Friday 10 June 2011

It's just a phase, I'll grow out of it.

I have been thinking rather a lot lately on the subject of growing old. It happens to all of us who have been spared the alternative-and is as inevitable as the turning of the earth, and taxes. If anyone asks how it feels I usually manage to smile brightly and say that it feels OK, quite natural, and just throw in a pseudo joke about 'could do without the creaky joints' or 'the important things are still working.'  But lately, as bloody arthritis catches me out when I'm least expecting it; when I stride out confidently with Milou and hobble home and JP says 'That's it, I'll take him in future.' Or when I think of something to write here or simply to add another item to my grocery list-and in the time it takes me to find pen and paper I have forgotten it; that is when I start to wonder if I have reached the apogee and am beginning the quick slide down.

I can write this, know what I want to say and can  say it. I'm a whiz at Code word puzzles, Scrabble, Rummy and Belote; I love a good argument as long as you let me speak [before I lose the thread] have a trillion recipes in my head, as well as the lyrics to any song written between the 1930's and the 1960's. But...

I'm so nostalgic for the old me. The me who ran rather than walked, who danced at the first tarradiddle and did not stop until the musicians were packing away their instruments. I remember how it felt to  feel alive, almost able to follow the path of my blood pumping in my veins and laughing out loud at the sheer joy of being young and alive. That arrow dart of desire, bidden or unbidden, and it's promise. The expectations for a better tomorrow and the fulfilment of  long laid plans.

NOAOson asked me, the other day, prefacing the question with...'Not meaning you or Dad..' I think it was the Tesco story  that triggered the query although he was vehement that that was not the case[ can't really blame him if it was]

NOAOson: 'Mum, how do you know, if you not

Me: Hazelmere? [our family speak for Alzheimers ]

NOAOson: Well yes. If  you had it you would hardly be able to diagnose yourself, would you? Well not you.

Me: It is a perfectly valid question and reminds me of something I read ages ago. 'It doesn't mean you have to worry if you forget where you put the car keys, only if you forget what the car keys are for.'

And so far I can still remember, just as well as I can  remember the young, vibrant me.

But don't worry my friends...this is just a passing phase, and I shall grow out of it.


  1. If I was there, I would throw my arms around you and give you a big hug, then look you in the eyes and tell you how very much you have come to mean to me. I cannot think of coming into the blogosphere and not seeing your posts. I am literally crying as I write this. The thought of you not being on the other end of this computer line makes me terribly sad. I have really come to love you as I love my own mother. I admire you so much. You have such wisdom and such wit. You have shared so much of yourself with us out here and we all adore you for it.

    I am 55 and I forget what I was coming into the other room for when I get here many times. I think it is more that you have so many things on you, friends, Milou and JP. At least, that is what I believe causes me to forget.

    And I completely understand about the creaky joints. I was painting and could hardly get up and down the ladder....use it or lose it, they say! Don't let JP walk Milou....unless you are in too much pain that day. Keep your joints moving so they don't get stiffer!

    Most of all, just take care of yourself. You mean so much to so many people. You are genuinely one of a kind!

  2. I think about it too. I wonder what will happen or when it will happen that we can no longer ply our trade, do our glass work that brings in our income. we have a job now that as two big heavy pieces of glass, 150 pounds each. At 61, I can still pick it up as long as I don't have to move it very far but I'm thinking more and more about ways to avoid having to pick it up at all.

  3. Beautiful 'makes you think' post Moannie....and you are entitled to be nostalgic for the young you, it is such a bittersweet emotion/mood that we all find ourselves falling in and out of now and again...remembering the ourselves of days gone...and you are still vibrant and alive and fun and interesting..just a little creakier!
    As for the Alzheimers? it must be scary to wonder about..but I don't think you need to worry too much.....rely on your common sense and family to let you know if you are starting to put your slippers in the fridge or say 'who are you?' to JP!!!!

  4. Ah, are not alone....
    We could sing this chorus together.......

    Spent two days trying to remember the name of the gorgeous tree that has lavender flowers in June....finally Jacaranda popped into my brain......I was greatly relieved that it was still in there.

    I depend on Google a lot these days. Be brave.....your blogs are a delight snd you can still spell.

  5. We are all getting to that stage, a bit at a time, in small and big ways. I loved that phrase, the "remembering the ourselves of days gone...and you are still vibrant and alive..."
    Ah, you said it well, dear Moanie, you said it for all of us of a certain age.

  6. Moannie.... this really could have been written by me because you have captured in your post, exactly my worst fears and the same experiences that I am having right now and the same feelings that I am having too.
    I often wonder if this is the start. However i try to laugh it off and think that as long as we remember who we are and where we live........ that we might be OK for a while.

    That blasted arthritis is curbing my activities. I am not ready for it.
    Keep chugging on and let us encourage each other not to worry and not to give up.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  7. I echo the sentiments of everyone here and feel you've spoken for us all. Since my second back surgery (triple fusion) I still am not able to walk long distances and have problems with the muscles atrophying - if not tightening up to the point of sheer pain. But I keep on keeping on, worrying like everyone else about the dreaded "A" word! My mother had it, so it's a distinct possibility for me. However, apparently, one remembers waaaay back and we could think of it as reliving our youth! lol At least you have JP & Milou as company, whereas I sometimes find myself being swallowed up inside my mind. *sigh*


  8. I have just started to write a post and it sounds so much like yours...guess I will wait before I post. You are I are of two minds these days.

  9. Ah, I am right there with brain says one thing, and my body another.
    But we just keep keeping on, long as we can, and as best we can.
    Til we can't no more.

  10. Thank you for this honesty. Your life is so beautifully full, I hope for what you have with your husband with mine!

  11. missing the old me....i know that feeling though it doesn't have so much to do with age (i hope) as just not remembering what it is not to have crisis swirling around me.

  12. Another thought provoking post. I sometimes ask my mum and dad about getting older and they say it is frustrating not to be able to do as much as they could, but they have the philosophy that they should keep as busy and active as they can manage or they would be worse. Walking, dancing, swimming and tai chi seem to work for my mum.

    PS I don't think you should worry about the forgetting what you were going to write or what you went upstairs for, I have had that for years and I'm only 41!

  13. I believe everyone forgets some things some times. I just hope I can tell when it gets so bad I can't remember when I forget. Please keep sharing your stories.

  14. lost for words on this one...

  15. Hmmm. My neighbour across the street has Hazelmere (I LOVE that!) and he knew he admitted quite early on that he was losing his memory. For him, numbers began to make no sense, and he could no longer tell time. Interesting post!

  16. You are such a treat.. and you just keep getting better. You speak for all of us.. our not so secret fears.

  17. LITDavis: Gosh! I am overwhelmed by this magical Blogoshere and the intense feelings it can evoke. But then when one thinks how vulnerable we allow ourselves to become perhaps it is not surprising that friendships such as these [rather like penpals perhaps]can happen. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, and, I assure you, there are times when a good hug would be very welcome.

    Ellen abbott: You work is truly beautiful, and will assure that you keep your marbles for as long as you need for the heavy work, an apprentice aged 24 would do the trick.

    Libby: Thank you so much for your visit and comments...It is scary; we owned a home for the elderly in one of our incarnations and that scared the beejeebers out of me. But at almost 77 I'm pretty sure that it hasn't got to me just yet...oops! Don't want to tempt the fates.

    Lo: Lovely to see you here and thank you. Isn't it amazing how like a computer is? It just keeps working till it has solved your problem, then spits it out. When you see some old biddy raising her hands to heaven it is because she just remembered the name of her father's mother, or perhaps her own name.

    Rosaria: Yep!Remembering that taut belly, that soft as velvet skin and the single chin.

    Maggie May:nuts in may: Nothing new under the sun eh? Try Glycosamine for the worked for me for seven years, staved off the op. I once wrote that all I asked for old age was a clear head and strong sphincters and that still goes.

    Leslie: Hello and thank you for stopping by. What am I moaning about? Hells Bells, a triple fusion. And still that beaming smile. Shame Annie, shame on you.

    Tabor: I shall read it with interest. I sat down one day and tried to work out how many times a day a normal heart beats-times- a lifetime, and though I forget the total I remember it was staggering. Then think how many times a hip, knee or ankle joint moves it is amazing that we get through the years that we do.

    Hilary: Like I said, it beats the alternative. 'Keeping on' oh yes, I'm going out kicking and screaming I promise.

    Maggie May: Thank you for your visit and comment. Why do I think you are very young? I think if you climb over the rocks you can, avoid those you cannot and keep loving, and forgiving all will be well.

    Lime: Luckily all that bad stuff happens when you have the strength, patience and ability to cope.

  18. Working Mum: Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, it means so much to me. It's true, it is frustrating, and now that the car has gone we old uns' need it to be warm but not hot,no rain, and lubricated joints before we dare do anything. Believe me though, I'm dancing inside.

    Gaelyn:You are the best! You know what, I don't think we would care if we had Hazelmere because we wouldn't know, would we.

    Sandii: Even so you took the time to show you were here and for that I thank you.XX

    EG Wow: Thanks for your visit [must check out the origin for that name, love it] The kids started that Hazelmere theme. We used to live in a street named Hazelmere and daughter got the names mixed up. It is a great name though.

    Hilary: You are too kind and thank you. Some fears are best aired don't you think? We are sooooooo not alone.

  19. It hits me at the strangest times/

  20. Hubby and I have been having similar conversations. Where did those young people in those pictures go? That's not who we see in the mirror now.