Tag Archives: aging

Knees

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It’s back to school time.  And though it’s just first weeks, I found myself subbing and surrounded by young people.  That led me to thinking…

It is amazing how the human body is designed.  This first came to my awareness when I broke my dominant right wrist back in 2011, in the depths of my brokenness.  Yes, pun intended.  Wouldn’t you know that I had to actually, really break something, to get my attention.

Anyway…I had an elbow cast which locked my arm at a right angle.  I couldn’t do much of anything with my right hand…couldn’t brush my teeth, fasten my bra, and even more personal self-care tasks.

All that made me think at the time of the miracle of engineering, by which we were put together.  It’s a God thing.  And it all came to mind when I thought about knees, this past week, as I watched kids rapidly run up and down three flights of stairs.

I was subbing for the Middle School, and I had stair duty.  The upper school really is upstairs.  At dismissal, the kids leave by the stairwell, and my spot was the mid-tier.  Hoo-boy.  You should see the way those kids go downstairs!  Those feet and knees move at super speed!  I used to go downstairs that way.  I remember.

Nowadays, I often go down the steps one at a time with the same foot.  Mostly, it’s slow, sometimes I go right left, but I always hold a rail.  I have a fear of pitching forward.  It’s all in the knees.  And the quads.  I’m fairly light.  I’m fairly agile.  But…hello, 70.  Body parts just wear out.  Knees and legs don’t lift the body, or let the body down, as it were, like they used to.  Falling is a reality.

It’s good to notice what used to be, and appreciate a good working body that is now.  The kids next door and my nieces and nephews remind me of agility and the spontaneity of life.  As for me,  I just want to be able to move, yes literally move through the rest of  my life.  Oh, welcome back to school!

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Because…Friday.

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Aging “Gracefully”…

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Get it?  Grace and Frankie began their third season on Netflix, and the antics of Jane Fonda (Grace) and Lily Tomiln (Frankie) bring to mind my own recent experiences and awarenesses of my age, on a much less dramatic scale.  Hoo-boy. 

I never dreamed, when I reached the state of adulthood, and that was just last week, that I would feel the tiny steps of aging.  They have crept up on me.  I still see that 35-year old looking back at me in the mirror.  Teaching kept me young, and even when subbing in the Kindergarten, when a child asked me how old I was, and I responded truthfully, she replied, “Mrs. Horton, I didn’t know you were so TALL!”  I could laugh, knowing what she really meant didn’t matter.

My first thoughts about my becoming older were when my teeth began to regularly collect bits of tiny lingering food.  Pepper flakes, broccoli buds, lettuce and spinach bits reminded me of that old Ellen DeGenres commercial where she faced off with a dog and told her “friend” she/he had a fleck imbedded between his/her teeth.  I now carry floss thingies and toothpicks.  I swish.  Eeeww.

Then there are the issues of night driving (halos), the stomach grumblings (embarrassing), the creaky joints (uncomfortable), and need for quiet (what?) that strike me.  After teaching for 38 years, when did it matter that there was a lot of background noise?  I ask you!  And being distracted…I sat right through a green light the other day… I stopped for red, which went to green, which returned to red.  No one was behind me.  I suppose I was counting on the toot of a horn to schooch me on. 

Not so humorous is the falling factor.  I have, as my Aussie dear-one says, “fallen over” four times in the last twelve months…right on the street.  I’m walking and then down on the ground…it is a hard place to find myself, and not very nice.  It is demoralizing, embarrassing, and gives me pause to consider what is awaiting me as time marches on.  That, and I can’t hear my alarm in the morning.  Thank you, loud rock and roll music, lawn mowers, and lots of little children, predominant in my youth.  It’s a youth that is becoming a fond memory.  At least what I remember of it.

Grace and Frankie…I feel as if I’m more like the character, Grace, facing all the situations of aging, but I wish I handled things more like Frankie’s character.  The two women in the show are facing more pronounced aging needs than I, but that is just good writing and television.

My life would make bad television.  My aging issues are way more commonplace and mundane, and by the way, why did I come in this room?  What was that word I was trying to think of?  And where are my keys?  I think they must be near my phone, wherever that is.

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A few of my favorite things.