Living Life

July 1 2008

Putting together the final stages of this magazine gets to be a bit hectic when it comes time to get the files to the printer. There are so many last minute details to check; are all the ads in, all the articles in, all the photo credits in, make sure I type Graham Clayton and not Clayton Graham (again)…whew it never ends.

One of my jobs is to read each article once again for typos and grammar after Theresa, Glenn, David and Roger have read the same articles. We really strive to get it right, but occasionally we miss a comma or two. Luckily by the time I get to read the final draft, the articles are darn near perfect.

As I read Ken’s article in this issue I had to chuckle. Yes, we are all aging and do have to change our lifestyle to adapt to this. It just seems that at times it is difficult to remember exactly how old we are and we end up staying out later than we should, regretting it for the next couple of days afterward.

A month ago, our office took part in an off-road riding day and who knew just how painful we would all be the following week. Some of us tried bikes, some ATVs and some Rhinos. Regardless of what product we tried, everyone was hurtin’ the next week. Later we all wondered why we do this to ourselves—but then remembered how much fun it actually was at the time.

On the May 24th long weekend we were in Calgary at a show called the King of Customs, it was there that we saw more tattoos on men and women than any other show we have ever attended. After doing a bit of people watching, I began to think about all these tattoos and then thought once again of Ken’s article and his windshield years analogy, of our off-road day and how much pain everyone was in. I thought about the aging process we go through and the fact that at some point we need to slow down our lifestyle to accept this. I remember when I was 19 and visiting my grandfather who at the time was probably 80ish—he always used to make a comment, “You young people are always in a hurry to go nowhere.” At the time I really didn’t get it, I was just living life.

Taking time to reflect on these words of wisdom from my Grandfather, I then began to wonder what the big rush is all about, what lies ahead? With all these people I saw covering their bodies with tattoos, I began to imagine what our senior’s homes will look like in a few years from now. Are we going to scare the hell out of each other with our flabby, discoloured tattoos which may be totally unrecognizable works of once great art. Will we even remember what the tattoos stood for or meant—let alone where we have them. Perhaps we should make a point now of taking better care of ourselves so we won’t be totally embarrassed when we show someone the tattoo of our favourite cat that somehow morphed into a lizard over the years.

My mother-in-law is 87 and lives in a very nice senior’s residence, which I typically call the ‘Sheraton’ as it is very elaborately decorated and she does not have to lift a finger.

They enjoy shopping excursions, entertainment, crafts, exercises, movie night, happy hour and jig saw puzzles. Most of the residents in her home now have walkers with wheels called ‘Rollators.’ When we started shopping for one of these Rollators for Dorothy, we realized they come in all different colours and heights, but inevitably still looked the same when they are all lined up in the dining room. We decided to add a bit of character to Dorothy’s by putting a Harley-Davidson sticker on the front of it. She doesn’t go any faster and doesn’t make a sound, but certainly gets a lot of looks from passers-by and no one mistakes her Rollator for theirs.

As I watch the residents at Dorothy’s retirement residence, I can’t help but fast forward 30 or 40 years down the road and wonder how it will have changed when it is my time to be in a place like this. How will our group of retirees, being motorcycle enthusiasts entertain ourselves in our senior years?

Will we be be watching bike movies on movie night?

Will our Happy Hour drinks be served by the retired Hooter’s girls?

Will they still wear short shorts?

Will their bras sizes be more like 36 long?

Will I have to put up with Clinton racing in the hallways trying to pop wheelies with his Rollator and giving rider training lessons to the new inmates?

Will we have ‘guess the tattoo’ games instead of Bingo?

Will we have motorcycle jigsaw puzzles instead of flowers and animals?

So keep your windshield clean, put on your progressive lenses, slide on the orthotic boots, and the brightly coloured jacket, take more breaks when riding and take time to evaluate traffic conditions. Don’t be in such a hurry to live your life. There’s plenty of time before we need to trade our bikes in for Rollators.

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