Greetings to all my long-lost blogging friends. I’m sorry to have gone silent for such a long time. I hope some of you are still out there.
They say 55 is the new middle age, but when you get to be 76, it’s hard to quibble with the terminology. I am old. NOT elderly, senior, in my golden years. Ugh! Call a spade a spade, for godssake. Maybe the realization that, at best, I have another 10 or 15 years on this planet, is what’s motivating my reappearance here after more than two years. I want to leave a mark, however tiny. A little pinprick that says I was here.
What can it possibly matter, once I’m gone? I don’t know. But the more retreat from the world is forced upon me, the more I want to push back, reach out, feel part of things again, leave some remnant of the person I was.
What they don’t tell you about old age is that graceful acceptance is completely impossible. I don’t spend all day raging against the dying of the light, but it infuriates me that I can’t read the fine print on a medicine bottle anymore, or see well at night, or carouse with my grandchildren. My shin bones have no padding on them. Any little bump hurts like crazy and leaves a big ugly bruise. Hair grows where it shouldn’t and stops growing where it should. Weird spots appear on my hands, white crusty lesions on my arms, skin tags under my breasts. It’s just sun damage, says the dermatologist, a life-time of exposure to that California sun. Every new spot looks like malignant melanoma to me.
I’m seeing a physical therapist for neck pain. Good posture helps a lot, he says. We practice. But both of us know at 76 years of age with severe scoliosis, good posture is not in the cards. Nor is pain-free living. I’d give my right arm for some pain-free living. Well, okay, my left arm. Maybe. So he mentions posture, and then we talk about Warriors basketball while he applies traction to my neck. Maybe it’ll help me regain those three inches of height I’ve lost. Three inches! Good thing I started out tall.
So, dear friends, you’ve probably read many things you didn’t want to know. I do not apologize; knowledge is power. Go climb a mountain while you still can.