In today’s society 77 isn’t considered old, yet why do I feel like I’ve entered a new dimension – like the Twilight Zone? My hefty body has been supported by legs and feet which are beginning to falter under the strain. Memory is slipping and trying to remember my few lines in my play is beginning to scare me to death.
We have however made some adjustments to our lifestyle. We bought a smaller house – about half the size of our other one. We fell in love with the charm of it, even though it’s situated on a busy highway near the railroad tracks. We’ve chosen to think of the noise as the sound of the ocean crashing against the rocks. Conversations are limited because we can’t hear one another, but we’ve created a nice back yard so get our inspiration from that rather than our mumbling and grumbling.
In creating the space, we tried to make it like a retreat or a park, where many could gather. Using things that didn’t fit into the house was helpful. The seating areas allow us to work in one area for a while – sit down and rest – move forward to the next area, etc., etc, etc. Since the hoops for our croquet set have vanished, my husband thought it would be fun to hit the ball towards one of those seating areas, sit down and talk for a while, get up and hit the ball again. He may be coming up with something. Croquet for the aging.
My sister has come up with the idea of a wine and cheese bar at nursing homes. It certainly would be well received and the residents would sleep much better.
I’ve learned over time that when I have to pick something up from the floor, I usually try to do other things while I’m down there. Like cleaning the floor, crawling to the sink and things like that. The up and down stuff is getting harder each day.
Since I have lost the clarity of hearing and my hubby is losing his too (though he hasn’t admitted it) we’ve learned to project quite nicely. My stage voice is actually coming back. We must be careful about the following – standing up, moving. sleeping (for fear of rolling out of bed,) taking a bath or shower, remembering to turn off the stove and so on.
We both have a new way of walking – kind of like a couple of weebles wobbling along. Each step stirs another pain, so it is done with extreme care. Running is out of the question. My breath disappears as soon as I’m exposed to the humid, hot air of summer so I spend most of my time in air conditioning.
We make adjustments. Instead of brushing and flossing our teeth, we take them out and put them in a plastic container to be cleaned overnight. The phrase, “your teeth are as bright as the stars. They come out at night,” comes to mind. We opt for elastic in our pants rather than zippers, leaving room for expansion. My trim and fit husband still needs a belt or suspenders to keep his where they belong.
We adapt. We have one bathroom in our new old house. We take turns. We shower and bathe when our spouse is home, in case we fall. We need each other now more than we ever did.
We’re promised new bodies in paradise. I’d like to place my order now.