One of the continuing themes of this blog is I’m old.
I get it.
My back gets it.
My hearing (or lack of) gets it.
My eyesight (what’s left… especially at night) gets it.
If I didn’t understand, I would still have plenty of time to think about it on the days I wake up (for no apparent reason) at 4:30 am.
If you aren’t familiar with the Over 40 Challenges, let me explain.
Before your 40th birthday your body works. You can count on it. Very few aches and pains. You sleep well. Your vision and hearing are sharp.
You can run. And jump. You can walk without fear the next step off a curb will almost certainly result in a broken hip.
On the day you “celebrate” your 40th birthday this all changes.
Not the day before. Not the day after. On the exact day, 40 years after you were born, your body start to mummify.
Basically, you start dying.
And sadly, not a quick death.
A slow, painful one.
Activities you used to take for granted now require at least 20 minutes of stretching before you begin (yes, EVERY activity).
If you are younger than 40 years old, this blog will seem like the dithering thoughts of an old man.
Trust me, I speak the truth.
Old people used to try and convince me of what life would be like after 40, but I didn’t listen.
I thought they were fools.
All of their talk about watching what they ate so they didn’t gain 12 pounds after eating a cookie, falling asleep in front of the TV three minutes after a show starts, and being in constant pain because they sneezed the day before.
In my mind, they were weak.
After the age of 40, even the simplest activity is complicated.
Tying your shoes can cause back spasm. Mowing the yard is an invitation to visit the chiropractor.
Playing any game may result in missing work for up to six weeks.
Basketball. Tag. Monopoly. Petting the dog. They all put your health at risk.
I’ve come to grips with the idea… I’m old.
I’m okay with the fact the next 40 years of my life aren’t going to be pretty.
Luckily for me I will be asleep for part of this. And when I’m not, I won’t be able to see or hear much of what’s going on around me.
But this doesn’t mean I need other people pointing out the fact I’m not as young as I used to be.
Or want to be.
This is why I dread going to the optometrist.
And it’s not because I’m blind. I’ve been blind since the 4th grade, so this comes as no surprise to me.
Every year I get my eyes checked and since I turned 40 it’s the same song and dance.
I’m on year 3 of them looking at my file and the doctor always has the same reaction.
The head shake.
The “this doesn’t look good” head shake.
The “this doesn’t look good” head shake followed by a sigh.
The “this doesn’t look good” head shake followed by a sigh then me screaming “What!!!”
Same story different year.
The doctor always says “Now that your over 40, we may be looking at bifocals.”
I’m pretty sure the doctor is looking at MY file, not OUR file.
He has no idea what he’s getting for his 40th birthday.