Growing Old Gracefully

We all know it has to happen at some point in our life…and that is, we all are getting older whether we like it or not!

I started to notice some signs recently and it started the other morning when I got out of bed and started heading towards the shower.  I heard these weird sounds and when I stopped to listen, it stopped. And right there and then it hit me….it was me.  My bones were creaking and crackling so loud I had to stop on the spot for about 10 minutes just to enjoy the peace and quiet.

Later that morning I was watching TV and my nephew came into the living room sat down and watched a show with me. I suddenly became aware that instead of watching the show, my nephew was watching me with a rather peculiar look on his face, like he was watching something more fascinating than what was on the television set.  Apparently as I was watching TV he said my eyes were making noises each time they would blink. Sure enough as I continued, he was right! Like the noisy trip to the shower, my eyes were squeaking with each blink. My first thought….OMG I am losing my inner body lubrication I suddenly had fearful visions of having to carry an oil can with me much like the Tin man.

Suddenly armed with the knowledge that getting old requires either a backup band or an oil can to drown out my new involuntary noises, I decided to research this first hand.  After all, if I am squeaking…what’s next, parts replacement.  The best way to know what I am in for as I age (because I would like to do it gracefully) is to study my elder-elders.  So I decided to go watch older people and what they do to maintain their youth & what better place to do that then to hang out where they hang out…WALGREENS!

I drove into a prime Walgreen’s parking spot, where I could take in all of the action, not look to conspicuous (ok not looking like a stalker) and observe.  I should have bought some popcorn for the show was better than any theatre experience!  I watched seniors pulling into the lot, mis-parking, straddling white lines and sometimes bumping into other cars and parking as if nothing happened.  I would imagine if they could they would run into Walgreens to avoid being caught for leaving the scene of a crime and then it hit me… is senility and hard of hearing a cover up for the lack of agility?  I love it… I ad-libbed a bit…. Hope you do not mind,,,, read on!

As I ponder this new found knowledge and cover-up conspiracy my attention was guided to an elderly man slowly walking up to the entrance.  Probably a good thing I did not have the popcorn as I may have choked on it from the hilarious show playing out in front of me.  This man was moving so slow that when he hit the radius of the sensor to open the door it could not detect him…. he moved so slow he tricked the sensors!  It could not detect his movement ….all the way up to the door…and there he stood, face to door…waiting…anticipating…it never opened!  His only hope was for a spry young whipper-snapper to come bouncing through or ….. maybe a herd of teenagers in the hopes he could be swept up and moved through the door in a mast whirl-wind of confusion.  I could not bear to watch anymore.

I moved on a few miles down the road and setup came once again. Noticing an elderly woman pacing herself towards the entrance I knew that she may reach the same fate as the other guy at the other Walgreens, I quickly assessed the situation and realized she had a fighting chance as this automatic door sensor was in the black mat on the ground.  As she made her way onto the mat her pace slowed down as the doors opened, not picking up any more speed the doors closed, so she had to turn around and step onto the mat once again but her slow pace was no a match for the electric doors…I couldn’t bear to watch another minute. I finally got out of my car and stepped onto the mat, long enough for her to get into the store.  I did not have the rest of the day to wait for her to come out; she was on her own.

I now realize two things, 1-The Wal-Mart greeter should apply for part-time work at Wal-Greens and 2- that I am no longer worried about how I look to 20 something’s but rather how I am going to circumvent the daily challenges of getting somewhere and being able to achieve my daily tasks. This is just an intro into the aging world I am about to enter into….more to follow!