I’m standing at a precipice on the edge of the horizon looking down into an abyss. Or maybe it’s a chasm. I don’t know the difference. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be. Come to think of it, neither is anything else.
2017 was the year I accepted the fact I have entered a new phase of my life’s journey. My recent bout of back trouble took its toll on me. Not being able to walk without intense pain for two weeks made me realize a few things. For the first time in my life, I felt “old”. I can’t even use the word without putting it in quotation marks. In 2018, I’ll be joining a new demographic – the dreaded 60 plus crowd. The group of people who, according to poll takers, don’t really matter anymore. I’ll be part of the invisible majority who still have a voice but can’t make a difference because no one is listening to us.
This year, my experience working with the elderly as an Assisted Living Activities Coordinator taught me many things about life and aging. Life is not exactly a bed of roses, there are a lot of hidden thorns among the pretty flowers, most of them unseen before it’s too late. In contrast, I’m now working a weekend retail gig with members of the younger generation. The blank stares of seventeen year olds is enough to send chills down your spine. (And no, I don’t have a discount coupon I can give you.)
On New Year’s Eve, I probably won’t be awake to see the ball drop in Times Square. You’ve seen one ball drop, you’ve seen them all. I’ve aged out of the Ryan Seacrest crowd. And Anderson Cooper without Kathy Griffin is as exciting as watching paint dry. My love for New Year’s Eve festivities died with Dick Clark. I’ll catch the replay on the morning news. For some reason I’m more awake at 5:00 am than I am at any other time of the day.
Some things come naturally with age, like senior citizen discounts that I refuse to ask for even though I’ve been eligible for a number of years. One sure sign of aging is afternoon naps that creep out of the blue even on sunny afternoons. At 2:45 pm, my brain slips into sleep mode. If I’m home alone when this happens, my body shuts down; I feel numb, paralyzed. I drift off into something akin to slumber. No matter where I am or what I am doing. Even sitting in a chair “working” at my desk, I feel the rising tide of sleep engulf me like quicksand, and I’m gone.
So take heed, children of the younger generation. Do what makes you happy now. Don’t wait. I’ve got a million things I wanted to do before I turned thirty. I’m revising my time frame upwards to age ninety. And that still won’t be enough time. Hopefully, I’ll be reincarnated in another life where I can finish the things I started here.
Life is not all doom and gloom, although the current socio-political atmosphere says otherwise. I’m lighthearted enough to keep going and enjoy what new successes I may find. One thing I learned from my parents is “just don’t stop”. The minute you do, it’s all over. The view from sitting on the sofa is extremely limited. I don’t want my only window to the world to be through the warped glass of A TV screen (or whatever material these HD things are made of).
By the way, did I already wish everyone a happy new year? I may have. I can’t remember. In any case, let me do it again. You have to indulge me. I’m an “auld timer” now. Happy New Year!