The other day I was musing to myself that I can’t really pinpoint the beginning of my slide into senior-hood. I mean, other than retirement, I can’t think of a formal marking of the beginning of becoming an elder. Yet in hindsight, I see I’ve been here for quite some time.
So what are the signs of this state? If you aren’t yet a senior, listen and learn for this too will happen to you. If you are one, you will recognize them. It starts with utter denial. Yup. I simply won’t let all those signs happen to me. I will stay physically and mentally active. I will eat my veggies, quit doing all those dumb things of my youth and get regular checkups. I may even train for a mini-marathon. But in those solitary moments when you are just out of the shower, and the towel drops, so does the penny.
Just who on earth is that person in the mirror and what have they done with my body? And why is everything sagging? Several months later, when denial is no longer an option and you have worked through the five stages of grief for the loss of your body as you always knew it, acceptance becomes a reality.
Okay. I can deal with this. Shortly you will be blindsided with a new issue.
This is the one where you lose all your nouns and it is the issue where you come to love – nay adore your mate even more, for he or she will often be able to retrieve them for you.
That’s because his lost nouns are not the same as yours. He still has them but don’t get too used to it because sooner or later, all the nouns will be gone for both of you and you will resort to action games and charades to communicate the defining word of your intelligent thought. Perhaps this is why old people don’t seem to have too much to say anymore to younger folk. We are hiding a terrible secret and it’s best that they don’t know or they won’t let us play with our grandchildren. We still have working brains but it’s just way too much trouble to work out the lost noun thing.
Another shock is how many times one human being can drop something on the floor before he even gets out of his pajamas or how many pieces of furniture a person can stub her toe on. We used to be so graceful, so coordinated. However, I for one don’t necessarily see these things as completely bad. Bending over to pick something up limbers the spine and jumping away from a good solid toe stub is great cardiovascular exercise. But the most bewildering of all is that with cosmic speed, we can lose a thought between the kitchen table and the front hall and only retrieve it by returning to the place the thought originated. Of course, you are completely out of luck if you can’t remember that either.
Is there anything good about being a senior? Absolutely! Your sense of humor blossoms and you are far less likely to judge, if you have any brains at all. You are usually treated with dignity and respect, as you should be, in my humble opinion, if you’ve earned it. You are the carriers of history and the ones who can assure those younger than you that there is truly nothing new under the sun.
Best of all, you get to play with your grandchildren!