Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nothing Lasts Forever (but the Earth and Sky)

When we were just starting out, acquiring our first car, our first set of living room furniture, our first pots & pans, it never occurred to me that these things would wear out, need replacing. That, in short, we'd have to do this whole thing again.

It's not that I dislike new cars or redecorating a living room, it's just that I feel like I've "ticked that box":
Sofa? Check
Car? Check
Coffee table? Check
Really good mattress? Check
Matching plates and bowls? Check
Good interview suit? Check
Perfect pair of black business shoes? Check
Perfect black dress boots? Check
But then this happens:
The previously perfect "chair and a half" that now
sags and droops on the most-used side.
Soles wear through, straps break, fabric pills or wears through. Parts wear out, paint chips, wood gets dinged and scraped.

Even without the fickleness of fashion or the vagaries of personal preferences, things need to be replaced. We fight this entropy for a little while, resoling shoes, steam-cleaning upholstery, putting the chipped plates at the bottom of the stack.

It is merely a pitiable struggle against the inexorable march of time.  Eventually, we donate the worn items to offspring setting up their own homes or to others who are just scraping by and appreciate these previously loved items.

And it wouldn't be nearly so irritating if it didn't also apply to this middle-aged body of mine.
New game, kids!

Find the spots, wrinkles, bags, and lumps of which Wynn Anne writes! 
Bonus points for finding the cluster of red blood vessels. (Click to enlarge.) 
See if you can join all the spots to create a picture of a cow or a space ship!

What fun!
Hair thins and greys, skin sags in wrinkled folds, spots appear — and grow — on previously unblemished skin, lumps — LUMPS! — appear. (And, Jeff, I know you're going to chastise me for taking spectacularly unflattering photos of myself, but, guess what: this is me!)

It gets worse; it's not just aesthetics. Joints ache, muscles weaken, and organs complain. I now have osteoarthritis in my hands, such that a gentle rap on my pinkie has me swearing, holding my hand and practicing Lamaze breathing for several minutes.

And, of course, the mind goes.

  • About 30 minutes ago, I got out a mug, placed in it a bag for Berryblossom White tea (smells delicious), then turned on the kettle and came back to my laptop to write. 
  • About 3 minutes ago, I went into the kitchen to get a glass of water and saw my neglected mug reproaching me. 
  • About 3 seconds ago, I remembered that I wanted the drink so that I could take my pills.

[I do concede that some of this moment-to-moment forgetfulness is simply ADHD, but still.]

Folks, I'm not even 50 yet. I can't imagine what a sad case I'll be when I'm 80. And unlike the sofa and the car, I can't trade in my joints and neurons for an upgrade. At least, not yet. (Laura - drop the asthma research and get working on this!)

My point is, I am resigned to this process, but I'm not happy about it. You may now call the waaah-mbulance.

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