I have always wanted to visit Bancroft, Ontario. Don’t know why. It is just a name of a town (pop. 3,700) that sits on a map somewhere near Ottawa, a forty-minute drive from Barry’s Bay where we are spending the week.
Yesterday, I got my wish. C.C. and I traveled to Bancroft to check it off my list of ‘places I must visit.’
As far as picturesque or artsy or interesting goes, Bancroft doesn’t rate high on the list. Highway 60 drives into the main street, running for two blocks along the York River before forking, east and south. There’s a playhouse that has a full summer theatre playlist, a McDonald’s, DQ and at the far, far end of downtown, a Canadian Tire. And, there’s the IDA drugstore where I experienced a first when stopping to buy a can of bug spray.
“Are you 60?” the woman behind the cash register tentatively asked as she rang in the sale.
I think the look of consternation on my face confirmed her trepidation in asking me the question. “No!” I promptly and vehemently replied. “But he is,” and I pointed at C.C. who was standing a few feet away. (My motto – always deflect when faced with confusion, bad news or simply the truth!)
“She’s always throwing me under the bus,” he jokingly replied, graciously accepting that his age got us the ‘Senior’s Discount’ on the day.
“I’m heartbroken,” I told him over a late lunch at the MIrrors Inn on Lake Paudash, a beautiful waterside restaurant 15 kilometres south of Bancroft. “It finally happened. I’m looking my age.” Oh, that and the fact, I qualified for a senior’s discount.
Ok. Well not quite. My birthday is in December — that’s when I qualify officially for senior’s discounts for the under 65 set. Until then, I can keep throwing C.C. under the bus.
Perhaps that’s why I finally did go to Bancroft — to be reminded of the necessity for humility in my life.
I have been feeling sensitive about my upcoming birthday. Sensitive and somewhat leary. I have always loved my birthday. Always celebrated every age with gusto. But 60 sounds so much older than anything I’ve been before — and it is. It’s a brand new decade and obviously, as I discovered yesterday, a brand new opportunity to experience ‘senior’s moments.’ But, I have been pushing back against the fact my birthday is one of those ‘marker events’ this year. Pushing back against the inevitable — and obviously visible — pull of time to draw me foward into another decade.
Time to let my resistance go. Time to celebrate that this age isn’t about getting older, it’s about celebrating all that I’ve experienced, and learned, upon this journey. It’s about acknowledging that with age comes wisdom, and in my wisdom, I am blessed to know life isn’t about what happened in the past, or even how much past there is to remember (or forget). It’s all about making the most of what is happening now and cherishing what is.
What is true for me today is that I have an amazing life. How blessed am I!
I am loved. I love. Deeply. Passionately. Completely. I have family and friends whom I cherish and who cherish me. I have work that fulfills me, that calls to my heart, mind and soul. I have the freedom to express myself creatively, however I choose because I live in a country in which freedom is a way of life. A country in which freedom of the individual to speak, act, do and be is at the foundation of what it means to be Canadian.
I am free.
I went to Bancroft yesterday. It wasn’t a red letter day or even by any stretch of the imagination. But it was fun. I got to spend it with the man I love, experiencing time for just the two of us to connect, to enjoy, to cherish each other.
And it was a day to remember — I’m only as old as I think.
Which means, I get to re-think turning sixty. I think I’ll make it, turning wisety — old enough to know, wisdom doesn’t grow on trees, it grows through age. And I’ve got the years to prove it!
And in the meantime, until that day in December when I can officially say, “I’m wisety”, I’ll just keep throwing C.C. under the bus. He won’t mind. He loves me!