Euroresiuk

Ageing and the Wobblies

For older people there are moments when the ground shifts under your feet, equilibrium is suspended and incipient panic takes over. We don’t have that many securities left and when the wobblies happen, it feels that you are in danger of losing even them…

Losing face, perhaps. That shouldn’t matter I suppose but in the company of the strong it’s no fun to suddenly feel that you have made a fool of yourself by saying the wrong thing or by pretending to a knowledge that you haven’t got and being found out…

Or losing control of a situation, watching a conversation that you initiated or structured falling to pieces as people move away or find it hard to hide their boredom, or even marginalise you as they change the subject. It shouldn’t matter, and we should take it as it comes (or goes), but somehow as you get older it’s harder to cope with…

Or even losing control of yourself – that tetchiness we’ve already identified as some people’s problem, and you get really angry over something that may not matter that much…

Or losing touch, as you find yourself in a group talking about things way beyond your comprehension.

Do you admit to ignorance? – ‘I have no idea what you are talking about’ – or do you smile in an intelligent way and leave others to do the talking, hoping that the subject will change very soon…?

And than, losing out – literally, by not being invited to an event which you thought was very much your scene, or emotionally by not being consulted about some occasion of which you are expected to be a passive part, but in which you haven’t been involved at the planning stage…

What to do about the wobblies? Not to mind them too much. Accepting situations you can’t change. Trying to get back to where you were. Picking yourself up and comforting yourself- you’ll manage better next time.

And then remembering what an extraordinarily bright person you once were – or thought you were!

Bryan