Friday, January 19, 2018

Look out Millennials

Look out Millennials—
We’re still here – the Perennials.
You may know us as grandparents or Baby Boomers,
But as you can see we’re no longer booming onto the scene.
I only hope and pray that many of you will live this long.

Perennials are not the new 40 or 50 as some might wish.
To be honest we are older if not old.
We aspire to age gracefully and contribute to society,
But as perennials we can bloom again and again until the winter is too bitter.
I only hope and pray that many of you will live this long.

After reading this article in the Washington Post,  In Search of a Word,  I smiled and felt invigorated about my age. My eyes were opened to a new metaphor about growing older, and older. I can proudly say that I am a “perennial.” Each day and each season I can begin again, if I care for my body physically and mentally.

Naked ladies or Surprise Lilies 

In my late forties when one of my seventh grade students said that I must be the same age as the math teacher on our team, Mrs. L., I danced a happy step and laughingly replied, “Absolutely.” On our planning period that day, I laughed all the way down the hallway to Mrs. L’s room.  The thirty year old teacher didn’t think the comparison was funny.

In my fifties my back and feet conspired to keep me on the injured and recovering list summer after summer.  Aleve became my ally, our hot tub eased the pain, and I pushed like a thirty year old to play through the pain. Even in my fifties I didn’t have the wisdom to slow down.


In my sixties, one of my students carefully touched my hands and said, “Your hands look like the old ladies hands in the care home where my mother works.” I stopped breathing for a moment then replied with an empathetic smile, “You’re right. They look like my mother’s hands, and I rather like that.” Inside I felt the tears and smiled in recognition that I was aging. And that's a good thing. 

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