Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vitality, Vivaciousness, and Victory

Growing older doesn't bother me. What bothers me about aging is losing my vitality – my energy. At one time I might have described myself as vivacious (lively and animated), but as I get older, vivaciousness appears to be dripping out of me like condensation from a cold bottle of water on a hot summer day.

So many things animate me – kids, writing, conversations that deeply engage me, ideas, creativity, and surprising discoveries. Twitches of excitement cause electrical impulses to race through my brain at an alarming speed.

I become a ball of energy (perhaps too) tightly wound. Often, I grab thoughts as quickly as possible for fear of losing them before they escape my attention. Thankfully, I'm fairly quick about capturing them and recording them.

But what if – one day – I sit down to write and I can't think?

My biggest fear about aging is losing that vitality, that essence of energy that drives my body, my thoughts, and my spirit.

Will my brain slow down as I get older? Will my body fall apart? I already have a bad back and a bunch of other physical ailments. Getting older can't mean that I will lose my vitality.

Can it?

Breast cancer slowed me down, but it didn't stop me. Although I still don't have the same level of energy I had before I got breast cancer, I look forward to the day – four and a half years from now – when I'm finished with chemo, so I can regain some of my former energy.

And then I think about all those residents I've seen in nursing homes. Their lethargic stance with their slumped shoulders, their sad eyes, and their non-smiling mouths seem so pitiful to me.

The thought of being in a nursing home saddens me. I want to ask the residents, "Did you accomplish your goals? Were you happy? Did you ever feel victorious?

Or do you find joy only in your memories?"

My mom is 77 years old and as vivacious as many 30 year olds. She could walk circles around me. Though my age sounds old (I will turn 60 this year), I don't feel old. Maybe I come by that naturally. I hope to be as full of vitality as my mom is when I get to be her age.

I also hope to experience joy, hope, and love all the way up until the time I depart this world.

After all, what is life without joy – without hope – without love? I want a life filled with joy, with laughter, and with love. I want to feel victorious.

Want some laughter in your life? Check out Humor Outcasts (click the link) for some amusing stories. It will tickle your funny bone.

And from there, the rest of you will respond, because, as we all know, your funny bone's connected to your head bone (I know – most people call it a skull), your head bone's connected to your shoulder bones…and as you feel shivers running all the way down to your feet, you'll find your toes are tingling with vitality.

And that completes Day #22 from the A-Z Challenge. Brought to you by the letter, V. 

Previous A-Z Challenge blogs:

Amazon Hates Me – Day #1 from the A-Z Challenge

Bored – Why? – Day #2 from the A-Z Challenge

Craziness – Day #3 from the A-Z Challenge

When Your Daughter Develops, DON'T DO THIS! – Day #4 from the A-Z Challenge

Ellen – Day #5 from the A-Z Challenge

Family and Friends – Day #6 from the A-Z Challenge

The Grownup Table – Day #7 from the A-Z Challenge

Happiness & Joy – Day #8 from the A-Z Challenge

Idiots in the Attic – Day #9 from the A-Z Challenge

Jokes Accidentally – Day #10 from the A-Z Challenge

The Kid That Wasn't Named Ker – Day #11 from the A-Z Challenge

Living Out of Suitcases – Day #12 from the A-Z Challenge

Misunderstandings – I KNOW You Didn't Say What I THINK You Said

Networked Blogs on Facebook

The Old and The Elderly – At What Age Do You FEEL Old?

Peacocks Are Not Penguins

Quiz That Changed My Thinking

Reading Les Miserable

Sense and Nonsense

The Traumatization of a Third Grader

Under Pressure


  1. Theresa, I think you're not going to have to be concerned about your vitality for a long time to come.

  2. I agree, I do not think your vitality is going anywhere.

    I have the same worry sometimes though, when I have those mom mental block moments- when I just cannot seem to be able to string together a coherent sentence. I do not want to ever really lose my ability to think and share those thoughts.

  3. I worry about that too.. Off to check out the funny stories! :)

  4. I have been slowing down lately. At 46 I consider myself young, but I have a popped disc in my back and a steel toe that causes me walking problems. I wear glasses and hearing aids and feel lost when I don't have them.

    My grandmother is 93 and she never complains. She says as long as she can get out and play cards and see an opera here and there, she is happy. She still drives and walks, and maintains her 3300 square foot home. I guess if you have your health, vitality is a lot easier to come by and if we can surround ourselves with things that make us happy, life can be worthwhile at any age.

  5. 'but as I get older, vivaciousness appears to be dripping out of me like condensation from a cold bottle of water on a hot summer day.'

    LOL! I'm going to print that off so my mom can read it - I already know it speaks to her! She's 69 and doesn't stop, either - even if maybe she should have a rest...?

    Me...at 47 there are injured parts of me that already make me shuffle along like an oldie but a goodie. But in the heart-and-mind dept - a perrennial child!

  6. Theresa, you seem in no danger of losing your spark. Your story is inspirational and I thank you for sharing it. Quite a neat lady! :)

  7. This is lovely. I see my vitality slipping a bit but I cling to it. You've certainly still got yours Theresa. And thanks for the link to Humor Outcasts. Funny stuff!

    I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

  8. As I grow older, I contemplate the same thing. May we all continue to be vivacious in our own special way. :)

  9. And I'll bet you run circles around me, just a few years your junior. I don't even care anymore. I live each day as it's given to me and try not to worry about tomorrow (ha! Like I could pull that off).

  10. You capture our worries perfectly- for me it's vitality! Seems like I used to be able to do it all, but now doing it all means I need more time to do it. Oh where did all that energy and enthusiasm go?