Picture of Dr. Linda Algazi, Ph.D

I’m working at becoming an “optimistic orphan.”

My mom died last year, at ninety-five and a half, fifty years after my dad’s death. Most people would say she lived a long-enough life and that I should be grateful not only her longevity, but for the promise of my own. I am grateful.

But I’m also sad. I miss my mom. I hadn’t been feeling very optimistic either, which for me, is quite strange. It was time, I decided, to take a personal inventory.

Most people under forty, would call me “elderly.” Could there be such a thing as an “elderly optimistic orphan?” I think about things like that.

Since I’ve held up better than most, “elderly,” would refer to my age. They couldn’t be talking about me. At least, I don’t think so.

I had some botox last week because I am into illusion. I remember when my dad died and my mother became single, how she lied about MY age. I didn’t understand how she could do that. Every time I have a shot of botox, I feel a bit like a phony too.

My five-year-old grandson told me that if I wanted to be pretty, I should let my hair grow long like his mommy’s. I won’t tell you why my kids think I’m weird because they’ll get angry. My friends think I’m weird because I don’t play cards or maj.

I have a job that I don’t intend to quit anytime soon. That’s because my job is not “work.” I also have a serious hobby. About fifteen hours a week, I’m in front of a computer, writing screenplays.

I have enough money. My figure’s not bad, except for my thighs, but I’ve managed to make friends with them anyway. My clothes are in single digit sizes and I’m still tall enough to be “tall.”

I’m most grateful for good health.

And my family. I love them so. I’m proud and happy to be part of this clan.

I love to shop. I own too many so-called t-shirts and I keep buying more. My friends, who I think spend way more money on their clothes than I, comment on my “unique style.” I think they mean I dress funny.

And it’s nice that the kind of people I like, seem to like me anyway.

A man I didn’t know, flirted with me last week. No, I don’t feel invisible, not yet. Women my age often say they feel invisible. I don’t even own a red hat.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the ladies of the Red Hat Society have spunk. Whatever it takes, I say.

I can’t do anything about being an orphan. I guess I have to make peace with that. But I can reclaim my optimism. I have to be optimistic or I can’t do anyone else any good.

So I’ve begun to dance. Not very well, I have to admit, but I do feel recharged.

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