Skipping Up the Steps

A few weeks ago I had the chance to meet a new acquaintance. That makes me really happy to connect so well with someone that just pops into my path. For some reason, we got deep into our health and age in what seemed like a moment. She knows my name and I know hers, but chances of us ever meeting again are slim at best. It was like a feather on the wind and we grabbed the time.

She sought me out from our group and although I had other people that I have known for a long time there she did not. I like hearing others’ stories and am interested in their lives and thoughts. For some lucky reason, she found me and we talked like we knew each other.

I have noticed something about myself lately. I used to have few filters and in the last two years, I have built some barricades when meeting some people. I don’t know if it is because I don’t have time for foolishness (how are we kidding? of course I have time for foolishness), but I find it behind a quick careful study if they can be trusted with my thoughts. Is that because I don’t want to get my thoughts crushed or is it because social media has made me sad about what I thought people were like? Can I trust?

I used to think that I was a very good study of people in knowing if they were trustworthy or not, good or bad, nice or willing to sell their own mother. I may still be, but these days am not as ready to tell them many things from my side of the mask. I feel myself crossing my arms, stepping back a few feet, waiting for them to show their cards, shutting up for once. Maybe it came from wearing a mask for Covid. It has become a security blanket for me or a hideout. This mask thing has had its benefits apart from the health section.

This new acquaintance and I fell in fast to heath talk and how much we are surprised what we have done as humans and what we can no longer do. Maybe we could share so quickly because we both knew we would never probably see each other again, but would happily do so if we were in the same space. Safe.

One thing that grabbed her was when I said that I missed bounding up the back steps. She too felt that way. It is such a small thing in the realm of things, but once it was sooooo easy and done so often. Now it takes mindfulness not to step wrong, the speed alone is glacial, and sometimes….it hurts…a lot. We also know it is going to get worse. We hate to think of our families as they try to see our future through our parents on what will become of each of us. Why wouldn’t they when we do it ourselves? Will the gene pool hit this one like their parent? Will we live to 94, 74, in a wheelchair, have Pancreatic Cancer, be more impossible as we age, sit in a wheelchair and refuse to turn the TV down when you visit, call at all hours because they forgot to look at the clock, have Parkinson’s Disease, CLL Cancer, tell us the senior kids what should be done for our own selves, question their judgments? Then of course we try to remember these cautionary tales and try to do better by trying our best to stay out of their business, staying as healthy as we can, taking all the good models using them to improve our responses and selves. Small potatoes, sweet potatoes?…. but to have a conversation about skipping up the steps with someone who feels the same, had no skin in the game by not being sympathetic yet epathetic was momentous. The thing is that we both knew it.