Good morning, and happy Hump Day! I hope your day is off to a nice start.
Here’s a lesson for today. If you have a new car and haven’t figured out all the buttons yet, and that car has an electric sunroof, and that sunroof is covered with snow, and you’re at the grocery pickup, and you want to use the electric liftgate feature, but you’re not sure which button to press … DON’T PRESS ANY BUTTONS! Unless you want a lap-full of snow, that is.
My wife found that one out the hard way. It wasn’t really her fault. All those little icons they put on buttons that we’re supposed to be able to figure out, if we can even see them without a magnifying glass, are not nearly as intuitive as the design engineer thinks. Or maybe they know exactly what they’re doing, and somebody in Detroit got one hell of a good laugh yesterday.
This car has buttons in places you can’t even see, like on the back of the steering wheel. On one side, they control the radio volume, and on the other side they change the channel. And they have braille nibs on them. Okay, let’s get one thing straight. If you’re sitting behind the wheel and you can even understand braille, get out of my car!
On the other hand, I went in this morning to renew my driver’s license and, when I did the vision test, I sounded like a preschooler trying to read the numbers. “Um … eight … six … nine … no, eight … no, three … um … four …” You get the picture. And the scary part is, I passed! Four more years of driving without glasses. You may want to give me a little extra room.
I’ve often said aging isn’t for the faint of heart. Things don’t work like they used to, except the pain sensors. They’re on steroids. There’s not a day in my life that I don’t wake up hurting somewhere. And it happens six or seven times every day, because I couldn’t stay asleep all night if I went to bed drunk.
Last week I was looking at my Fitbit sleep report, and my five-year-old grandson asked what it was. I explained to him that dark blue is deep sleep, and the red spikes are when I woke up. The other day he asked to see my sleep report from the night before. He looked at it for a few seconds, then shook his head and said, “That sucks!”
But it’s all part of aging. That’s why old people go to bed so early. It’s not because we need any more sleep. It’s because we have to get a running start. That and there’s nothing good on TV anyway. It’s also why we wake up so early. By the fourth or fifth time, you just cut your losses and get up. There’s still nothing good on TV, but at least it’s quiet.
Some people brag about aging gracefully. All that means is the dementia is kicking in early. They’re in a state of denial. Aging gracefully is simply keeping it to yourself. Well, that and hair coloring. “Only her hairdresser knows for sure!” Remember that one? Nice try. If you’re over 90, your makeup has wrinkles, and your hair is any shade of brown, you’re not fooling anybody.
But we try. I don’t think it’s as much about how we appear to other people as the reflection in the mirror. We want to hang onto any shred of youth as long as we can, because once that’s gone we have to accept the obvious – the train is about to pull into the station. And that’s something none of us wants to admit.
But aging is what we make of it. No, I can’t run around the block anymore. I can’t see those stupid numbers on the vision test, and there are features on my phone I’ll never understand, much less learn how to use. And my grandkids have learned one of life’s greatest truths – if Grandpa gets down on the floor to play, he’s not getting back up anytime soon.
But you know what? I do still get down on the floor sometimes … on purpose. I sing stupid songs like Henry the Eighth and the theme from the Addams Family. I laugh, I joke, I play pranks, and every now and then I can still sucker them into pulling my finger. Act my age? Not on your life! I’m just getting started.
And that, I believe, is what aging gracefully is all about. Yes, we’ll misread the directions or press the wrong button from time to time. We’ll creak and pop when we stand up, and we may not move as fast. But we’re only old to the extent that we let those things define us. Age isn’t about a number. It’s about your zest for life. Keep that, and you’ll stay young forever.
That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!
© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved