Raising children is exhausting especially if you do it alone. My son often asked how old I was, a question I artfully evaded for years. After a particularly trying day he asked again. “112,” I told him. He said nothing. Maybe he believed me. Maybe he weighed the importance of this vast number– was I about to die? was I immortal?? I will never know what went through his remarkable mind at that moment, but I know I wondered whether or not I felt that old. I know that, no matter how many years I may live mentally I still feel as I did when I was 17. That was the best year of my life– I earned my driver’s license, I went to a new high school where I really flourished academically and socially, I was very active, my parents actually honored my decisions (or they didn’t care), but I felt truly independent and good about myself. At least I don’t feel 112 anymore but nearing 60 I am still running 2-3 miles everyday with my dog, gardening, reading, trying to figure out how to be assertive without aggression, how to be unobtrusive yet still have all I need and maybe some of what I want, live modestly and save a little at the same time, fight for truth and balance in politics and life. And eat well while still enjoying food that tastes good and maybe isn’t all that good for me yet not gain weight These are not lofty goals but what makes my life as it is now.