IT HAPPENS to all of us. One day you are a nimble 10-year-old who can do the split and the next, you are cranky 70-year-old when you misa your daily nap. Where did the years go, you ask yourself? Your life seems to have whizzed by, like a shooting star, a momentary fiery blaze before it faded into the nothern sky. How did you know are getting older? Is it when yoy forget thinfs easily or when yoy realise you do not have the same energy levels you had a decade ago? Is it when you look at pictures of former clasates and wonder, ” Who are these geriatrics?” Stuck in your mind there is an image of what you used to look like, what you happened to your face. Not tp mention your waistline. Wait a minute! Is that another grey hair? You are looking in the mirror aghast. They seem to pop up overnight. Not that you are counting. As for the lines on your face, those just get deeper by the day, telling tales of happy, carefree days when you laughed until your sides ached.
How do you know you are getting older? Its is when you look at your parents and realised they have aged dramatically. Getting up from a chair or sitting down is a task of mammoth proportions for them. They give you too much information about their bowel movements and wax lyrical for hours about body aches. It was just yesterday when they were telling you off about your grades. Now yoy have to remind them to take their medication.
The tables turned, amd you did not even see thwm turning.
How do you know you are getting old? You get something. A condotion. It may even have an intersting name like restless leg syndrome. Something that now reminds you of your mortality and the general wear and tear of your body. Junk food begins to taste like junk, and you start to crave arrow roots witg diluted black tea for breakfast. You discover the glorious taste of H2O. If anything, you begin to believe Jesus should have turned wine into water instead. And so when you go visiting and your host offers different bevarages to attempt the palate, you shake your head decisively. ” Just water, ” you insist.
You begin to need glasses for useful things. Like reading. Previously, you only used the dark type to look cool. And sometimes shade your eyes. You also remember things frpm centuries ago. Things like what roads looked like before construction. You remember hoarding a public telephone booth waiting for a phone call from a loved one. You remember writing actual letters, posting them anf patiently waiting weeks or months for a reply. You talk about the ‘good old days’ , a past glorious that you could only have made some of it up.
One of my philosophical friends like to remind me that our spirit is ageless, even though our bodies will inevitably begin to slow and eventually decline. The part of me that likes to stay up all night dancong when I should know better believes her.