O to Be a Senior – At Last

We met in the laundry room. Uh! My eyes hurt, it feel like I’ve got sand in them, I said. We do tend to suffer from dry eyes, I’ve a spare tube of Viscotears you can have. We? A moment’s pause. Ah yes, WE and our common concerns that come on with advancing age. I’d not have it any other way.

A couple of years ago I was in Redruth in Cornwall buying a train ticket, Are you a senior? No. Fast catching on to the chance of a reduced fare I ask how old do I have to be. Not old enough unfortunately but quite soon my time will come. Soon I’ll join the ‘we’ of my hero’s and heroines. Many of them are seniors like this woman from Scotland.

Jeanne Day greets the morning cheerfully. Up by 6.30am, she pulls on her tracksuit and heads out in to the bracing Fife air to walk a couple of miles over St Andrews’ farmland. Then it’s back home for some meditation, floor exercises and a breakfast of fruit. Between 9am and 6.15pm, she is available to teach but if she’s not fully booked, she’ll take in another long walk or do a spot of gardening, followed by a light supper and more gentle exercises on a cross-trainer. After 8pm, she’s often on the phone with family and friends, or keeping up with her emails. Jeanne is 88 years old.

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2 thoughts on “O to Be a Senior – At Last”

  1. Sounds like you will soon be an ‘all-rounder senior’ Rev. Mugo

    We say “there is always someone senior to you in training” and this principle gets taken to great lengths in Japan, where people are aware of fine gradations and ‘shades of grey’ in seniority of all kinds.

    Recently I heard two young teenage students talking about how to approach their ‘seniors’ in the local Junior High volleyball team. They meant the girls in the year above them!

  2. I get dry eyes too because of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Hot compresses, Viscotears, Systane, and eyebright all help.

    Before my optician hit on the MGD diagnosis she thought it was ingrowing eyelashes. Learning of the existence of such a condition made me wonder if this is what really caused Bodhidharma to pull out his own eyelashes. Not that I wish to take anything away from Bodhidharma’s ferocious attitude to zazen.

    A silly idle thought but it makes Bodhidharma more human and approachable at least to me.

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