My birthday is coming up next week; I feel better than I have in my entire life, but I usually take the time around my birthday to take stock of advancing age related issues. I'm trying to take a balanced perspective on aging. I will not submit to surgery, botox, tummy tucks, and other such means for maintaining a semblance of youth. I don't disparage women that do, but I don't have the money for these things and I like the challenge of staying the best that I can be naturally. Is that aging gracefully or gracelessly? My memory is total shit these days, so I'm wondering if I'm suffering the slow kill off of millions of brain cells. One article Internet source about healthy eating for staving off memory decline, likened aging brain neurons to old married couples--they get comfortable and lazy, just staring at the T.V. rather than talking to one another. I thought this very apt, because that's what it's like. My memory feels lazy at times, like I need just a few extra nano-seconds to get the memory out.
I have a job where I deal with a new group of 30 students every eight weeks. It might not be so bad if I saw the girls daily, but my contact with them is much less than a regular instructor would get. I meet them once or twice, talk to them on the phone innumerable times, and see their name in my database a million times, but I get embarrassed when I can't remember them. I want to remember all of them, but frankly the ones I tend to remember are the exceptionally bright stars or the perennial troublemakers, slackers, or total head cases. The average, ordinary and rule abiding, blur together in one nebulous faceless nameless blur. I'm hoping that I'm just being too hard on myself--that even a youngster might be challenged with my plight.
Since I am sick to death of writing about running, I thought I'd write a few pieces about getting older. I'll be 43 next Friday. I came home from work, dutifully prepared some pork chops to bake, set the timer for 40 minutes, and sat down at the computer to do some Internet blog research on memory related changes as we age. I decided to take that "Real Age" test. It's supposed to give you the real age of your body based on genetics, lifestyle, and history. I've often wondered about it. Well...I must say it's a very thorough survey. It took me forever to fill this thing out. I approached it honestly. I knew I was going to win a few years from all the exercise, but I'm also a former 1pk a day former smoker of 15 years. While my diet is generally good--I'm good about my fruit and grains, however, I have a medicinal approach to vegetables. I prepare them without adornment and choke them down like Robitussin during the evening meal. This test was thorough to the point of asking for the milligram amounts of each vitamin in my multi-vitamin. I'm still waiting on the results to be e-mailed to me.
So my husband comes home, walks into the kitchen and asks why the pork chops are still sitting out on the counter and the oven timer has just five minutes on it. I forgot to put them in the oven! Sheesh! And I was trying to have dinner on the table when he came home--for once. This is what I mean. I don't forget the major important things, just little things like this. At times I feel uber age defying young; like when the Wal-Mart ladies card me for buying alcohol. I'm stunned every time it happens. I have to hold myself back from jumping in their laps and kissing them. I've never had a baby face, but I think my relatively fit physique throws them. The nice ones tell me that I don't look as old as I am, as I try like hell to keep my facing from cracking in half from exalted glee as they hand me back my I.D. I am so stupefied with glee that I'm nearly shaking. I just can't believe it. Can't they see my wrinkles? The mean WalMart ladies throw the I.D. back at me, to where I've had to scurry down on the floor to retrieve it. One lady was so rude to me after carding me that I had a notion to turn her in to customer service, but them I thought better of it...she carded me after all. My husband has offered the theory that the Wal-Mart ladies are coached to do this for middle aged ladies to keep them coming back. He can be so mean.
Other times...I feel every bit my age as I hold that book farther and farther away from my face. Damn these glasses! I forget what I was going to do mere nanoseconds after having the thought. How many times a day do I stop in my tracks and think, "What the heck was I going to do?" I just don't remember doing this when I was younger.
And sex? Well...I can take it or leave it. I used to be such a lusty thing, but now it only comes out in my fiction in a wood sprite named Grete. Is it that I'm getting older or just that I've been married 20 years to the same man...however wonderful he still is? Ahem.... Or has the switch become an on and off one, rather than the former always on variety? Maybe sex goes the same way as lazy brain neurons. Just takes a little more to fire the spark...
My Real Age is in...I'll take it! My body is 34.5 even though I will be 43 next week. When you have a awhile check it out www.realage.com.