Saturday, 2 May 2015

Age is No Indicator

My friend called me last night, wanted to know if I wanted to go to the store with her, maybe grab dinner while we were out. I needed a few things, needed to eat so I said sure, pick me up. Any meal I don’t have to cook is a good meal; I’m so tired of making the effort. Which is why snacking becomes the more normal, the easy way out.

We made our way through No Frills, not every aisle mind you, but hit the produce and the perimeter of the store. After that we dropped our bags in the car and crossed the parking lot to the new Chinese place.

My friend is 82, eighteen years older than me, and walks well without any assisted device. I was using my cane, my gait not as easy as when I have the walker. I stumble at the curb to make the step and have to sit immediately when we get inside.

It’s a take-out place though there are a number of tables, but you have to place your order. My friend took care of that while I sat. When we went to leave, I struggled to stand with the pain in my back, my knee, and was almost at car before I regained my more usual walk.

I looked over at my friend and laughed. She said something about us being two old ladies and I told her to speak for herself. “I’m not the one with the cane,” she answered.

I said we made an odd pair, her older looking with her grey hair, but more able mobility, and me with my dark hair, my limp and my cane. What was wrong with this picture?

I can admit that she has earned her better physical state. She exercises in the pool at least three times a week, eats a very healthy diet, and consistently takes her medication, including all the more holistic OTC stuff.

I’ve been hit and miss all my life. I can be over-involved in an activity, first it was mothering, and then it was work. Since I have been on my disability I have not been disciplined, have had a fatalistic outlook, and have looked toward, planned for, the end, rather than taking care of the today.

If I live to be as old as my friend, the years will not be as kind to me as they have to her, and I have no one to blame but myself.

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