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Monday, 14 October 2019

Age related m'dear!!

Getting old comes to us all if we are lucky but it is nothing like I imagined it might be.  If I thought about it at all it was to see myself as a wise and serene old lady maybe with grey hair in a bun and wearing a flowered pinny who would be making cakes and bread and pottering in my garden, knitting and sewing and generally being a kind and gentle soul.  Pah! Not so!

I guess I knew I wouldn't be able to do some of the things my younger self might have done but what I didn't realise is that inside an old person is that younger self who cannot quite accept this.  I see young people running up, or even more scarily down, steps and stairs without holding the bannister and wish that I could do that too and I am jealous.  Yes really!

So how have things changed now that I am an old lady?  Well for a start although there are still 7 days in each week (I usually know what day it is too) and 24 hours in each day somehow the hours are much shorter than they were and so the weeks fly past - ask any old person who will tell you that this is so.  I dare say if/when one reaches the stage of having to be in a home and spending all one's days in a room full of other old people staring at the television and being taken to the toilet possibly even being hauled up out of one's chair with one's knickers showing and into a wheelchair for the trip there (I have seen this at first hand when I used to visit as a volunteer an old lady who ended up in a nursing home) then perhaps the hours seem longer than they were but for those of us who haven't yet reached this stage time has definitely changed and rushes past ever faster.

Then there are other changes like the increased number of appointments of a medical nature and wonderful though the NHS is in spite of all the criticisms made about it, I personally cannot fault the service, it is just that I would rather it wasn't necessary! So that might be where some of the time goes!  As my lovely young opthalmologist a few years back when I was seeing him for various eye operations used to say in answer to any of my questions about why this or that or the other had happened "I'm afraid it's age related m'dear"!  And it hasn't only been eyes since then.

Weymouth earlier this year
 I can no longer run for a bus nor get the lids off jars, lift a heavy pan in one hand whilst scooping the contents into a dish with the other, go upstairs (or downstairs) with my arms full as I now have to ensure that I have a hand free to hold the bannister.  I haven't had a bath for ages in case I can't get out and now use the shower instead, I have to think before bending down or turning round and do nothing suddenly and I try not to look in a mirror without thinking or I wonder who that old woman in the mirror might be with all those winkles!

Weymouth earlier this year

I have found that as I got older I have become more cautious and my sense of self preservation has increased - not that I am afraid of going for a walk in the wood on my own or going anywhere else on my own, I am not fearful when the doorbell rings and usually fling the door wide before wondering who it might be but it's just that I am less dare devil and take more care not to trip or fall these days and I am fearful too for those younger people doing things like leaping over a gate when they could so easily catch their foot and fall flat on their faces, riding bicycles in London (the Wanderer did this for a time and my imagination ran riot) or any other perfectly normal things which I might well have done myself without a care once upon a time.

Forde Abbey Gardens earlier this year
BUT there are some pluses to being old the most important plus is that I am still here when many of my friends and family no longer are.  I live by the mantra that "To live at all is miracle enough" these days.  Although time is shorter than it used to be I can spend it as I choose now I don't have to go to work.  Friends are more precious than ever before and we keep each other going always finding things to laugh about, I have a free bus pass so am able to go where I want on the bus for free as long as it is not before 9.30 but these days getting out of the house by 9.30 is too much of a rush anyway!  I have a Senior Rail card which entitles me to a third off rail fares again as long as I don't want to arrive in London before 9.30 but that would mean leaving home before 6.00am an unearthly hour that I would be unlikely to be doing anyway.  We rarely use the car if there is a bus or train route to where we want to go and so we are able to sit and enjoy the scenery and the ride instead of keeping our eyes on the road.  Oh and since all that time spent with the opthalmologist I no longer need to wear distance glasses and am legal to drive without them and for the cataract op the lens he put in enables me to read enough to do the shopping and look for a library book without needing to get my reading glasses out. Can't be bad!

Not quite true I made this one recently!
So although I am no more serene than I ever was, am not sure how much wiser I am if at all, I don't have grey hair let alone a bun and nor do I wear a pinny,  I rarely bake cakes or bread these days nor have I done much crochet or knitting and can see the day is nearly here when we will have to employ someone to do the garden for us I am still the younger woman I once was but with a few extra perks which I put down to getting older.  All is not lost after all!  Let's hear it for old age!

Thank you for your comments on my last post I can't promise I will be posting regularly but am enjoying putting my thoughts and a few photos together so I will be back occasionally.