When you reach a ‘certain age’ – let’s say 60 for argument’s sake - you start to wonder about a lot of things – and not in a sense of the breathless ‘ooh my, golly gosh’ kind of wonder; more like the dark suicidal kind of wonderings in the middle of the night, when everyone else is asleep. Who am I? How long will I live? Is this all there is to my life? Why don’t I have lots of money? Why can’t I retire, like so many other people my age? Why do I still want to listen to alternative music, wear black and refuse to put a blue rinse on my hair? Should I have a headstone or get cremated? Will I take years to die?
You know, happy kind of uplifting thoughts like that.
When you start to get into the ‘latter half’ of your allotted years on this planet, you start to see that you are actually mortal. Whodathunkit? You have an expiry date! Some people in your immediate surroundings (won’t mention names) view you as an ‘old’ person – and I’m not talking about the under ten year olds here.
You still believe that you have a handle on all the cool stuff, you know what’s potting. But that’s it. When you KNOW that you’re in with the cool shit, you aren’t.
I hate getting old. I almost had a heart attack when I turned 40 and wanted to kill myself. I was depressed for months – I couldn’t see any good in getting old, I didn’t want to end up like all the old people I knew (who were in their Fifties at that point). I didn’t have any forty-odd year old role models to live up to. All the forty year olds I knew where old people already and trying to act like their parents. I never wanted anything to do with being like my mum - for God's sake I discovered Jimi Hendrix and wanted to have his babies! Now I realise with horror (and sometimes pride) that yeah, I’m actually turning into a somewhat out of focus, blurry copy of my mother. Without all her annoying habits of course because we all know that I’m perfect.
In the past few months I’ve had to come to terms with the following facts and they are all things that OLD people have to deal with on a daily basis:
- My teeth will probably fall out in the next five years or so and I don’t have the money to get screw in ones, so will probably end up wearing falsies … oh god, kill me now.
- My shoulder has developed a nasty condition called ‘rotator cuff with impingement’ and I believe the tendon/s is/are torn beyond any hope of fixing with draconian physiotherapy. I will have to get this surgically fixed and right now my doctor ain’t coming to the party.
- I really think that I might be going deaf – either that, or the grandkids are getting pretty good at talking under their breath. I can’t hear what people are saying in a crowded environment and hate going to school halls for kids concerts or things like that because I can’t hear a freaking word anyone says to me in the chair next to mine.
- I worry all the time about getting breast cancer (like my mother did) but then I look on the bright side and think how awesome it would to get these two mothers chopped off – I’d be free of the 40E chest! But knowing my luck, the surgeon would butcher just one boob and I’d be left with a mangled left breast and a full size right boob … how wonderful, that would be enough to make me jump in front of a train.
- Driving is becoming irritating and sometimes downright painful because of point number 2.
- I have hypertension, so am on blood pressure tablets which according to my sadistic doctor I will be on for the rest of my life. Why? My BP is back to normal. I’ve repeatedly told the stupid quack that the only reason my BP is high is because of the continuous pain in my shoulder but he doesn’t listen, cos he’s a twat. There I said it. (one of the perks of being old-er is you can insult people and get away with it because everyone assumes you have dementia or early onset alzheimers).
- Because of the meds I take for the BP, I sometimes get swollen ankles and lower legs – so again I told the quack that I wasn’t going to be taking them thar tablets anymore, because of the swelling. He just says, oh well the tablets are agreeing with you, your BP is down, so you will just have to get used to them. That’s when I got up and attacked him with a pair of scissors (well, I day-dreamed that I had). Anyway, I won this last battle and got him to give me BP meds that lower the BP but don’t make me swell up, duh.
- I am as blind as a bat, actually I think fruit bats can see better than me. The spanking new very expensive multi-focal glasses that I got from SpecSavers about six months ago are rubbish, the protective coating is coming off the lenses and the prescription is useless.
I could go on but no, I won’t because OLD people go on about their ailments; young, cool, hip people don’t ruminate for years about their osteo-arthritis.
Hey, but I’m still listening to cool music. If Rory McCann walked into our Post Office this week and started chatting to me, I'd probably ask him out on a date - I'm that bold (something I wasn't when I was 30!) . I am learning new skills – just got my foot pedal and serious sound mixer from the company I’m going to be doing media transcription work for soon ... that is when I can figure out how to get through the 44 page transcription software manual that they sent me.