Remember that old Joni Mitchell song “Circle Game”? It’s a poignant song about growing up, growing old, how as a child we are in such a hurry to be older, but as we age all we want is to slow time. Too young? Hate Joni Mitchell? Never heard it? Go listen to it. Yes, now. I’ll wait. Beautiful, no? Even as a young person, that song gave me a stomachache. I remember wanting to be 13, 18, 21. Wanting to grow up so my real life could start. But even then, my fear of being old, of dying? That was something that got swept under the rug. Locked away in a little box in my head. Not gonna think about it. Nope. Never gonna happen. And now, I’ll be 60 on my next birthday. My husband will be 70. We’re dealing with social security and Medicare and menopause. Friends are welcoming grandchildren. Celebrating silver wedding anniversaries. Dying. I feel in my heart the same as I did when I was 30. But my body’s got other plans. Night sweats, sleeplessness, dizziness. Arthritis, bifocals, gas, poor balance. I’m so afraid of being old and sick, I am making myself old and sick. I’m so busy pretending that I’ll never die, (Spoiler alert: will), I’m ignoring the things that might keep me stronger, that will help me live longer, be happier. Simple stuff that anyone with two brain cells to rub together has been doing all along. Exercise. Eat well. Manage stress. How hard is that? Hard. It’s hard. Very. Very. Hard. I have always lived my life in the peaceful village of Someday. Someday I’ll stop eating so much sugar. Someday I’ll go back to the gym. Meditate. Clean my closet. Big Spoiler Alert. There are never as many Somedays as we would hope. I want my days to be joyous. I want to dance and act and sing. To dream and laugh. Travel and learn and create. Until I’m old. Very old. So I guess I’ll have to accept the fact that the face in the mirror isn’t as smooth as it once was, but I do not have to accept the things I can control. I may be wrinkled. I may be completely grey under the Nice and Easy, but I can still be strong and healthy and gorgeous. I just have to want it enough to work a little harder. And to surrender the fear. Worrying doesn’t prevent bad things from happening. It just makes you less prepared when they do.