Yesterday, I had a conversation at my eye doctor’s in which I mentioned that I am getting old. The nurse said that, well yes, everyone is getting older. Sparks went off in my aging brain (admittedly, it took a little while for each spark to spark, but they did). I cannot recall ever thinking, while I was young, that I was actually getting older every single day. Yes, of course on birthdays, I knew I was a whole year older than I had been the year before. But even that knowledge, if it was indeed really knowledge, did not bring to mind the idea that every single day since I had been born, I had actually been getting older. Really getting older. Young people, if I am or was an example of young people, simply do not realize that they are aging minute by minute.
At one of the jobs I worked at over the years, my boss was a forty-something sort of hunk who had an eye for younger ladies (and who was virtually knocked over onto his ass when my very good-looking gentleman friend [yes, just a friend, that’s all] came to pick me up for lunch one day). So, upon my announcement that I had just “celebrated” my own fortieth birthday, said boss noted that I was certainly now on the downward slide. Sexist pig, I thought (to myself, since I liked my job), why are women sliding down when you aren’t? I am not sure why I brought this up, but it sort of relates. He was not aging, but I was? Except that I wasn’t even aware, even as he said that and even as I had just had a birthday that should have reminded me that I was one whole year older, that I might be “getting older”. Aging does not happen to the young.
So, when does aging happen? Is there really a point in life when we look around and note that we have gotten older and can say to ourselves that we are in fact getting older all the time? Was the sexist pig actually on to something? I seriously hope not, but yes, maybe. When did I look in the mirror and see an old(er) lady? Is it when I started feeling old because my old body has begun to betray me? I know it was not when the hair turned silver, because I figured that was due to fright when I tried to hit the golf ball and it hit me back. (Don’t ask.) Yes, I have told you about the sagging and etc., but even that didn’t bring on the actual real belief that I AM getting older, have in fact gotten old(er).
I wonder now if the lack of realization in the young that they are aging is not set into our DNA, helping us to avoid thinking or worrying about the fact that from day one we are falling apart. I mean, who would do anything at all if that were the known case? Is that what brings about that group of people who live only to party, like my boss? Why not, if the downward slide actually begins at birth?
Ah well. So much for thinking about aging. It doesn’t stop it from happening, and can bring misery. Let the fun begin. Finally, I shall wear purple.