When I looked in the mirror today, I seemed to be getting older and fatter. How can that be? After all, old age is something that happens to other people, not to me. The stiff joints and the aches, however, are constant aggravations that keep insisting that I’m not as young as I used to be.
Can it be that youth is something that eventually becomes obsolete? But I’ve always tried to fight the aging process, kicking and screaming – or should I say dieting and dreading?
Could it mean that I’m getting old when my kids start complaining about getting gray hair? It was only a few years ago that they were still at home, running inside sweaty and full of sand from the sandbox, putting sticky handprints on everything and forgetting to shut the refrigerator door. How can it be that my daughter says she found a gray hair yesterday and pulled it out? Oh my, it can’t be that long ago.
I can’t even remember the onslaught of my own gray hair. Of course, I’ve always tinted my tresses to what the advertisements tell me is a more attractive hue. The years just keep going by while I stay exactly the same – at least that is what I thought. The makeup has become a bit more of a necessity and a bit less of a frivolous luxury, but I am rather glad that the oily skin problem became a dry skin problem. At least I don’t have to worry about zits any more.
The fine print is more and more difficult to read and deciphering it is almost impossible to see unless I wear my eyeglasses, regardless of how much I squint. Why is the print on medicine bottles so small anyhow? There ought to be a law. I’m fought the small print conspiracy for a while with contact lenses. But alas, I’m beginning to lose the reading glasses battle even with contacts. I’ve always had crummy eyesight, though, ever since I was a kid. It couldn’t be old age, which is something that happens to other people.
It is probably the settled life and absence of activity that has caused my hips to widen and the food to settle in different places. I used to be able to eat anything I wanted without gaining an ounce, in fact, I was always on the thin side. Then one day I looked down and saw them – thunder thighs! I don’t understand. Why me?
Other people seem not to be fighting obesity nearly as hard as I am. From the looks of the leftovers that came to the office in lunches on Monday morning, some people must spend all weekend frying chicken. I’m determined, however, not to be a member of the herds of baby elephants that get on the office elevator with their big behinds and big lunch bags.
In spite of watching my diet, the small, insignificant aches of younger years are becoming more accentuated, and I am always wondering what will start hurting next. Creams, pills, and vitamins have become a way of life. A certain amount of arthritis is a constant companion, though not a welcome one.
Hormones keep away “the change” while I dread the day the doctor decides I am getting a bit too old for them. Hormones are the fountain of youth, the giver of smooth, elastic skin, the keeper of femininity. It is not the loss of the ability to procreate that seems so dreadful. God knows, I’ve given my share to the population explosion already. It’s just that these creeping wrinkles must belong to someone else. Old age is something that happens to other people.
I’ve accumulated more possessions than I will ever use, and wonder why I ever wanted all this stuff anyhow. Yet, I keep hanging on to my “stuff,” afraid to let go.
I don’t mind the birthdays that keep rolling by, even though I have quit acknowledging them. It is only that I used to be able to go shopping without becoming tired. Now my knees hurt and I need to go to the restroom. But, I believe I can hold back age a while longer with enough pills and makeup.
I’m still almost positive that old age is something that happens to other people. I can’t possibly be just like everyone else.