AGEING AND ISLANDS

Growing older feels a little like washing out on a deserted island. This is one thing my parents and other elders never told us even though they were simply thrilled to warn us about the other horrors of ageing…

You will have aches and pains everywhere, they said. And sure enough, there is something happening in my left hip that feels like a little hobgoblin is taking a hammer to my left pelvic arch with the passion of a little hobgoblin who was cheated on by a girlfriend.

You’ll realize how fragile your hair is, they said. I wish someone had reminded me of this before I colored my hair bright red three weeks ago. Every single shaft has broken in different places and I’m left looking like a character from The Princess Bride. You know which one…

You won’t have so many issues, the elders had said. And thank goodness for that. Misplaced feelings of guilt, anger, resentment and self-pity roll off me with an unconcerned zeal that I hardly understand but feel deeply grateful for…

But no-one said you’d feel so alone. Granted, only at times. And I wonder if it’s the same for men…

It happens slowly and subtly. The being skipped over; the being disregarded. But it’s starting. In the place of attention and focus you find a quiet and lazy respect that lingers just long enough not to be rude.

It feels like little pieces of me are being washed out on a deserted island, little by little. And one day not too long from now the whole of me will be on that island.

I wonder if my late mom felt it. She must have, and I wish I’d known. I’d have done a better job of reminding her how much she was valued. Now I value only memories.

Do you feel the same, middle aged one? Do you notice the slow, respectful discard?

I wanted to suggest we make tomorrow Hug-a-Middle-Aged-Person-Day but then I remembered I’m an introvert and hugs would probably just freak me out. Let’s not. Let’s have a cyber chococino together and leave it at that…

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