Age Angst

 I honestly don’t know how it happened. Sometimes the flashbacks make me shake my head in disbelief and I have to pinch myself to see if this really is me now. How did I get to be in my mid-fifties already?!! And yet, looking back at pictures and memories, she seems like another person in a another world…or maybe a character in a book I read a long long time ago…or someone I vaguely remember seeing in a movie thirty-something years ago. I can’t always connect with the person in those photographs or the young woman in those flashbacks. It just doesn’t feel like it could possibly have been me.
Age. I don’t know if I’m middle-aged or old-age…where is the line these days? What I do know is that this body sure ain’t the same body that built sand castles at the cottage with my two youngest brothers all summer; or chased little children all over the playground as a day care teacher; or even the same body that carried heavy computer equipment up and down stairs and crawled around the floor hooking up cables every day for several years as a computer network administrator.
This is a stranger’s body…I don’t recognize it anymore.

The sharp mind that breezed through dozens of tough certification exams to become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (no small feat, that!) now hears the information echoing like a babbling brook draining out through the huge black holes in my memory banks. The best way to describe my brain these days is “Flash Memory”…things pop in and then disappear in a flash!
And my hair! After 30+ years, I’ve finally found a hairdresser who can give me that long-yearned-for Farrah Fawcett look…but only if you look from the front…if you approach from the back you could be forgiven for mistaking me for an endangered Bald Eagle.
And the boobs!!! Don’t get me started on the boobs! How did Maya Angelou describe them? Oh yes, When Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older, Maya Angelou said it was “exciting“…that there was something new happening every day…like her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist first.What she didn’t mention that I would have liked to hear more about was how they can still be very pointy – but pointy in all the wrong places.
And don’t forget about the leaks!!! I leak everywhere!!! I cry at the drop of a hat, and pee at the mere hint of a sneeze. We tried to go camping a couple of years ago and I spent more time running back and forth to the bathroom (which was about a block away from our tent) than I did in my sleeping bag. That was one night I wouldn’t have minded being a man.
Add some creaky knees, heel spurs and toes that can tell me there’s a storm coming even before the weather forecasters, and well, I’m really beginning to get scared. You see, we’re going to China in the fall. In China, they still use squat toilets in the public washrooms. I’m already starting to practice, and it’s not going well. It’s hard enough getting into proper position, but I still can’t get back up without, well, falling. With knees that don’t like to bend, heels and toes that don’t balance me well anymore, and boobs that just naturally pull me front and forward now (much like a dog on a leash when it spies a squirrel), it’s not a pretty sight going on in my brain…it’s making those long walks to the camp bathroom look like a walk in the park. 
And why doesn’t that Flash Memory work on demand?
Ah, the joys and excitement of growing old. Something new everyday indeed. I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings.
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About Sharon

I love to write. I love to write myself into being right here right now. Writing releases something in me that needs wings, writing opens doors and windows that I often don't even realize are possible, writing helps me breathe out the dusty old, and to breathe in the new and possible. My hope is that maybe writing here in this blog will bring new light into these dusty old hallways and help me to clear out the thinking processes and mindsets that just don't work for me anymore. I seek to breathe new light and life into the nooks and crannies of a soul that has been feeling somewhat lost and frayed because of the last few patches of road I've had to travel.
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3 Responses to Age Angst

  1. Ruth says:

    Oh, I can so relate! I'm glad to see you kept your sense of humor about this aging thing! Too funny. But don't feel bad, you're not the only one. I sometimes look in the mirror and scare myself because I don't recognize that wrinkled face. Inside, I'm still young!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Haha..I can relate too. You are going to China! WOW, that is soooo exciting!!! I say, don't squat, do your name justice: "Spread Eagle". lol. In all of this, though, I can give you hope. The more you move, the more flexible you get. It really works, and it happens faster than you would think. But just a week of rest will set you back. It has to be a regualar thing. Now that I'm retired, I try to keep on moving, and the knees and other joints aren't complaining like they used to. I feel better now, at 63 than I did 10 years ago. Angelika

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  3. Eagle Heart says:

    Yes, Angelika, I think the "spread eagle" thing might work. I've been going through my wardrobe and think I'll just bring more skirts than capris…much easier, don't you think???Thanks for the hope. Both hubby and I are getting out and walking more. We're going to start playing on the Wii again too…lots of good exercise in that little box!

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