I was at the Apple store yesterday needing to get my computer fixed and I sat down to wait next to an elderly woman, who appeared to be somewhere in her 80s, who was also waiting service for her laptop. She caught my attention because not only was it rare to see someone that age sitting at the Genius bar with a laptop in front of her, but she was just a beautiful woman, dressed very casually but elegantly with soft-looking gently, curled gray hair, and beautiful silver jewelry. I found her intriguing and tried not to stare at her as I waited for my turn, when she started talking to the technician, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop.
She, too, was having problems with her laptop battery. She lived in an adult community and recently she’d been taking her laptop to an armchair in her room and logging into iTunes and YouTube to listen to music from the 1920s. She said that the community she lived in had a shared playlist on iTunes (!) that everyone contributes to and she was using that when her computer stopped working. I was intrigued and charmed with her comfortableness around the computer as they went through some troubleshooting procedures, her choice of music (she said she especially liked Sophie Tucker), and impressed that she was living in a community with other seniors who shared their iTunes library. Who were these people? I want to be like them when I’m their age!
I couldn’t stop smiling as I listened and decided right then that I want to be like her when I get to be her age. She completely blew the stigma of senior citizen out the door and I got to thinking about what keeps us fresh and supple in our thinking and attitude (I’m purposely not adding “as we age” because you can be “old” whether you’re 20 or 60, and anywhere in between).
I recently read an article about how when you get to be a certain age, you start looking for people that are your people. People you want to surround yourself with not ones you find yourself surrounded with. At a certain point in our lives, if we allow it, we begin to build our tribes. That special group of people, friends and acquaintances that inspire us, hold us in accountability and truth, and make us want to go that little bit further. It’s a place where we can exchange stories and share and not compete
Thinking about this the other night, I realized I have been doing just that. By putting myself out there as a writer and an artist, I have unconsciously begun to surround myself with other poets, artists, musicians, and writers, and people who have gone through similar experiences as me. These people all call to me and call from me. It’s like we all recognize each other on a soul level. When you have that kind of surrounding, I believe you can do and be anything.
I want to dance the Bossa Nova when I’m 50, I want to still play with iTunes and sing to the Beatles when I’m 60, I want to hold a paintbrush in my hand when I’m 70, I want to still be writing when I’m 80, and I want to be an inspiration when I’m 90. Thank you lady from the Apple store. You don’t know it but you’ve certainly inspired me, and dear reader, I hope I inspire you as you all find your own tribes!