After a certain age, fifty say, or sixty, seventy if you are lucky, there is a tendency to monitor yourself for The Signs of Aging. Lists of symptoms vary from individual to individual but we all seem to have them. The noisy type, like me, gather and compare inventories, calculating the odds and keeping tabs on the advance with all the concentration of bookies at a racetrack. The quieter sort wrinkle their brow, sigh, and read the newspaper obituaries with a shake of their head.
Did I forget something? A name? A date? A chore?
Do my hands tremble?
Is my skin wrinkled; my hair grayer; or my chin, tummy, breasts sagging and my belt tighter?
Are my eyes and ears failing?
Am I slower in pace, wobblier in balance, less able to leap tall building in a single bound?
Are the aches turning into pains and lasting longer?
Many of us are in the 'tween generation. We're still active but no longer on top of our game. We are between mature and over-the-hill, watching for the slide down the senescence slope. How odd to see the approach of old age with its companions: loss of independence and inability to cope. How terrible to move from caring for our parents to having our children consider caring for us.
My friends and I have begun to see the adventure of life as a nearing burden. We contemplate our lives and watch the as the daily chores we took for granted become obstacles. Home maintenance, for instance. Can we paint, fix roofs, mow lawns with bodies that refuse to work as they once did? Changing lightbulbs, washing windows, moving furniture all become harder as ladders get harder to climb and couches seem heavier.
Incapacity lumbers toward us like a bulldozer that will push us over that blasted hill then chug along, picking up speed, as we skid down the escarpment.