Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aging Gracefully - Not Gonna Do It!

Not too sure just when it happened, but I think I have finally started to get old.  And I don't like it very much.  Granted, the age related discounts at eateries is a bonus.  And being retired is definitely a good thing.  But what my body is doing to me is not much fun.

My hair has been slowly turning gray over the past 30 years.  And over the past few years I have started to notice wrinkles on my hands that are not supposed to be there.  But none of that really bothers me all that much.  Having gray hair and wrinkles does not slow me down, or get in the way of doing anything.

I used to like the floor.  I would just as soon sit on the floor as I would a chair, sprawled out reading, watching the boob tube or just talking.  But over time the floor has become something that I generally avoid. It's not that I dislike being on the floor.  It's just that getting there and back has become more difficult; especially the getting back up part.  The floor seems to be getting harder as well.  It may be that the laws of physics are changing on us.

I have never been on to just pop up out of bed and be ready to go.  But recently it has become more than just being sleepy and fuzzy minded.  My body is trying to get in on the fun now.  Trying to get all the joints moving freely is taking a few minutes in the morning now, before they decide to cooperate and work together.

On a related note, long car rides are becoming a bit more of a challenge.  I used to be able to drive all day long on cross country trips with little problem.  Now, an hour in the car is about all I can handle without getting out to stretch and answer the call of nature.

Over the past few years I have developed a relationship that I would just as soon be able to terminate, but the other party is pretty obstinate.  Arthritis has been hanging around making a nuisance of himself, refusing to go away and leave me alone.  I don't care for him at all; but he seems not to care a whole lot about my opinions.

I also find myself drawn more and more to medical websites, trying to figure out what new trick my body is trying to play on me, and how I might be able to thwart it.  So far my body is winning, but occasionally I manage to win a round.  One of the disconcerting things I have discovered is just how many things can go wrong, and what little I can do about much of it.  But it has also given me a greater appreciation for the complexities of our bodies: we are indeed wonderfully made.

I think it is getting darker at night also.  And if it keeps up much longer I am going to have to abandon night time driving.  It is fortunate that I no longer have to commute to work.  The combination of dark wet roads, on-coming headlights, darkly dressed children playing chicken on their way to school in the morning, and increasingly darker skies in the early morning, is an accident just waiting to happen.

While there are some aspects of being nearly 60 that I enjoy, I think I'm ready for the process to slow down some.  So far, being older has not kept me at home in a wheelchair.  But when it forces me to leave the mountains and forests behind, I am going to be really peeved and will complain loud and long.  Consider yourselves forewarned!

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