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We Have Lost the Pressure of Time

by Janet Lubeski

I am an old woman in an ageist society. This means that I am invisible to many people. They do not recognize my anger.

Others wish to take care or to speak for me instead of supporting me in taking care of myself. I still have a voice.

It takes me longer to do things, and there are things I can no longer accomplish. But I can speak up and ask for help when I need it.

It takes effort for me to continue to live independently. I take care of my body by providing it a proper meal and exercise. I take care of my spirit by nurturing it with the beauty of nature and the sounds of laughter, my own and others.

I am in a support group with others who are enjoying the benefits of old age. We have many things in common: lessening of our senses of sight, smell, hearing, but increasing sense of touch. We feel as if a month is a day. Time is no time, it merges. We have lost the pressure of time.

Through the years of working, raising families, finding a community which supports each other, we continue to learn, listen to each others' stories, and provide a meaning to our lives. To be a witness, to listen without judgment, takes patience.

Growing old takes patience. It offers moments of clarity where I can see life in all its glory and all its pain. I have learned to celebrate life, to play and not take everyday upsets so seriously.

I love my life. Waking up in the morning in anticipation of what the day will bring is a wondrous feeling. I know it has the potential for love, for beauty, for continuing exploration of what it is to be — a human being.

Janet Lubeski is a retired nurse, recently moved from Connecticut to California.