Saturday, 22 March 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Young At Heart

What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

Baseltor, Solothurn

One of the two gates to the Roman founded town of Solothurn in Switzerland and they are old, you could even say ancient. The whole town is old, although it has been modernised, now and again only to be returned partially to the original state. We had modern paving to walk on but the town powers decided the old cobbled streets were nicer and so the old cobbled streets returned, but only in the central part of town.

And now to me, but come on, are you serious? I should tell everyone how I stay young at heart, even if I am 67 years old, with my hair more grey than grey and movements not as they used to be. Everything seems to be slow motion these days.

I suppose it all begins when you meet someone you have known for many years and say “Hello ……..”. Yes the dots have replaced the name of the person, because you just cannot remember the name. It is at the tip of your tongue, but buried somewhere in the cobwebs that have begun to spin their net around the brain.  Then of course, there is the car key, you know the key you need to drive the car and you cannot find it. Of course, you can, you have simply forgotten where you put it. Iit is found, exactly where it should be, but you searched in the wrong place.

Eventually you are on your way to the shopping expedition and it occurs to you that the letter you wanted to take with you for the post is still laying at home on the table, together with the shopping list. You do your best and wander around the supermarket trying to remember what you actually needed or wanted. On the other hand if you do remember to take the list with you, and buy everything on the list, you will arrive home and realise that you forgot to write a few things down that you needed.

There is also the case of remembering to take your tablets, or did you actually take it or not. Perhaps you did, so if you take it again it means you have taken two. The tablet list is a long one: the ones for the diabetes, the ones for the restless legs during the night and the cholesterol tablets. You also might have the anti-giddy tablets, and of course the daily asprin to prevent the inevitable heart attack, which could occur. Perhaps some of the necessary substances in the body are no longer there as they should be, and there is definitely a tablet to replace them. As you walk, you can hear them all rattling around inside the body. Oh happy days.

Staying young at heart is the least of the problems. Of course, I still like to listen to a good old rock and roll, even heavy metal and it is probably loud. This because the hearing is not as good as it used to be. I would love to dance to something modern, but your back decides it is not in the mood, and if you do not suffer an attack of lumbago, you might even fall in the attempt.

I never used to sleep after lunch; I would make myself ready for a trip outside. My trips in the afternoon are now into the garden, weather permitting, but after my golden oldie sleep. I have to think twice before I even go anywhere and usually not just for a walk, but because I have to perform some task like visiting the doctor to pick up my anti-aging tablets, perhaps a visit to the opticians for new glasses (naturally stronger than the last glasses) or to the dentist to see how many teeth are now decaying and how many have to be replaced or fixed with an expensive dental engineering job, that is if you still have you own teeth.

Bedtimes change, the days when you were wide awake until midnight watching your favourite show on the TV, or even going out for a meal in the evening, are slowly dwindling. You can be happy if you are still awake at ten in the evening and yours eyes have not yet closed, hypnotised by the flickering TV screen.

You find you are perhaps occupied with checking that your life insurance is in order. You inform the kids where to put you for your last resting place. Cremation or burial seems to be a subject that enters into the conversation now and again, especially when you realise that the old colleagues you knew are no longer there or dwindling in numbers. OK, I am not yet that far gone, but when I think of my 98 year old father who has almost no colleagues from the old days, then it is food for thought.

Perhaps a dim picture of the future, but it could be you. Things happen as you grow older, that you really never expected. Growing old is not pleasant but you just get on with it. All I hope is that I have a good send off, a nice long obituary in the newspaper and that they do not forget to engrave my WordPress web address in the stone. I love to think of the visitors to the eternal happy hunting grounds all searching for a pencil and paper and writing it down to have a look when they arrive home (if it still exists, but it will, that will be in my testament).

So you youngsters out there, do not forget, enjoy it while you can. We have a custom in Switzerland. When you are out for a walk perhaps on a country path, and people pass by, you greet them. You do not know them, but it is polite. There is a small rule to apply. The youngsters greet first. I always obeyed and greeted first of all, now I find they are greeting me first of all. There must be a moral to that one somewhere.

Have fun everyone, see you perhaps tomorrow, my last words of wisdom for a week. On Monday I am away in London visiting my dad and will not have time to write long episodes divulging my newest adventures in the golden oldie world.

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