May 21, 2010

Old Lady Syndrome ©

Isn't it funny that when we are teenagers and even in our twenties, we look at anyone over 40 with a jaundiced eye. This is for several reasons. Older people:
  1. have old-fashioned ideas;
  2. have no idea about the younger generation;
  3. are not as much fun as people our own age;
  4. like to complain a lot;
  5. often get hurt or have something physically wrong with them; and 
  6. they are really boring;
Of course with age, we come to understand that the above is not quite accurate, except perhaps for number 5 which can sometimes be combined with number 4.

When you're younger, it seems inconceivable that your own body could fail you. Perhaps it's to do with the concept of mortality being such an unreal idea. When you're young, your body usually is flexible, doesn't hurt and does exactly what you tell it do.

You can leap over a fence, run up the steps two at a time, go on most rides at the theme-parks, you can party till the wee hours of the night, and you can pretty much stuff any kind of food down your throat without any seriously bad consequences... well at least not until you're in your forties.

In your 40s, this is no longer true.

While I would love to have the body I had 25 years ago, the reality is I'm not as young as I used to be. 

The whole body falling apart thing, kind of creeps up on you when you're not looking. There comes a point when you can no longer fool yourself that you are still young, at least not physically.

I recall talking to my grandmother when she was in her 80s and I asked her, "Do you ever get used to getting older?"

"No," she replied, "Just when you finally get used to being a certain age, you realise that ten years has passed by... You never really catch up with your actual age."

Now that I'm almost 47, and ready for a knee operation from damage I did in my teens, it's really sinking in that I'm no longer a cute young thing. 

This realisation was magnified by several people telling me that I would probably need to hire a walking frame after the operation.

Honestly, I didn't think I'd need a walking frame just yet.  I was hoping to wait at least another couple of decades. ©

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