The aging process is kind of like a stealth missile. It creeps up on you when you aren’t looking and KABOOM! You’re old or getting really close to it.
One day you realize you can’t wear the pants you’ve worn for years because … as a friend of mine said, “Where DID that stomach come from? It wasn’t there yesterday.” The body changes as one gets older and usually not for the better.
Age is sneaky and sly. One day you think you’ve managed to circumvent all that old people stuff and then …
● You realize you can’t see the tiny print on a medicine bottle or even the much larger print in a book.
● What did you say? Huh? Could it be you are not hearing as acutely as you once did? Probably.
● You moan when you get up from a chair and are hesitant, or flat out refuse, to get down on the floor because you know you can’t get up without the help of a crane and no cranes are presently available.
● If you sneeze or laugh you wet your pants and then when you really want to pee you can’t.
● You take out your teeth and forget to put them back in before heading out the door.
● That hill out back didn’t use to seem so steep but now it looks like Mt. Everest. It’s imposing and threatening.
● You have a love-hate relationship with all things technical and regularly contemplate slam-dunking one gadget or another against a very hard object, halfway longing for a rotary dial phone.
● You look in the mirror, squint, tilt your head to the side and conclude that’s not YOUR face, but it is.
● Your spouse/partner prefers to sleep alone, as do you, and everyone’s a happy camper. Snuggling is over-rated.
● You come across your late parents’ adult diapers and are about to toss them but stop. Nope. They might come in handy some day.
● You make a joke and the thirty year olds don’t laugh because they have no idea who Dinah Shore is.
● People refer to you as m’am and automatically offer you the senior discount and you are not offended, as you were once upon a time, but welcome the savings.
Although I acutely miss my late parents there are times, when I’ve done something I’m sure my parents would not approve of — they’re still in my head — I think, well, too bad, mom and dad. You’re no longer here calling the shots. I am. Get used to it.
It’s imperative you keep your sense of humor about these changes. Better that than sitting around bemoaning the loss of your tiny waist or your close up vision. It happens to everyone, maybe earlier and more egregiously for some than others, but no one entirely escapes the tell tale signs of a long life, even if they have a plastic surgeon on speed dial.
This writer has opted to make fun of the undesirable age-related quandaries because I know there is no going back and I don’t want to go back even if I could (although I would eagerly snatch up a version of my 20-year-old skin if that were an option and, oh, yes, 20-year-old eyesight as well.)
If all goes according to plan, the older you get, the older your children get and you continue to love and enjoy them but … you don’t have to live with them anymore and aren’t responsible for them. Hip hip hurray! Grammy gets the good chair now and also gets to keep some of her money!
The older you get, the more likely you are to have grandchildren, which is my favorite part of being age 61 (almost 62.) No, I do not want to take on the full-time responsibilities of a child, any child, but I surely do love those snippets of time when my granddaughter and I are shooting the breeze. Six-year-olds can be very entertaining, you know.
I now pick my battles very, very carefully and don’t sweat the small stuff like I used to. Menopause is a covert knight in shining armor. It allows women to man up, get tough and funny and roll with the punches like nobody’s business.
You want to have a good time? Get in the midst of a bunch of rowdy 60-something women and you are going to laugh until you cry and, probably, pee your pants (that’s when the late parents’ adult diapers come in handy.)
These dames have wrinkles and loose skin and might not have all their teeth. They have physical scars from their various surgeries and injuries and invisible scars from the wounds they have suffered over the years but they are not less for it. They are more.
Their hair may be thinner and they may be a lot fatter than they were in their ‘prime’ and they may hobble a bit instead of prancing but they embody and exude richness and bawdy elegance.
They are a delight.
Old age is fine by me.
Let the good times roll!
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