I need a collar and saucer of milk

I confess that it is still hard for me to think of myself as a senior.  But I am now 72 – that is senior. You’d think I’d ‘get it’ by now but I kinda think I am in a bit of denial.  I still attempt to do what I did and then have to rediscover (midway through the task) that I STILL can’t do that anymore!

I.e., last year I would carry two five gallon fuel totes full to the brim up the 50 odd stairs without stopping.  Of course, I collapsed at the top but I got there without stopping.  Today?  I stop twice…..and still collapse at the top.

Is there really so much difference from 71 to 72?  I actually think the difference showed up at 70 but I kinda pretended otherwise for a couple of years.  I can’t pretend anymore.  Old is old.  I think (for me, anyway) old age set in at 70.  Of course, I have jogging, golfing, vegan-ish friends who gave up alcohol and ‘everything bad’ and seem like they are going strong.  They smile alla time and are always going hiking or cross-country skiing and all that kinda stuff and they pretend they are happy.

They really bug me.

I am not a happy-hiker type of guy….carrying a water bottle?  Wearing a Fit-bit.  Walking is just too slow.  Dull.  I am still more of a moto-crosser kinda guy.  Ya know?  Or even a golf-cart….in a pinch….

Anyway, the point is that living OTG gets a bit more difficult as one ages.  Everyone likely knows that…but, it is NOT that the chores can’t be done.  They can.  And, to be honest, they can still be done rather easily (so what if I stopped twice?  It only took an extra minute for me to stop and rest).  The point is really just that: age slows you down but everything can still be done.  And we are still doing it.  I just gotta accept that I am even slower in 2021 than I was in 2020.

More to the point: Sal has to accept the fact that I am even slower than before.

So, what does that look like?  Well, today was book-club day.  But everyone around is snowed in with downed systems and fires that need tending……..and well, in the old days they would still boat through the sleet and slog through the snow to eat quinoa and talk about sad books.  Not today.  The somewhat senior-oriented book club reasonably postponed book club.  THAT is age acknowledgment.  THAT is sane.

I had a fun thing to do a few days ago.  It was below freezing, the wind was way up and I had to get back in the dark (and it turned out to be snowing, too) in a small boat.  I thought about it and cancelled.  Sanity prevailed.  But….well, that is not the ‘old me’.   A couple years ago, I would have gone….mostly out of a sense of macho….none of which is in evidence these days.  The loss of macho?  Or is it sanity?  I dunno….

I had to carry some stuff down a frozen ramp the other day.  If I fell, going in to the drink was likely.  So, like an old man, I slid down the ramp on my butt.  No macho required but I did need to change my jeans.

And so it goes.  Creeping decrepitude.  An erosion of ego, a curtailing of courage, a blocked bravado.  Old man, thy name is pussy.

6 thoughts on “I need a collar and saucer of milk

    • True. Age sticks with you. It’s just that……well, I guess I am just not ready….ya know? Still, I’ll just adjust or die, eh?


  1. My 98 year old father used to quote this well travelled quip, “Old age sure ain’t for sissies,” and his infirmities added some personal weight to this observation. He feared losing his dignity.


  2. Suck it up buttercup! No one last forever. I’ve long exceeded my allotment of three score and ten, so every day is a bonus. yes, you have to cut back on the physical effort, but you also can reduce the number of activities. I still go to bed exhausted, knowing I have certain activities planned for the morrow. Can you imagine awakening with NO goals for the morrow>
    I started having my 80th birthday four years ago so it wouldn’t come as a complete surprise when it arrived.
    I sometime wonder what will happen when I can no longer handle the pace, but desperately hope it won’t be an assignment to one of those “Senior Placements”. But in the meantime I have a decade to plan for that. I just hope it doesn’t whizz by as fast as the last decade!


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