Lately, I’ve been experiencing the accelerated creep of old age. I’ve spent enough time getting older to realize that as we age, we slow down a bit, we ache a little more, we’re even less coordinated than usual. But all that seemed to come on gradually, enough so that it was almost undetectable on a day to day basis.
I can’t think of a specific time when the slow march of age put the pedal to the metal. Maybe it was a couple of years ago, when I began to notice how easily I bruise, or how little advance notice my bladder gives me (not much, even less if I’m anywhere near running water.) My RF (ricochet factor) has doubled or tripled. I can’t seem to walk anywhere that I don’t bounce off the objects around me, making my bruisability even worse.
One of my friends has a cardboard cutout of herself at T-Mobile Stadium, home of our beloved Mariners. That way, she explains, she can attend every home game, if only in a symbolic way. That’s very cool, I thought. But given the choice, would I want my effigy seated closer to the beer window or the restroom? A few years ago, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Beer window would win every time. When did my priorities so suddenly change?
I’ve often heard the human life cycle compared to the changing of the seasons. So often that I would shudder when it was used. Calm down, it’s only a literary tool, I would tell myself. But the trueness of it hit home this morning when Les and I were looking out the kitchen window at the lush back yard that she works so hard to nurture. A couple of months ago, everything was in full bloom, kind of like me back when I was in my forties. As we watched the leaves and blossoms floating to the ground, I expected to look down and see my hair floating down around my feet. Of course it didn’t. I don’t have enough hair to even worry about that. And so far, my teeth seem to still be fairly well anchored.
It a tree falls in the forest and I’m the only one there, would I hear it? Only if I said “huh?” and it fell again. I might even see it if I were wearing my distance glasses. I offset the fact that I need distance glasses to see far away by also needing close up glasses to read. There’s a focal point about six inches beyond arms-length where I can see well enough to read without glasses, but by then the print is usually too small.
I can’t even claim to be aging gracefully. Nothing graceful about getting out of a chair and hobbling around like a monkey until the stiffness is walked out. Or making a sudden lateral move to avoid a crack in the sidewalk without passing gas. Thankfully, at this point, it hasn’t progressed past the gas stage. For the most part.
Bowels, bladders and booboos are bad enough, but when you add slips, trips and drips to the equation, it’s quite obvious that over the hill is here and now. On the way down I’m going to pack in as much fun as possible. I’m also going to pack in plenty of Prep H, Ensure, Huggies and Bandaids.
And though it’s well known by those who know me that I love to go shopping, even that is becoming more of a chore. I find myself ordering more and more stuff online. I have a velour jumpsuit on the way from Amazon at this very moment. If I like it, I’ll order another one, or maybe two. Always good to have a variety, so I can match whatever pair of fuzzy slippers I happen to be wearing. Well, it’s eight pm and I’m getting sleepy. Alexa, turn off the light!