Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Thing No One Tells You About Aging

Getting old sucks!  Everyone knows that.  And about the gray hair, blurry vision, mysterious dark black hairs that appear on random parts of your body and thick yellow toenails that require a circular saw to hack them off that come with it.  Oh, and I forgot to mention forgetting things.   Which I do all time.  But, what I didn't see coming was all the worry that comes with aging.

Last week I hurt my hand, there was some swelling and soreness, but really nothing major.  I figured I'd just rest it and sooner or later it would go away.  Until I started to dwell on it.  Because if old people do anything really well, it's dwelling.  And diagnosing.  Which I started to do.  It definitely wasn't arthritis because the discomfort wasn't in my joints.  It was more of a shooting pain emanating from my wrist.  Holy shit!  I have carpal tunnel syndrome.  Great.  I make my living using my hands as a writer and a pole dancer.  I'm just kidding, I don't actually make a living.  After about a week of rest and constant anxiety about how I'd need to give up the things I love and take up crocheting, I came to the realization it was just overuse.  And crocheting also uses your hands.  Dammit!

But, my worries aren't just about becoming decrepit.  They're also about dying.  So, I'm more nervous about driving now.  Especially at night when I can't see quite as well requiring me to wear my distance glasses which also reduce glare from the oncoming headlights.  Which lane is that yahoo driving in anyway?  Because even with my glasses on, sometimes I have a hard time telling.  And if I need to pull into a tight spot I'm going to need to turn the music down.  I understand that turning the music down doesn't have anything to do with my ability to correctly deduce the car's dimensions and the spatial analysis of whether I will fit or not.   Call it lunacy.  I don't care.  Because I'm old.

I may be an old fool, 
but I'm extremely lucid the subject of mortality.

I'm not only more anxious about me, I'm more anxious about my family.  At least if I died, their lives would go on and I wouldn't be a burden asking them to drive an old lunatic to her carpal tunnel related doctor appointments.  Or even far worse things I don't even want to think about.  And then at some point they'll probably contemplate putting me in a old folks home or not.  And that's a lot of stress.  But, what if something happens to my husband?  I can't support myself or the kids with my debilitating carpal tunnel, remember?  By far the worst, is worrying about my kids.  Two of whom drive.  One of which will turn 18 in a few months and bear the burden of being a legal adult and being able to vote.  Which, let's face it is a lot more underwhelming than it seems at first.

I'm acutely aware that when my kids become adults and move out on their own to start their own lives that my anxiety won't end.  It will multiply.  Because then they'll have significant others, spouses and then kids.  My grand kids.  And I'm sure as hell going to worry about them because they're going to be raised by my kids.  Not that I don't trust my kids, it's just that I raised my kids, so I really just don't trust me.  You know, now that I have even more time to dwell with an empty nest and all.


Janine Ripper said...

Scary isn't it. Did you consult Doctor Google? Don't. I'm in twi minds about growing older, but dying. It freaks me out. And people I love - the idea of them dying. Freaks me out. I still feel as if time is running out rapidly. I don't know if I will ever shake that feeling.

JoAnn Grant said...

Oh the trickle effect of worry, kids, health and dying. Soooo connected. I became a Grandmother just 5 short weeks ago. I was not sure I was ready for this title, so we went with the name 'Mema' instead of Grandma. Besides it is like Mommy (MamE <> MeMa)backwards so I figured the little tyke could say it earlier before Grammy (the other grandma that I am secretly in competition with. Another topic for a blog, if I was a blogger) But I am pleasantly surprised that I morphed into this role comfortably without too much worry, because I am the Mema now and can love and comfort the little one and hand her back when she needs food and other bare necessities. I love my new role of snuggling and singing and dancing with her. So, no time for worry when so much fun to be had. JoAnn

Blogger said...

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