Loosing things is part of getting – and being – old. There are always kind people around who reassure us by saying that they too – all their life indeed – have been loosing things; ‘it is nothing to do with age’, they say. But it is, and those of us who are old, know it is. It’s to do with failing memory of course,trying to remember where we put things and what we had planned to do next, but it’s also about failure of concentration. People who are kind to me, may say when I am dithering, ‘are you listening to me?’ The truth is that generally I am, but I can’t keep attuned to what they are saying as easily as I once could.
I first noticed it when names became a problem – and no one believes you know who they are if you can’t name them as well. Sometimes when I was still working I could remember a bit of a name – the first or the second, or even a nick-name, but never the whole lot. And trying to introduce one friend to another when both had become anonymous could be painfully embarrassing.
Forgetting names and loosing things. Horrible. Once when I searched for something lost only to find it was in my hand, our six year old grandson said soothingly, ‘Never mind, you are very, very old and things like that happen when you are old’. True, sadly.
Recently I have realised that that the latest thing I have lost is my waist: lost and never to be found I fear. I was never sylph-like, but a few weeks ago I became aware that I was always pulling up my trousers, as if I was employing the new fashion of the young for droopy drawers, quite inappropriate for someone of my age. Perhaps I was losing weight, I thought – a pleasing prospect; certainly I am not as heavy as I have been. But then it became clear that the weight may be alright but it’s the shape that’s the problem. Hardening of the arteries can be the penalty of age, but thickening of the waist as well it seems.
Yet another physical development that one could do without.
But I exist, and happily: inhabiting a body that often seems a stranger to me, but, true for all of us, mine is the only one I’ve got!
……This is the first of occasional postings that are effectively postscripts to the original series of blogs, and they will generally be not too serious observations on what it is like to be what some of us now are. Old!