By Bruce Stambaugh
My wife and I and two other couples, all baby boomers, sat around the table playing dominoes. Besides the antics of the game, we laughed at the anecdotal stories we shared about our particular infirmities.
None in the group of six was sick. We just chuckled at our ailments brought on by our aging.
Beyond the stories of goofiness and crazy interactions, a common theme arose. Though we all agreed that we still thought young, clearly, we weren’t teenagers anymore. In fact, we were all grandparents.
While laughing at our gradual frailties, the game almost became secondary to our gathering. And yet, I felt a certain relief that it wasn’t just me that was feeling his age.
Keep in mind that those of us in the baby boomer generation had the reputation for thinking ourselves invincible, clutching college degrees and armed with an ironclad arrogance that we could somehow save the world. Now that I need help buttoning my shirts, I know that mindset was a bit over the top.
The lack of dexterity is probably my biggest frustration. I have the hardest time picking up small items from flat surfaces.
Fortunately, I have a very understanding wife who at least saves her chuckling about my dilemma until she is out of earshot. At my age, that isn’t too far.
My hearing seems to be fading fast, although I’ve had two different doctors check it with the same results. I’m right on the border of needing hearing aids.
I’m holding off with the purchase. Man that I am, I prefer to cup my hand up to my good ear to hear conversations. Besides, the hardest frequency for me to detect is that of my wife’s voice.
I’ve had bifocals for years now and get along just fine. My good optometrist ensures me that all is well physically with my eyes. I’m glad for that, as long as I can remember where I put my glasses.
Memory was probably the number one issue discussed around the game table that night. There was universal agreement that our recollections were slipping. We all confessed to walking from one room to another room to retrieve an item, only to forget what we were after once we got there. Misery loves company.
To help me keep track of what medications I have to take and when, I use something at which I recently scoffed. I fill a pillbox, four slots per day, with my medications. None of the spaces goes empty.
Filling my personal pharmaceutical dispenser has an ancillary benefit besides organizing my pills. Every time I restock the thing I realize another week has passed. It works better than a calendar.
The table talk revealed that I was fortunate compared to others. I usually have no problem sleeping. Other seniors wish they could, or require machines to keep them from inadvertently holding their breath at night.
Of course the evening I wrote this, I couldn’t sleep. See what I mean?
I won’t mention the gray hairs, or in my case, baldness that foretells our age. I only see the wrinkles and crows feet on the faces of others. Mine is smooth as a baby’s.
Officially defined as the years after retirement, the Golden Years usually begin at age 65. Now that I’ve crossed that demarcation, I feel a little tarnished.
I’ll age as gracefully as I can. After all, I need all the grace I can get.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2015