I heard a news story about a 44-year-old woman who had a rare brain disorder: She experienced no fear. She was exposed to snakes, spiders, and a screening of The Blair Witch Project—nothing. She's reported to be normal in every other way. She just doesn't feel fear.
I'd like to find her and talk her into the ritual of pricking our fingers and exchanging a drop of blood. I'll take any bit of fearlessness I can get.
We all know that the classic act usually labeled a Senior Moment is walking into a room and forgetting what you came there for. Today I did better than that. I dug into my purse and forgot what I was looking for. Since I can never find anything in my purse anyway, I didn't come out any worse than usual.
I try to make sure I delete my web-surfing history. Heaven forbid someone snatches my computer and discovers that my most recent searches were: the neuromonics tinnitus treatment; causes of chronic cough; removal of ear wax; and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Or, on a healthier day, some nosy person might discover that I have nothing better to do than investigate the latest antics of Charlie Sheen or seek the meaning behind the last episode of “The Good Wife.”
Is this what semi-retirement is all about? I’d ask myself if this would be my pursuit if I were 20 years younger, but 20 years ago, these kinds of time-passers weren’t possible. I had to rely on visiting the public library, picking up a dictionary, or questioning each and every one of my friends—at least the friends to whom I was willing to confess my specific need for the information.
Patience is a virtue that, some say, comes into full bloom as we get older. They weren't talking about me. I used to consider myself a patient person, but lately I get antsy standing in a supermarket line when the cashier calls for a price check for someone in front of me. I get irritated waiting for a web site to open. I grind my teeth waiting at a super-long red light, and once it goes green, I'm even more annoyed when it takes the traffic in front of me so long to get moving and I realize I may not make it through.
Where am I going in such a hurry? Usually, not anyplace important enough. Or am I just not wanting to waste the precious minutes that are quickly ticking away? I like that explanation a lot better than thinking I may be becoming a sixty-something curmudgeon.