The Rabbit Hole of Aging

Posted on September 30, 2013


Alice looking down rabbit hole

What does the rabbit hole of aging look like for you?

It’s a curious thing, getting older. When we’re in our teen years, we so badly want to be older because there are adventures waiting for us. Years go by and adventures do happen. It’s not until middle-age that we notice just how similar we’ve become to our parents, the good and the bad parts. The crazy roller-coaster of life is starting to become less blurry and it actually feels OK to get off of it before you lose your cookies on the pavement.

So why is it that everything that is supposed to be good for me (like exercising, flossing regularly, keeping organized, eating right and getting enough sleep) takes work? Even after years of trying to engrain these life habits in my children, it still seems like I’m the one needing reminders and prodding regularly. Every so often I am blessed with glimmers of self-revelation.

Cappucino coffee

I’m cutting back on coffees – at least for now.

So … what have I learned for sure? Firstly, too much caffeine is eventually going to catch up with your stomach, and hanging out at the hospital’s emergency ward as a result soon loses its novelty as a people-watching experience – too many sick people around. It did, however, give me an appreciation that others are in a much worst condition than me. Looks like it’s time to find another morning boost. I’d considered a Kahlua shot in a cup of hot chocolate at breakfast, but figured I’d probably want to go back to bed for a nap rather than get on with the day’s affairs. Tempting, but unproductive.

With the fall yard tidying and leaf raking underway now, I’ve learned that no matter how many trees and shrubs I’ve pruned during the growing season in my yard, there’ll be an offsetting number of dropped leaves from the neighbours’ trees – and then some. I think that’s totally unfair. I keep trying to remember that it’s a good workout, but since I’m not about to run and jump in a pile of crunchy leaves (Lord, I’d probably hurt myself!), it’s mostly another chore on the list. “Sturdy” gals are supposed to handle it I’m told.

At this point, I should make reference to being called “sturdy”. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure, if I was finely dressed up for an occasion, I’d probably not be crazy over the reference, But being sturdy also means being someone who perseveres and is determined, not just being thick-set, a fact not lost on the measuring tape. There was a time that some neighbours believed I was constructing Stonehenge II after moving piles and piles of rock from the front to the back yard one summer. Besides, the descriptive was given to me as a compliment (I think) from a respected older fellow who could have easily outlasted a worker half his age in the landscaping business. Yes, sturdiness is a decidedly good thing to be; many a centenarian will admit to having that trait and its role in their longevity. I guess keeping up the gardening workout is non-negotiable. Hope the Tylenol isn’t too far away though.

Floppy ears on bloodhound

Is this what I have to look forward to?!

In a perfect world, I would embrace the changes in my aging body as an encapsulation of life experiences. (And I would be respected for the worldly, talented creature I am – yeah right.) Sadly, though, from a purely esthetic perspective, I was not impressed to discover that not only “the girls travel south for the winter”, but ear lobes tend to stretch and sag with advancing years as well. Not only that, but wearing large, dangly earrings, which I like, worsens the condition. Great! Picture the bungee cord harness/corset up front and tying my ear lobes back like a winter trapper’s hat when I’m 80! Yikes! With shoe size likely increasing with age, perhaps a nice pair of snow-shoes would fit well with the lumberjack look.

Please, say isn’t so. (I know I’m a sturdy gal, but come on …)

I doubt whether Alice in Wonderland ever thought about the caffeine levels in the tea at the Mad Hatter’s tea party or about joint pain after chasing the White Rabbit. It was simply one adventure after another. Alas, the pocket watch kept on ticking. Aaahhh, to feel some of that sweet vitality again … I miss my coffee.

Posted in: Mid-Life Quirks