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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Everything's Starting to Click


I got an e-mail this week from an old friend bemoaning the gradually-increasing strength of his “forgeterrer” and the fact that his “rememberer” is broken.

As someone who has repeatedly voted against the aging process – and I think the record will bear me out on this – I must say that this has not been my experience. My rememberer is working just fine, thank you; and except for the occasional confusing foray from one room to another only to find myself standing in front of an open refrigerator for no discernible reason, I remain in full control of all of my faculties.

Hee hee. Had you going there, didn’t I? Oh, come on. Play along, and let’s pretend that we’re not all getting older!

I have an acquaintance who, according to his friends, has not changed one bit since graduating from high school. Still the partying frat boy. This is not as charming as you’d think. Just to get under his skin a bit, I mentioned the concept of “middle age” to him. Heartily offended, he said that he was absolutely not middle aged. “You’re 34,” I said, “Just how long are you going to live?”

So maybe 34 is not as middle-aged as, say, 40 or 45, but one is certainly moving towards checking a different box in the demographic information sheets. And apart from the ability to lose weight easier in one’s younger days, what’s the big deal? Would you ever go back to the hormonal, hyper days of your youth? Not in a million years. I was an impetuous, bewildered nutcase in my 20s (and 30s and…). I barely made it through the first time and that was before cell phones, FaceBook, and rampant tattoos. Can you imagine what kind of horrors I escaped just by not having those things available?

It’s just now, comfortably, almost comatosely in my 40s, that things are really starting to click for me. And I’m not just talking about my knees and neck here. I mean that things are beginning to make sense. What a relief! I guess in the long run I’d rather have it this way – being confused in the beginning and then gaining clarity as I go along – than the other way around…

Wait a minute. What was I just going on about? Something about clarity or something.

Oh, well. Whatever it was, I’m sure I’ll remember eventually. In the meantime, I’m going to step into the kitchen for a bit, just to check out what’s in the fridge. Let me know if I can get you anything.

32 comments:

Sioux said...

Yes, we of this age are subject to "power surges."

The 40's (and now the 50's) ain't all golden, that's for sure...

Paula Wooters said...

The true test... you know you're middle aged when you start forgetting how old you are.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Yes, I find I'm often thinking about the hereafter...you know...walk into a room and say, "now, what am I here after?". I often find myself searching in vain for the glasses I'm wearing. All I can say is, make lists, write everything down that you need to remember, make a copy cause you won't remember where you put that list.

fmcgmccllc said...

Wait til you open your mouth to speak and can't remember your words. Or why you wanted to talk anyway.

Rene Foran said...

This is me...for about 20 minutes a day, I am a genius...I spend the rest of the day trying to remember what I said, that is after I find the car keys...and remember why I came into the room, and where's the remote, and what was I watching, and I had to tell you something...what was it again? Agghh... It must have been a lie.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Ah, yes, the refrigerator, "the place where all the answers are kept." Mine needs cleaning.

Mitchell is Moving said...

Well, I'm apparently a bit (a bit???) older than you.

I didn't wear glasses until I hit my 40s. Now nearing 60, my eyesight sucks. My hair is either gray or gone (and mostly gone; I wish it were mostly gray instead). I have sun-damaged skin. Those crow's feet I so desperately wanted around my eyes when I was in my 20s (because they were sexy) are in permanent residence. And they are NOT sexy.

However, my memory is better than it was (well, at least as far as I can remember). And I have recently read that 45 to 50 is now more commonly considered the beginning of middle age. (Yes, it used to be mid-30s.)

My point is...

What was it we were talking about?

chlost said...

The truth of the quote "Youth is wasted on the young" is so true. But I can't remember who said it, and I have to say that nowadays, I really don't care....that is the next step as you get older. First you can't remember, then you don't care.
If you are just losing your rememberer a bit, you are in good shape.

TexWisGirl said...

i think i've gone from 'clicking' to 'shutting off'.

Ms Sparrow said...

I will often have a notion to do something and I'll lunge headlong in that direction only to stand there befuddled. However, it comforts me to know that even though I don't know why I'm there, I went to the right place.

Jayne Martin said...

Girlfriend, I could not agree with you more. At 40 I hit my stride. At 50, I became positively dangerous. When I turned 60 I declared it the new 40. Woo-hoo! There's so much to be said for being comfortable in one's own skin, even if that skin doesn't fit quite the way it used to. And as for FB, Twitter, etc. I fall to my knees and thank God those weren't around when I was younger.

jenny_o said...

You might be pleased to know that the younger generation, females at least, are also experiencing the forgetting. They just have a cuter name for it: mommy brain.

Sounds so much better than senior moment, doesn't it?

Which is all just to say - if there's too much stuff going into our brains, some of it's going to escape, no matter what age we are. And I'll cling to that reasoning as long as I can :)

Stephanie Pounds said...

As Grandpa used to say "Growing old is better than the alternative."

fishducky said...

I beg to differ! I am 78 & my memory is as sharp as it ever was. I never forget a thing. Why, just yesterday--no, that was in 1962--I...Who's calling, please?

Perpetua said...

Spot on, Pearl. My life really started to get interesting when I turned 40 and even in my mid-60s I can still have a lot of fun (when I remember to....)

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

As much as I'd like to have my painless joints and slim body back, I'm much happier at 67 than I was at 27 or even 47 (which is how old I was when I went back to graduate school to become a psychotherapist). I am more at ease with myself and have let go of the need to color my hair or otherwise disguise the signs of aging. So I'm old. It's a gift that too many of my friends haven't had. But my spirit is young and I feel much more inclined to take chances and say what I think and reach out to others than when I was younger. It's a great compensation for the wrinkles and creaky joints!

Joanne Noragon said...

OK, and when you come back from the kitchen we'll all take some baked potatos for the trip home. We oldsters probably will leave early and you kids can hang.

NotesFromAbroad said...

I am an old woman but I have discovered that since living in Buenos Aires, where we walk miles a day, I hate the food so I don't eat so much as I used to, that I am thinner and in better shape than I have been in for years !
I was never fat but now I am thin and in great shape .. I have stamina.
yay !
My knees still make crunchy noises sometimes and sunglasses still hide the worst of my wrinkles so I am okay with ageing right now.

sage said...

Pearl, since you already have the door to the fridge open, how about bring me a beer?

the bad thing about 50 is the math. You double it and you think, do I even want to live that long...

The Elephant's Child said...

My brain is full. I can add new things to it, but if I do so an equal number of things will escape. The escapees will be found at 3 in the morning. I will then go back to sleep onfident they will still be there when I wake. Wrong.

vanilla said...

fishducky and I share the age, and that is probably and then I said what's this?

Eva Gallant said...

I think it's a cycle or a circle--first confusion, followed by increasing clarity, followed by decreasing clarity, followed by confusion.

Buttons said...

What's a frig? B

Jacquelineand.... said...

I would never go back in time; never never never.

I don't think of it as losing clarity as I grow older; it's a pleasantly misty special effect.

Juli said...

I turned 38 on Friday. My memory is still as sharp as a tack.

It's my body that's a soft as jello.

HermanTurnip said...

"the gradually-increasing strength of his “forgeterrer” and the fact that his “rememberer” is broken."

Just today the wife asked me to get a hammer and help her put up Halloween decorations on the front porch. I froze, unable to remember where we keep the hammer (answer: in the tool box in the garage). The other day I called the cat "Tyler" and I called Tyler "Nemesis".

So yeah, I can relate.

Linda O'Connell said...

I can remember the past like it was yesterday but not what I walked into the other room for.

Geo. said...

I dunno, Pearl. Aging has its moments. I was at an old friend's party yesterday and sat down by a lady I hadn't seen for 41 years. I said, "So this is like, the future, isn't it?" She just laughed and held my hand. Youth doesn't offer such moments.

Rose L said...

I was at a baby shower today and the older relatives and friends of the pregnant girl (me being one of them) were chatting about old family recipes, experiences with birth and pregnancy, knee surgeries, aches, pains, getting old. I glanced at the younger girls all seated together and they were whispering to each other, laughing and rolling their eyes. They were getting a good laugh at the old people in the room.
I thought-Just wait til they are our age!

Suldog said...

Since My Grandma lived to be 105 (and her mother to 102), I consider my 55 to still be basically middle aged. Of course, when you factor in that my OTHER grandmother died at age 55...

the walking man said...

While you're in there would you get me the last Led Zeppelin album before Jon Bonham forgot he was alive?

Sextant said...

Yeah the 20s are sort of PHD work in adolescence, and the 30's something of post doc. Testosterone poisoning I read in a recent comment somewhere, a greater truth has never been spoken. How cruel life is though, just when your hormones calm down enough to allow you to enjoy life sensibly, your body starts to fall apart. Hormonal angst is replaced by cartilage angst with giant doses of glucosamine and chondroitin which seems to help and then some stupid study says...nope a waste of money...haven't they ever heard of the placebo? Leave us old timers believe our tales. It is a hell of lot less smelly than the Bengay that my grandmother used to slather all over herself.

I retired recently and one of the things you have to do when retiring is estimate if you are going to outlive your finances. Can I do this without resorting to Iams?

For actuarial purposes I used to use the age of 80 as a convenient date to check out. No definitive plans mind you, just an actuarial estimate to measure my life. When I was 20, it seemed great 20/80 is 25% consumed 75% left. Well when you get to be 62 (last year) those numbers begin to suck big time. 62/80 is 77.5% consumed. 22.5% left. What! Less than quarter. Now I am suffering percentage angst. BS to that. So I just jacked up that end number to 99. The fractions and percentages look so much nicer. 63/99 is 64% consumed. 36% left. Better than a third left! Hmmm! Does anyone know which flavor of Iams is the best?