I recently celebrated (or mourned, depending on how you look at it) turning another year older. For me, birthdays represent the milestones that measure how far I’ve come in life. It’s a time to reflect on my past and to look forward to my future.
Birthdays are also a slap-in-the-face reality check that I’m one step closer to getting my AARP card in the mail.
Pretty soon I’ll be pricing Hoverounds and buying clothes made for comfort rather than style. Velcro and elastic waistbands work well at this age, as do one-size-fits-all outfits. I can rock a housedress, especially if it’s in a splashy flower print.
There are other changes that come with age that are not so much fun. The mind is willing but the body is not. And the body has the last laugh because aging is a twisted cosmic joke….or a really bad form of karmic retribution. I’m noticing more and more physical deficits as each year creeps by:
- Loss Of Vision: My eyesight has steadily decreased over the past few years. Pretty soon I’ll need glasses with the magnifying power of the Hubbel Telescope.
- Arthritis: I pop Ibuprofen like candy and need to soak in a tub of Bengay every night before bed.
- Hearing Loss: I’ve been trolling Ebay for an ear trumpet now that my hearing is shot. My family is already annoyed with the amount of times I ask, “Huh?” and “What?” I can’t hear much of anything. Unless, of course, someone is offering me cake….then I can hear just fine.
- Fatigue: I’m tired of being tired. I’ve been drinking so much caffeine lately that my bladder has become a Starbuck’s Drive-Thru.
- Low Sex Drive: Forget the Kama Sutra. The only thing happening in bed is the missionary position and my spouse asking, “Are you still awake?” in the middle of it all.
- Osteoporosis: My bones have become more fragile and I bruise faster than a banana. At this rate I’ll need to invest in hockey goalie gear so that I’ll be safely padded against possible fractures as I walk from the sofa to the refrigerator.
- Gas: I used to clear the dance floor with my disco moves. Now I clear a room with my flatulence.
- Dental Issues: If I chew caramels at this stage of the game, I’ll end up with lock jaw or a few missing teeth. My gums have receded so far that I have teeth twice the size they used to be.
- Memory Loss: Wallet, keys, reading glasses….these items love to play hide-and-seek with me on a daily basis. I’ve either got a gremlin in residence who takes sadistic pleasure in hiding my belongings, or I killed too many brain cells playing quarters during my college bar hopping days.
- Wrinkles: I’m a fanatic about using serums and face creams with a high SPF. Even so, I am unable to prevent the laugh lines that are forming deep ravines in my skin. My biggest fear is that I will end up with a face that resembles that shriveled apple left in the back of my refrigerator produce drawer since 2011.
I’ve accepted the fact that I’m getting older and that at the end of the day my body feels like it has been through a rousing game of Whack-A-Mole. But I have also found the silver lining to aging: Retirement, cruising the countryside in a new RV, watching the grandkids grow up and giving my adult children a few gray hairs of their own. It’s also a great age to say, “I told you so…”, and if I’m really lucky, I can use my AARP discount on an industrial size bottle of fiber pills and orthopedic shoes.
Shuffleboard or bingo, anyone?
Read more from Marcia Kester Doyle on her blog, Menopausal Mother