I’m not sure if it’s age or being an adult, but either way there are certain things I’ve noticed in the last year that have made me realize I am now old.
These are some of those things.
- Too much sugar will give me an instant headache. I used to be able to eat candy with no noticeable side effects. Granted, my mother probably noticed side effects, but I didn’t. But now I’ve recognized those side effects. And since cutting down on sugar – even in my coffee – I eat three Skittles and get a headache and feel ill.
- I now have to stretch to feel like a normal human being. I wake up in the morning with the immediate need to stretch out. I make a slight movement with my shoulder blade and cracks go up and down my spine. Young Me, you took for granted the ability to flit through life, unhindered by sore muscles and skeletal deficiencies.
- I have back and hip problems. And that’s a thing that I have to say to people to explain shortcomings. “Can we not go for too long a walk? My hip is out again.” My hip is out again? Yes, it is. I went for a long walk yesterday and today I’m limping – I repeat, limping – from bed to couch to kitchen.
- I make noises when I stand up or sit down. This has been happening for a few years. I didn’t really notice it until one day I was babysitting a three-year-old niece and, after a few hours of hanging out with her, I noticed she’d make little grunting noises when standing up and sitting down. And I realized she was parroting me.
- Exercise has become a necessity. I hate exercise. I’ve always hated it. P.E. was the bane of my existence even more than Bane is the bane of Batman’s existence. When I was in my early 20s, a friend tried to get me into running. I did it once and decided that was enough to last a lifetime. But now if I don’t regularly go for walks or do at-home-YouTubed yoga, I can feel it.
- When you see yourself through youth’s eyes, and feel ancient. I’ve never had an appreciation for youth culture. They’ve always scared me a bit, even when I was a youth myself. But the other day I was out for a brisk walk in mom yoga pants and sensible walking shoes and I walked past three teens in plaid shirts and crop tops sitting on the ground on a cement path. As I power-walked past them, I saw their stares of horror. As if they couldn’t imagine being that old. I was not a cool 20-something to them. I may as well have stopped to talk about the war and chided them on their clothing choices the way they were looking at me.
- I watched Poirot, and I liked it. To those who don’t know, Poirot is a British TV series based on Agatha Christie’s novels. They’re murder mysteries set in the 1920s that are a favourite of the over 40 crowd. Or possibly over 60. Forty-somethings are increasingly becoming cool. Jennifer Aniston has probably never seen Poirot. I watched one episode as a bit of a joke because a now-famous actor was in it 12 years ago. But then I realized I enjoyed it. And it’ll probably continue popping up on my Netflix recently watched queue.
- I’m considering taking night classes to keep my mind sharp. No joke. Art classes, pottery classes, writing classes, Bible studies, history courses, linguistic classes. These are all things that have at one point or another been googled by me. My aging mind needs stimulation and night classes seem to be a viable option.
- I take vitamins every morning. For years, my mom would start her day with her set of vitamins. And that always seemed like such an elderly practice to me (sorry, Mom!). But now, every morning, I open a little tin recipe box on my counter and pull out – not recipes – but a set of vitamins to keep me healthy. Vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B, multivitamin, omega-3… is this the beginning of the end?
- I fear falling in the tub. You’ve see the commercials. An elderly woman with white hair can’t face the trials of getting in and out of a tub, so she purchases a bar or one of those tubs with a door and a seat. Almost every time I shower, there’s a moment of extra concentration when I step out of the tub. It’s even worse when I take a bath because standing up not only requires strategic movements, but it’s coupled by the grunt I make when getting up anyway, which makes me feel that much more ancient.
Sadly, this list could continue – and probably will continue – as I hobble nearer the end of my third decade and stare down the big 3-0 ahead of me.