It may have started a while back, but I wasn’t paying attention. I know that the battle with gravity started precisely on my 40th birthday. My boobs began sleeping under my armpits, and my chins started fighting for real estate on my neck. It’s not pretty. I have managed to avoid wrinkles, which is good- but I have this visual of waking up one morning and looking like a shar pei that got stuck in a bag of prunes. I’m hoping to make it the next 13 months until I turn 50 without too much drama. I’m just getting used to the stuff that has already started. There should be a manual. “The Idiots Guide to Aging”…..something.
My ability to read without glasses is long gone, and now I fuddle around with trying to be sure I don’t jump to a higher level of magnification of reading glasses too soon, thus making my eyes older or something. I just want to be able to read the microfilm print in the phone book, and get through the grocery store knowing what I’m buying. It would be sad to get bath oil to make salad dressing. When I get desperate, I wear two pairs of glasses at the same time, especially for the phone book. I say it’s a conspiracy to make us all just stop calling people or places. Apple is probably trying to get us all to rely on Siri. That bothers me. I don’t want to talk to inanimate objects at my age. I could get put away in some place with ‘Shady’ or ‘Acres’ in its name. I’m too young for AARP, but I’m plenty old enough for the nuthouse.
Sneezing and coughing hard have become interesting attempts to keep all ‘spraying’ contained to a tissue, but I’m finding that there are other parts that also spray mildly when agitated. I’ve tried Kegel’s, but nada. They can’t help one of those allergy sneezes designed to clear pollen from the last three years. Nope. I can still sneeze a ‘normal’ sneeze without needing hipwaders, but I’m wondering if those days are numbered.
Something I am enjoying about getting older is not having to worry about the mean girls. Nobody cares if I go to the grocery store in lavender shorts and a green shirt. I try to ‘match’, but if I’m getting close to laundry day, and choices are limited, I don’t lose sleep over it. If it’s clean, it ‘matches’. Nobody cares if my car is 14 years old. Or if my tennis shoes are from K-mart circa 2002. It’s all a non-issue. And that is nice. I never really cared anyway, but it’s nice not to have any petty condescension to avoid. Bah.
My memory is pretty good. I can describe the floor plan of the place I lived when I was 2 years old. Don’t ask me what I did this morning. I’ve also got the added bonus of chemobrain from 19 months of chemotherapy for leukemia. They say that can make a person fuzzy for a while. I’m kind of fuzzy. That is probably the correct term. I’m not demented yet, and I’m pretty sharp in most areas of my life, but there are cobwebs.
I got to shave my head and not worry about what people think of it. I don’t have to look at it, and it’s helpful for my weird heat intolerance (and I haven’t hit menopause yet). I’m going to see a surgeon about some cysts on my scalp, and don’t want to look like I have mange, so had the cosmetologist mow it down. One of the other cosmetologists was sweeping the fallen hair; he looked at me and said “Girl, we could make a fur coat out of this”…. precisely the problem. It’s hot. I may never let my hair grow back. I’m old enough that nobody cares.
I’ll be glad when I’m through menopause, but I haven’t even started yet. I’ve already got a major problem with heat. Hot flashes could be a bit dicey. I’ve served my time riding the cotton pony. I’m tired of Aunt Flow visiting.
I’ve debated how to deal with chin and lip hairs. Pluck, shave, or rip off with goo that sticks to the surrounding skin as well. Right now, I can get away with plucking, provided I check on things with the right strength of reading glasses. I had one hair on my inner arm hit an inch long before I even knew it was there. That’s a little embarrassing when I think about how long it might have been waving in the breeze before I tweezed it to death.
Overall, I’m surviving getting older. Senescence. The process we’ll all face. It’s interesting at times, and since I spent years working as a nursing home RN, I know what could be coming. I’m lucky. Physically, I’m already a train wreck on a good day, but so far, I can’t say that getting older is making life anything but better, at least mentally. The ‘little’ things really don’t matter. The big things are more appreciated. The ‘medium’ things are a sign that I’m still moving along. Aging isn’t for sissies, but I think I’ll be OK. 🙂