Older and Unstoppable—by Jamie Levine
It’s been an eventful week: I finished my first year of graduate school (with a 3.97 G.P.A.), took some satisfying action against someone who wronged me badly in the past, and, most importantly, my daughter, Jayda, turned five years old. It’s been a wonderful week, albeit a bit emotional…and utterly exhausting.
I look young for my age, stay in great physical shape, and generally have a lot of energy. But then there are weeks like this one, where by the time Sunday rolls around, I feel ready for bed before 7 pm. I’d like to go out, but I can’t. I can’t even keep my eyes open! As I’ve lamented a million times before, life as a single mom/student can be tough…and it sure is tiring.
Yesterday, Jayda and I spent the day in the city with my dear friend—who just happens to be 80-something years old. This marvelous woman takes a spinning class twice a week, works out with a trainer, attends a Pilates class, and endures her own intense workouts several days a week. At the end of this month, my friend is traveling solo on a 15-day tour of Austria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. As the three of us traipsed around the Upper West Side on Sunday, Jayda tired out far sooner than my friend (who insisted on carrying my knapsack for me, and doing whatever favors she could for me and my daughter along the way). She then happily shepherded me and Jayda into her apartment, fed us, and marveled over all the wonderful things both of us had accomplished since the last time she saw us.
My older friend is my heroine; she hasn’t had an easy life, but she doesn’t let hardships stop her. She is grateful for her good health—and embraces the strength her body still affords her. She has a no-nonsense attitude about a lot of things. She doesn’t mince words; but it’s realism—not negativity—that she emits. She also thinks the world of me, and often lets me know it. She reminds me of all that I should be grateful for.
Seeing my friend inspires me. Rejuvenates me. And makes me appreciate who I am and what I have. So, I’m exhausted…and emotionally spent! More importantly, I have an amazing five-year-old who’s all mine, good health and self-esteem, and a promising career ahead of me. Nothing great comes easily. And no one achieves greatness by giving up (or going to bed too early!). As someone wise once said, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” And that gives me plenty of time to accomplish all I need to.