The process of ageing brings with it varying degrees of social unease, moments when your behaviour betrays your age, and you look around to see if anyone has noticed. Generally they have, or pretend that they haven’t.
One such problem is reaching for something only to discover that you have either missed it or hit several other items on the way. There is a disconnection between the brain’s intention and the limbs that one employs to carry it out. Cups crash and bottles fall over and kind people mutter, ‘we all do that’, which everyone knows is untrue. I had been using a saw the other day and carefully sheathed it with a cover designed to protect the hands. And cut my finger. That sort of thing.
It can be difficult to play a full part amongst a group of people. Its not that you are deaf though perhaps just a little hard of hearing, or that you find the subject of conversation dull. It’s just that sometimes you have thoughts that lead you on a detour of your own and then when you come back to where you were, the others have moved on.
Bravely you try to regain a place in the group but say something that may bear no relation to what people are now talking about. They look at you with bewilderment or compassion, and you wonder if it’s worth making up some story or confessing the truth.
Then there are the noises one may produce in company which are more appropriate to the bathroom. It was fun when we were once naughty little boys or girls in the playground, but now that we are into our second or third childhood it’s not funny at all. I remember it happened when we were with a member of our family some years ago, and I found it quite amusing. Not anymore.
Out walking with a friend can be difficult. You notice (they may do as well) that he keeps knocking into you, and you realise that although you can keep up your normal walking speed, your sense of direction too has become a bit erratic.
One of the tests for possible senile dementia I believe is walking in a straight line. I can more or less still do that.
Then there is this problem of remembering people’s names, common enough for some of us through life, but worse than ever as we get older. With patience one can sometimes get there but often when it’s too late. I can often manage the first name but rarely the second. The worst scenario is when you are trying to introduce two people to each either, neither of whose names you can recall.
And so it goes on! And so do we!!