Home > Life, Really? > OMG, We’re Getting OLD!!!

OMG, We’re Getting OLD!!!

sure1How many times have you heard someone say, “Wow, so-and-so’s really losing it!” These are usually the words of middle-agers who are reluctant to admit having had a few “senior moments” themselves. 

This morning my pet-sitter buddy, Kelli, sent me an email asking me to confirm the times of the visits for my dogs this weekend. It sent me into a mental tailspin, especially considering my dream last night (cue dream-sequence harp music):

….We were out to dinner with Kelli and her husband and some of her other family members when I remembered that I was supposed to have worked for her that day and I forgot to go let all the doggies out!…. I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic and it took a few minutes for me to straighten everything out and go back to sleep. So when she asked me about this weekend, I thought I was still dreaming!

Last week, in an uncharacteristically proactive move for me, I asked her  to watch our dogs on the first weekend in March. Most often I cower before her, wringing my hands a day before going out of town, and beg her to watch them knowing that she is going to scold me for waiting so long to ask. I take my penance, say my Hail Marys, and vow to be better next time. 

Well, this time I did do better so I was baffled. I checked my “sent” box, and sure enough, I had confirmed for March. Victoriously, I called her up and told her the news. For once, I wasn’t the screw-up!

As the daughter my mother wishes she’d had — not in lieu of the 6 she already has, but in addition to — Kelli is freakishly organized, can handle a docket of 25 pet sitting visits a day for weeks at a time and never miss a beat. I, on the other hand, being equally freakishly disorganized, take sadistic pleasure from any inkling of incompetence Kelli might display. But do I lunge for her exposed administrative jugular when she slips up? Gosh no! I’m a better person than that… heh heh….

The other night we were trading stories with our Bunco friends about having woken bolt upright in bed thinking that we had forgotten to do something, but lately it seems we are all having waking experiences that foreshadow the years ahead.

I was upended by one of my doggie customers recently and came down pretty hard on the sidewalk, whacking my head, and since then I have felt especially lacking in short-term memory. I have to check the pantry and refrigerator several times a day to make sure I haven’t used them interchangably. Driving makes me a little nervous because I sometimes forget I’m doing it. I think these defecits will go away eventually, but I am getting a glimpse into the future and it ain’t pretty.

My friend Sean is dealing with his mother as she is being dragged into the throes of Alzheimer’s. She is fighting it with all the might she can muster, but the disease is stronger than she is. I fear that decline for my loved ones and for myself. 

I guess that’s why I write this blog. It’s random and disorganized, just like me, but on some level it is an accounting of my life. I have no children and I am not one to share my deepest thoughts easily, so I store them here, on some remote server that acts as my memory. But as with all things so brilliantly designed as the human brain or the super computer, failure is still a possibility. No matter how many times we back up our data by rehearsing and repeating the important things we need to remember, somtimes the screen just goes blank.

So as we sit atop this slide of mental superiority trying to build up the courage to handle the trip down, I hope that we will be gentle with one another, find lots of reasons to laugh about the dumb things we do, and be there for each other when they’re not just dumb things anymore. Hopefully, the memories we get to keep will be of the good times….

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Categories: Life, Really?
  1. February 6, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I am like some kind of idiot savant with my memory of past events. I can remember food that I served guests two Christmases ago, and what my daughter was wearing at certain events. My husband thinks I’m very useful to have around since I’m like a walking archived journal. I’m also very good at finding things. I know where everything is in our house, even if it’s not where it’s supposed to be. But (there’s always a but) there are times when I forget things. I, too, confuse the pantry and and fridge. Or I forget to do the mundane, like pack my daughter’s snack or shoes for school. Sometimes I get our family’s names mixed up and call my husband by my daughters name or my daughter by the dog’s name. These things frighten me a little and anger me a lot, but now I can blame it on being too busy or too stressed. I can’t imagine how devasted I would be to have a slow decline of memory until there’s nothing left. I hope I never have to experience it… nor you…. nor any of those we love.

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