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The Millbrook Independent

May 31st
Pretending to celebrate
Written by News Desk   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 08:33

artparkerBy This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Editor

Albert Einstein once said, "I have reached the age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don't have to."

I think I'm there with Albert. I'm celebrating a birthday this week, or, I'm pretending to celebrate a birthday. It's hard to get excited about these things called birthdays when so few remain. I'm really trying to forget how old I am so I'm not going to mention the magic number. Let me just say that my most recent birthday cake looked like a prairie fire.

There are some things that begin to really bug you when you get old. What bothers me the most is when I realize that things are happening that I never thought would happen. What's even more disturbing is when you notice that you are getting into habits found only among senior citizens.

One example is going to the rest room. I go into a restaurant or an office building and I head to the rest room if I see it. It's like the old joke, "You better go whenever the opportunity presents itself," or "Never miss the opportunity to go when you get old." For some reason that thought of going based upon opportunity hit me last year and I am now into a consistent habit of going just because there's a men's room available. I read a few weeks ago that success at an advanced age is measured exactly the way it is measured at age 4, which is to complete the entire day without wetting your pants. I'm trying to be successful every day. So far, so good.

I also notice that my joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service, especially with my bad back. When cold or rainy weather is coming I can feel it long before it gets here. Most of the time I can tell you if the advancing front is still in Louisiana or if it's made it into Mississippi.

When I bend over to tie my shoes I look for something else to do while I'm down there. It seems to save time and for me, that's the one commodity that is getting in short supply. Speaking of time, I've notice that when I'm getting ready for work in the mornings it takes me twice as long to look half as good. It's also taking me longer to rest than it did to get tired.

I've noticed that the number of pills I take escalates with my age. Like some of you, I have those little pill organizers, you know, the slots for Monday, Tuesday, etc. Ten years ago I had one prescription. Today I have so many I have to use several spreadsheets on the computer to keep up with all of them. On Saturday night I sit down to organize my pills. You can tell you are old when that is all you can manage to do on a Saturday night. By the time I place all of the bottles on the kitchen counter it looks like I robbed a local drugstore and the entire health food/supplement section at Wal-Mart. From there I must use all of my education, intellectual prowess and years of business experience just to make sure I get all of the right medicine inserted into the little container for the right day of the week. You can't afford mistakes because starting over is painful, plus the frustration elevates your blood pressure. And if you start over it means trying to identify correctly a bunch of pills without knowing the correct bottle from which they came.

Of course the best way to realize you are running out of birthdays is to see your friends get old just like you. They have the same problems, the same difficulties, both mental and physical. When you get old you notice that your friends, like you, have given up all of their bad habits, and like you no one feels a bit better for giving them up.

But that's not all bad. You can now tell your friends things you would not have told them earlier. Now, your secrets are safe with your friends...because they can't remember them either.

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