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On shampoo, toothpaste and aging…

March 8, 2012

Recently there was an “ah ha” moment in the shower; have you ever noticed that the last half of the shampoo (and toothpaste) last longer than the first? We mete it out more carefully when we are approaching the end – whether or not there is a “back up” under the sink.

That certainly explains a lot about my impatience in this “third half” of my life.

Irritability with folks “slowing me down” has crept up; oh I’ve always been the impatient sort, but the idea that folks are “stealing” what little time I have left on the planet is accompanied by a rage that is shocking, even to me.

I don’t know what’s worse: that I‘ve been downright uncivil with Sky, Talk Talk and BT while waiting over 4 months for proper phone, cable and broadband, or that I’m not embarrassed by or inclined to apologise for my incivility when I reach a call centre powerless to resolve my complaint.

Then there are the adaptive accommodations to aging I didn’t even know I was making.

My arthritis had been advancing markedly for years but when I moved my household from two years of storage, I was unable to use kitchen tools like the peeler and the paring knife that I had just unpacked, I was astounded. Unconsciously, when I’d only moved a few favourite kitchen things, I’d chosen the handiest and most comfortable. They were all the newer – with fatter, softer grips. Unconsciously, adapting all along, I hadn’t noticed just how disabled I’d become.

 

Joan Walsh Anglund is the poet, this is an excerpt:

I shall be older than this one day.
I shall think myself young when I remember.
Nothing can stop the slow change of masks my face must wear, one following one.
These gloves my hands have put on, the pleated skin, patterned by the pale tracings of my days.
These are not my hands! And yet, these gloves do not come off!
I shall wear older ones tomorrow, til glove after glove, and mask after mask, I am buried beneath the baggage of old women….

I was enamoured of her sweet, simple rhymes illustrated with charming drawings. This is the only one I remember; I was haunted by it. At fifteen I knew I was seeing my future.

If you have been in the way of my impatience lately – or experience it in the future, I apologise. I’d just like you to frame it with the knowledge that there is much to do and I’m trying to squeeze twice as much production out of the last third of my days.

All this is punctuated by crankiness over the fact that now that my head is screwed on right, my body is failing me… and customer service at BT needs a heads up, I’m calling tomorrow for a new line.

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