I believe that age is just a number…..I just never thought that the number would suck. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy and content. I look back and see what I’ve accomplished with pride and look forward to making more contributions in the future. I’m just surprised at the decaying orbit that is my diminished physical capabilities!
I am not really old ….as long as my mother is alive SHE is old……it’s just that ” young” is no longer a word that I am entitled to. I miss it. But I have other stuff like “experience”, “wisdom”……”accomplishment” ….……um…….uh……well…I have other stuff….somewhere.
But things like “age appropriate” are creeping into my mind when I look at clothes.
Also, after living an active life with all of its corresponding injuries my body is laughing at me and has started to do things that make me realize that it no longer belongs to me, but that I belong to it.
I have recently begun to realize that this world is no longer mine……I have done to it, given to and taken from it and helped shape it as much as I can and that it belongs to the next generations to shape and fix. I still care but the big fight just isn’t in me anymore…I’ll settle for the little ones.
I suppose that I’ve earned and learned things that makes this stage of life more fulfilling. Like knowing that fiber is important, that you can’t buy gums so keep them flossed, that with enough money you can reverse all that sun damage but will have to live the light free existence of a mole afterwards. I know with absolute certainty what that pizza will do to me in about 2 hours and that you should never trust a fart.
Every day, in small and big ways I am reminded that I just don’t have the same control, stamina, strength or even the body parts that I used to have. That time isn’t an unlimited resource on an infinite runway. None of this makes me sad, it’s just an adjustment. After all there is the vast experiential wisdom and senior discounts that one gets as the benefits of age to console me but I still get slapped with these realizations routinely.
For example, in my effort to declutter I came across a pair of cut-offs (old person word for jean shorts) which I wore in college. Since I am on a weight loss jihad (old person speak for avoid diabetes and have regular bowel movements) and I am now wearing clothes that haven’t seen the light of day in many years…….of course I tried the shorts on.
The good news is that I was able to get them up over my ass without the use of a heavy lubricant, the bad news is……..I’m not in college. My legs are not in college, my skin is not in college, my grandmothers thighs (which are now mine) are not in college, my ass is not in college and not even in the anatomically correct position where it should be.
I felt that I looked like Bette Davis in “Whatever happened to baby Jane” (you have to be old to know what I’m talking about)
WTF……so now even if something fits, is the right color and style, is affordable and cool I have to worry about ” age appropriate”! Life isn’t fair. This is in contrast to Ron, my beloved, who is older than I am but gets to wear anything he wants no matter what his weight or age since he’s a man and t- shirts ,hoodies, cargo pants and sneakers know no age and apparently look better with permanent food stains down the front of everything. This is how I know God is a man.
Then, when my body was younger it performed as I wanted. I was healthy and fit and I abused it regularly and without concern since it would always spring back. Immortality and invincibility …..that’s the beauty of youth. Today , based on TV commercials , I and the rest of my generation can look forward to a future as smelly, prolapsed, limp, leaking, sagging, bedwetting, sharting ( old persons ailment of shit farting) , demented, deaf, hirsute gas bags trying to conquer age by squeezing into skinny jeans , getting hair plugs and freezing our faces.
Thankfully sex is still a part of life but we risk blindness, and death with a little blue pill to have it and we now make the same sounds just getting out of bed that we do/did during sex.. “ ooo-ahhh, ouch, oh no, OH GOD, ok here we go, can you pull me up, NO! don’t do that, I’M UP! “.
Well, at least we have a longer life span than our parents and have time to get used to all of this. But really……..did we ever imagine we’d become our grandparents?
On a positive note I really do feel a sense of accomplishment which does come with age.. I’ve had a good life, a fun life and have had love and friendship. I still feel that there is a lot for me to do and that I have the opportunity and experience to do it. I’m especially proud to be part of a generation which arguably accomplished some absolutely epic things.
I was reminded of this a few years ago while on a trip to California and I was walking in to a Whole Paycheck grocery store. As always there were people outside asking for signatures to save something, free floating sea snot I think….who knows. Anyway, when asked I politely declined to sign the petition. The young man who asked me then shouted at me saying ” what’s the matter lady don’t you care?”.
The eyes rolled to the back of my head and without hesitation, with great speed and at the risk of further herniating my C-4 and 5 discs I spun my head around and spit out the words…” Son, I ( meaning my entire 76 million strong generation ) saved the whales, protected the ozone layer, got lead, pesticides and poison out of your food and home, invented the organic food movement, invented the technology of the internet as you know it , reinvigorated a free press and stopped a war……..I cared and I did something…..I’m done now it’s your turn, go do your job!!” I then snapped back around limped in and bought some overpriced sustainably grown , local organic food smug in the thought that all this kid has is youth …I ‘ve been to where he’s going and I know stuff…SO THERE!