelled flights due to weather delays have left me unnerved and I simply want to die.
Where are all these people going?
What in heaven's name possesses them to pile their tired, worn bodies into a metal tin can and catapult themselves hundreds of miles away from home?
And why am I doing it when books await me at my doorstep?
Thankfully, I make it to Cincinnati in the midst of an ice storm and because of the weather daughter number two can't drag her poor, tired mother and a two-year old to the malls and movies she loves to frequent whenever I visit. She laughs about the baby having a hundred thousand miles on him in just two short years.
We end up staying at home the entire three days and during that time I sit with Nate and play games, rock him, read to him, cuddle and make snow ice cream. We've had arts and crafts, made cookies, recited every nursery rhyme I can possibly remember and been very still at home in the house while a furious winter storm rages outside.
When it's time to leave Nate cries for his Nana to stay.
"He loved having you, Mom", says Lori.
"I think it's because you're so still when you're with him and I'm always so busy".
I'm not old -- I'm wonderfully, thankfully still.
And that, I've learned, can be a really good thing.
Now time to get busy.
Since my recent malady has been nothing but a self-induced bout of needed stillness, it's time to get busy and go back to work!