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June 3, 2009

I’m getting old. There’s no way around it. I don’t mean that I feel ancient or decrepit or anything, I just mean that I am noticing things that I had once thought only old people would notice.

For instance I am having real difficulty seeing fine print in low light. Just a few years ago, I could read the tiniest mice type in near pitch black darkness, and now I find myself searching out a window, tilting my head and moving the object back and forth, trying in vain to read instructions which I am SURE were printed  larger last time I bought these.

I’m driving slower. Kelly may argue this one, but she isn’t always in the car with me. When I was alone, I used to drive 15km over the limit. Always. That was my rule. And if I needed to get past someone, I might even go a fair bit faster, just long enough to get ahead of that slow poke who is for sure trying to box me in.  In essence I was an idiot. Not dangerous, but an idiot nonetheless. Not so much anymore. I’m quite content tooting along at just a few kilometers over the limit, enjoying the scenery and cursing at those young punks who zip past me.

But the biggest thing I’ve noticed lately is an awareness of the age of those around me. Facebook is the worst for this. I’ve had some time on my hands lately and so I’ve been surfing around in Facebook at the pictures of some of my old high school and grade school friends. Wow are they old! Of course they are the same age as me, but…they look so…OLD! Of course, if I was to ask a stranger to guess how old they are, they would likely guess around 40, which is correct. But that’s just it. They’re 40! When did that happen?  Last night I was looking at a picture of a friend, I hadn’t seen him since high school. It occurred to me that he looked like any of our dads looked when we were in grade 8 or 9. And then it hit me. We ARE at the age our dads were when we were in grade 8 or 9.  This isn’t something I had thought about, because I don’t have kids, but I did the math and it’s true. I am 41. When I was in grade 8, my dad was 41. I don’t know why, but thinking about it in those terms freaks me out a bit.

Then there’s the age of people providing services. One instance was in the hospital recently, on the second last day. Without giving you too much detail, I was to have small procedure involving VERY personal care, direct manipulation of a certain part of my anatomy.  My nurse, who herself was likely only 25 or so, asked if it was ok for her to have one of the student nurses do it so she could get some experience.  I said sure, of course, as I am not very shy and usually don’t mind student nurses.  So she spoke to the curtain and told the young lady behind it that it was ok for her to come in. Well, for Pete’s sake, this girl looked like she was 13! She did what she was there for, with instructions from the nurse, and she got through it with only a few nervous giggles. I’m sure she will be great nurse someday, but right now she looks like she should be playing with dolls or an easy bake oven, not handling my ummm…goods.

And then there’s today. I went to my family physician and he ordered blood work to make sure I am on track since leaving the hospital.  I went to the lab in the same building took a number and waited. When I was called in, the young lady taking my blood did not inspire confidence. I am not usually one to judge people on appearance, but other than being very young, she also had three piercings on her face (eyebrow, nose, lower lip). That alone I could have gotten past, but it was more the way she did her job. She was sloppy and rushed and somewhat cold. At one point she tossed, yes tossed, one of the vials of my blood on the little table behind her. It rolled to the edge and if it weren’t for the cotton swab she had already tossed there, my blood would have been on the floor. My immediate reaction was to blame her sloppiness on her age. I didn’t think “Wow she’s grumpy” or “Geez what’s wrong with her” or even “What a useless tool”  No, I thought to myself “This young person has no work ethic, what is wrong with kids today?”

I’ve thought that a lot in the last few years. But these last couple of months I’ve started wondering more if it’s just my age, or rather the age that I have reached. The age where we look at the next generation, the one just entering the workforce, and we think they either look way too young or are completely inept. Does every generation do this? Is it a phase? Am I going to adjust?

Maybe I just need some highlights, and a motorcycle.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2009 8:16 am

    I understand this, Sylvain. My opinion is that every generation does this. Well, I can say for sure that I did this, and it started around the same age, and gets worse—all of what you mentioned. Along with some more losses in the health area perhaps, and possibly more limitations. At least it was this way for me. And looking at all of the generations differently. I’m over 10 years ahead of you.

    Plus chronic aging health conditions, which have motivated me to make major changes in my life to improve my health.

    Also, though, there are benefits of aging. Feeling more confident, stronger, even at times wiser. There are many good sides of aging, especially being glad to still be alive.

    Another thing with FB is reading about people from my class dying from cancer and things like this. So young! I think…but not really. I expect more changes in my 50’s and 60’s. But oddly, I’m good with it—it has taken a while though. I expect that you will get more comfortable with it too, and that the good parts will begin to pop out as well.

    It’s all a process, and one that is truly wonderful despite the losses, if we can navigate through with grace and learning.

    That’s my opinion 🙂

    You’ve described the beginnings here very well! Love and blessings,


  2. June 4, 2009 10:33 am

    Well, you do need reading glasses. This happens to everyone around forty, my friend. Its the first to go.

    As for the “kids” you are encountering in the work force, how unfortunate that some are sloppy about their duties. I would have reported the blood taker as her work is vital to human lives and none of us want tainted blood tests. Yikes.

    After that I am laughing at you only because I am so much further up the ladder of age. And it is only this year, as I enter my 68th BD this month, that I personally am noticing my “aging” process happening. DH has said it’s been there a while already, he’s noticed, but I am, I guess, out of denial now and see the crapey skin on my arms and starting on my neck that was not there before. It’s very weird to watch your body change in ways that do not match how you feel inside. Inside I’m still that young girl who had taunt skin that held everything up, nothing yet defying gravity. But this is changing and I know it’s a fact of life. It’s a little creepy and a little scary, as it’s something that is not going to get better…just more so or worse. I always said I wanted to age gracefully, but no one told me it would be so……………..yucky.
    Cest la vie.

  3. June 4, 2009 10:39 am

    PS the good news is that you become so much wiser, and smarter, and learn to make time to smell the roses, and enjoy life to the fullest. Now you can do all that at your ripe old age of 41 too, but know you have even more wisdom to gain so looking ahead is a positive thing. I do love life and I do appreciate all that I have in mine. And am extremely excited over the new found love of art that has happened to me in my sixties!!! My creativity has blossomed in the past few years beyond my wildest dreams. So life just keeps getting better and better.

  4. June 7, 2009 8:32 am

    dude, I’m 33 and I’m looking at the 20 year olds going ‘your skirt it too short!!!’

    LOL. I prefer to think I’m maturing 😉

  5. Mr Bliss permalink
    June 10, 2009 9:29 am

    I have the same problem, except it’s flirtatious young women using the ‘ let me guess your age’ pickup line on me and yes they guess my age as about 37>45. Very insulting since I’m 58.

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