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Born to be wild

April 10, 2011

As the months and years fly by, the reality of aging has suddenly hit me like a cold north wind. So I button up my jacket and hope the jacket I’m wearing is my own.
The time has come to let go of some of the outdated rules of conduct that have ruled my life for too long.
I’ve never run around the house with scissors, or worn white shoes before Memorial Day. And I would never, ever, wash my darks with my whites.
We get only one life, and I’ve been living mine on low beam. Maybe it’s time to walk on the wild side, let my imagination run wild and toss convention to the winds. 
To test my new modus operandi, here’s what I did this week to break the rules and walk on the wild side:
*I rode a bike without a helmet.  (Okay, so what if the bike was glued to the floor, inside the gym.) 
*I walked the treadmill at the same gym without holding on to the rails. I tried chewing gum at the same time, but maybe I’m not ready for that just yet; 
*I went to a movie all alone.  I’ve never done that in my entire life.  Unfortunately I couldn’t stay because the picture was so badly out of focus. (Couldn’t be my eyes, no way.)
*I went to McDonald’s and bought a cheese burger and fries without guilt. Of course, in true “senior” fashion, I had dinner at 4 p.m. – and ordered from the $1 menu.  Now that was exciting!
*I cooked a gourmet dinner for friends wearing a strapless gown.  Unfortunately I spoiled the effect by wearing sweats underneath.
*I wore my I-Pod to the Piggly Wiggly even though the batteries have been dead for two years.  It irked me that the check out clerk thought I was wearing a hearing aid.
Undaunted, I drove home, put on a pair of baggy jeans, a sideways baseball cap and danced along to a hip-hop video on MTV.    For the first time in his life, my bulldog, Rebel, broke into a wide toothy grin!
In the words of George Jones, “I ain’t ready for the junkyard yet. ‘Cause I still feel like a new Corvette.  It may take a little longer, but I’ll get there. 
“I don’t need no rockin’ chair.”

Emily Jones is a retire journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement.  She welcomes comments at

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