This is not a cheap shot at the famous Mr Gladwell, author of the popular self-help book of the same title, rather a much more down to earth, mundane and perhaps a little introspective view on the stages of life.
Much of my musings of late have related to my work, that of a private nursing care provider to the elderly and the vulnerable. This is also the reason for the “radio silence” on my blog site – work is keeping me busy, in a good way, thankfully!
This idea came about one morning whilst standing in the shower after a brief jog through our local wandelbos with Darling, and before heading off to my first client of the day. For some unfathomable reason, the notion of pajamas entered my head – bizarre as it was the morning and not the evening, when I usually donn my pjs after my shower before bed.
The practical need for the basic wardrobe item, found in most people’s cupboards, ensures a cozy, comfy and in the winter months, snuggly night’s sleep.
Parents ensure clean “jammies” for after bathtime when snuggling their children into their beds for the night.
Next comes the more alluring sleepwear (or none at all) for the young adult phase… followed by the more practical styles for those of us in the later adult phase, needing them to be discreet enough to cover the less attractive parts of our anatomy.
The final phase is even more practical in that sleepwear becomes something that is easily able to be removed, without causing pain, laundered and replaced.
How is this “tipping point” relating to pjs? Much like the moment before a child heads down a playground slide, or a swing reaches its zenith, or even a skier prepares to glide over the lip of the slope, these phases of life sneak up on us rather subtly. Sometimes catching one by surprise, by way of an unexpected illness, injury or mishap, rendering us reliant on others for help with the basics that we were formerly almost unaware of conducting ourselves.
So too the pj requirement.
I recall pondering the purchasing of a birthday or Christmas gift, first for my grandparents, then for my parents, and coming up with pajamas – the safest bet, after socks or underwear, since for most, they are a staple wardrobe necessity.
Well, now that our beloved daughters are fully adulting young adults, the shift hit me, whilst in the shower, with a bit of a face-slap, followed by a warm glow: the next phase of life has hit that tipping point and my raggedy old t-shirt that has been my comfy go-to for sleepwear, will likely be in for a more glamorous, if not practical, update as our girls ask us what we would like for our birthday gift!
The other “tipping point” aspect of life comes with exercise. I recall one of my dear friend’s comments whilst we sweated away at some form of fitness regime or durning a long, sunny & hot round of golf, just before we turned 40, along the lines of: “when do you think that we just say: ‘what the heck!’ and stop trying so hard to maintain?” Fifteen years on and I can safely say that I’ve had many such “what the heck!” moments, followed each time by a guilty return to a healthy exercise routine. It becomes harder each time, of that there is no doubt!
As we age, it becomes more imperative that we remain mobile. Perhaps that final tipping point is reached and the hectic fitness programs become obsolete, but the need for flexibility and mobility increases, in a functional format, in order to remain healthily independant.
I see the subtle shift in my clients and in the relationships with their own offspring, that the role of carer, provider and nurturer have made the switch around. Sometimes this is a painful process, causing distress and angst at the idea of having to relinquish control. At other times, it is received with the warm glow of acceptance, similar to my shower moment, where the realization of the change is met with grace and gratitude. This is the attitude that I wish to adopt, when my turn comes around. Until then, it will be back to the old baggy t-shirt and stretched shorts for bedtime, unless Darling has something more charming in mind!