Thursday, June 17, 2010

If there are Senior Olympics, I’m not entering.

One day, while showering, I emitted a snuffle/breath that came out like a whistle. My unconventional reaction? I thought, “I can still whistle!” Why I assumed that a relatively useless skill (for me) like whistling would fade with age, I’m not sure, but I was glad to see that something of the old me (who, truth be told, rarely whistled) was intact.

Being habitually negative, I started to think about what I can't do anymore. I can no longer—

• Get up from sitting on the floor without thinking about how I’m going to balance weight on my hands to push myself up semi-gracefully. (Note: This can’t really be done with any gracefulness. And it’s usually accompanied by a grunt.)

• Sit anywhere for longer than 15 minutes without feeling achy—and making crackling noises—when I stand up.

• Fold the Chicago Tribune neatly while I’m reading it, despite the fact that it has shrunk considerably in the past year.

• Lift my packed suitcase, no matter how much I rely on lightweight Chico’s Travelers clothing. Thank goodness my new bag has spinner wheels. And I must always travel with my husband so he can hoist the bag onto the platform when we’re checking in. Similarly, I need him to lift the bag off the carousel when we arrive. (Fortunately, I also like traveling with him.)

• Remember the name of someone I’ve recently met, even if it was ten seconds ago.

• Digest broccoli gracefully. (This needs no further explanation. If you think otherwise, you’ll have to tap into your own gastrointestinal anecdotes.)

If there were true Senior Olympics, the games would include all of the above efforts, with the gold medal going to anyone whose dexterity (and inner health) matched that of a fifty-year-old. For me, even earning an honorable mention is a pipe dream. But I can still whistle.