Later this month I will be celebrating a milestone birthday - one of those that ends in a "big oh".
As in "uh oh".
As in "I'm not over the hill, I'm already on the slide down."
I really would like someone to tell me it ain't true.
True, I am very glad (and grateful) to be alive. My Mom never reached 60. (she never reached 50, either.) But I look around and this is what I see:
1. I can remember things that happened in 1986 better than I can remember things that happened last week. (Meanwhile, some of my readers weren't even around in 1986.)
2. My co-sufferers send me jokes that imply that shortly, my upper lady parts will hang down to my ankles, I will suffer from constant constipation and heartburn, and I will spend every minute of the day sitting somewhere and watching "Judge Judy". I will want to have supper at 3:45 pm. I will haunt produce departments at 5am, asking minimum wage clerks why the bananas went up a penny last week.
3. I will be the victim of scams, somehow losing my ability to determine if a stranger is honest or not. (Sadly, this seems to have some basis in the facts of how the brain ages).
I think of people I have known, people now in the 80's, who were active, vital people and now depend on canes and walkers. Some have minds that are going, or have entirely left the building. I think of one of my husband's uncles, sick with dementia, whose reply when family members told him his wife of many years had died was "S**t happens".
She died from injuries sustained in a fall.
Another relative, an amazing woman, is 100. Her mind is sharp. But her upper body is so bent she faces the floor when she walks. She suffers from strange skin conditions. She doesn't have too many of her natural teeth left. Why has this thing called age happened to her?
So, dear readers: please tell me there is good in growing old. Please tell me I shouldn't dread this birthday because of what it symbolizes.
I'm so fortunate, but I am also scared.