Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Expiration Date

Personally,   I do not believe I am a fan of this aging thing.  Just saying.

I don't know - I just seem to be feeling and noticing my age this year.  At fifty-five, I still enjoy pretty good health, asthma notwithstanding.  But changes in my body seem to be, well, accelerating.  Crap. Maybe it's the end of the year.  Maybe I'm just in a space.  Don't know.  Just thinking about it a lot.

People, God bless each one, still tell me I don't look my age.  I don't think, however, they have gotten up close.  In  my studio apartment, the bathroom mirror consists of a make-up mirror attached to the wall.  The magnified side is horrifying. My skin is wrinkling all over that face of mine.  My "jowls" are becoming more pronounced (thanks Mom). I am afraid I'm having to reconcile my mental age with actual age.

The skin on the rest of me is not faring much better.  Where it's not desert dry, it's beginning to hang like so much extra fabric.  "Loosing elasticity" is how WebMD put it.  I look at my aging hands and wonder if "Madge's" Palmolive soaking technique would help.  (Did I just show my age by referring to a 1970's commercial?)

Not my hands, but close . . .
Looking at my hands, I don't know why I just now have noticed that the "pencil callous" on my forefinger is more than that.  Actually, most of my finger joints seem to have grown arthritic bulges.  At least they don't seem to hurt much - yet.

Of course, there are all the internal signs of aging effecting the digestive system and other parts.  As a post menopausal woman who has birthed two kids, my bladder seems to have taken up residence in the most southern reaches of my body causing a host of issues.  Previous injuries in my youth cause discomfort, if not pain, with certain movements.  Nope, definitely not excited about this getting older thing.

I think taking notice of all the bits of me that are showing the wear and tear of 55 years is starting to freak me out because my mortality cannot be denied.  I work with aging, sick people everyday at the hospital, in palliative care and hospice.  We are finite beings with expiration dates.  This thrilling, awesome ride called life comes to an end at some point.  I am remembering that my ticket only takes me so far on this earth.  I feel both a great sadness and a sense of urgency.

I'm not afraid of death or even dying for that matter.  I have a belief in something beyond this life which gives me comfort and great expectation.  The natural suffering that comes at the end of life does not fill me with dread. It will be what it will be.  Unfortunately, I have just recently gotten to the point where I am enjoying the ride. Anti-depressants are awesome.  Thirty or forty more years somehow doesn't seem like enough.

Please, don't try to assuage these feelings. I need to sit with them for a while and analyze them.  I hope to live decades more and see my great-grandchildren graduate. Death is not imminent.  I think it's the reality of having to change what I dream for and where my hope lies.  I'm never going to dance across a stage or play Bach on the piano. That PhD may not happen, but it doesn't mean I can't write about that topic.  I may not get proficient with drawing but perhaps an extension class would be fun.  Tim isn't going anywhere anytime soon which brings me calm and contentment and a continued sense of adventure.

Those Northern Sun posters that read, "Growing Old is not for Sissies" probably is right.  I think The One Who is More and I need some heart-to-hearts, then I need reorder priories.  There is a time limit and those things and people, that are more important (and realistic) need to move to the top.  Time to stop farting around - there may only be 30 more years.

No comments:

Post a Comment