Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh, This Is Fun - NOT! Part 1

I've been feeling old lately. Not that I'm that OLD - I'm only 51. It's just that my physical body doesn't seem to be agreeing with my chronological age. I exercise every day and try to eat healthy, but my body has decided that it just doesn't want to co-operate. It resists my movements and utters these weird sounds and creaking noises when I bend my knees or do other things. Okay, the knee/joint cracking does run in the family - but it still doesn't have to be so loud, does it?

You know how some athletes such as tennis players always make those loud noises when they hit the ball? They say it gives them extra momentum. Well my body seems to need those same noises to inspire it to move.

Then there is the sagging body parts, increased wrinkles, age lines and other signs. Nothing seems to be in quite the same position - let alone condition it used to be! Not that I had a great body in the first place - it just seems to be showing the wear a little faster than I would like.

I knew this was all coming - eventually. I just wish it would have waited a while longer or at least wasn't all coming at once and being so obvious.

You see, like most women of "a certain age", I have felt like I am really hitting my stride. I know what I like and don't like. What I will and won't tolerate. I have beliefs and opinions and I've finally gotten to the point where I'm not afraid to share them. I've got a good group of supportive friends in my personal life and on line.

So in most respects, my life is pretty good. Okay, I'll admit that it would be nice to have a special someone in my life, and I wish that I didn't have to watch my finances quite as closely. But I can survive without a guy and I've lived on less.

What I don't like is being betrayed by my own mind and body. Growing old isn't always fun and it presents some unique challenges especially for women. Sure there are benefits like the eventual freedom from the monthly "curse" but there are a whole new set of issues that arrive with that.

Okay guys, I know you are probably starting to squirm - but please keep reading because if the lady in your life hasn't gone through this yet, then you need to listen up. You may actually learn something - or at least see things from a different perspective.

I'd heard stories from my female relatives and gal pals about what to expect. I've watched other women go through it and shuddered as I considered what may be to come.

As a teen, I remember the mother of one of my girlfriends going through it. She lived in tank tops year round and seemed to almost constantly be in a bad mood. My own mom was constantly turning down the heat to the point where dad and I sometimes wore long johns and extra sweaters just to stay warm in the winter. If she was home alone, she'd turn the heat down completely and even open a window if she was still too warm! If we had company, or if she was cooking in the kitchen, she'd step out on the back steps for a couple of minutes without a jacket. The women also seemed to be very forgetful. They could walk into a room and forget why they were there or what they wanted to say. (Oh goody - this was going to be fun when my time came!)

My female friends refer to these brief memory lapses as "Mental-pause"!

My first real clue that my time was coming, was when my memory started to have little blips of forgetfulness. I'd always had a bit of an elephant like memory. I didn't need to make lists (even though I did as a backup). I remembered dates, details and circumstances of some things long after they were relevant. I was the one that others asked for info when they didn't remember.

It started out with little things, like forgetting what I was looking for, then forgetting things I needed when I went shopping. I'd put the list in my pocket, but forget it was there until I was on my way home! I forgot my watch a few times which is really a nuisance when you are relying on buses and trying to figure out how much time you have till the next bus. A couple of times I forgot my pocket magnifying glass, which made reading my list impossible and trying to find certain items in the grocery store a lot harder. Luckily I found a helpful clerk. The worst though, was forgetting my monocular which is what I use to see distance and to cross the streets safely. Luckily, the times I did forget it, I was going to places I was very familiar with, so felt fairly safe. Besides, if I went back, I would have missed my bus - silly I know, but I knew if I took it slow and a little more cautiously, I'd be okay and I was.

There is much more to tell in this tale of aging, but this post is long enough for today, so I will post the rest on August 20 - assuming that I remember!


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