I am rapidly approaching that “elderly” birthday, the one that can no longer be kindly categorized as late middle age. For the most part, I don’t notice a difference, but there are some interesting dichotomies. My memory is slowing down, especially when it comes to short-term memory, and I am a bit slower in thought, but on the other hand, I think that I think better, if that makes sense. I’m also a bit slower physically, some of which is due to age and some to my perception of age, by which I mean that I am respectful of my years and try to make accommodations, even if they aren’t strictly necessary.
For example, I have no trouble shoveling my sidewalks, and yet I won’t go walking in the snow unless I must, and if I do have to, I make sure to wear non-skid hiking shoes and use my dual trekking poles. I also make sure to carry my single hiking pole whenever I am out in the dark or in any other possibly adverse condition, though to simply take a walk on a good weather day, I leave it behind. (People call it my cane, which I object to because a cane seems such an elderly thing to carry, but I suppose technically it is a cane since I’m using it in the city to help with my balance as I navigate broken sidewalks and bumpy streets.)
Now that my knees are doing better, I could probably climb stairs without too much trouble but I am very careful when I’m on stairs, walking up or down like a very old-elderly woman instead of a young elderly one.
Knowing how easy it is to trip, I try to be aware of what I am doing, even when walking around the house. I pay particular attention to the sill between the kitchen and dining area; it’s the sort of thing old women tend to trip on, and after such a fall, too many of their lives are never the same.
Sometimes I worry that respecting my years and acting like an old woman will age me more rapidly, but I tend to think it’s better to err on the side of caution even if I move slower than I could. Of course, accidents happen to even cautious people, but I can’t worry about every little thing — otherwise I’d never do anything! But still, I am trying to respect my many years of living so I can be around to enjoy more of them.
What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive? Would you even want to?
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