At some point in your life you begin to notice that there are more health stories seeping into daily conversations than when you were young and free (aka pre-children-spouses-mortgages-activities). Everyone knows someone with an illness, a condition or some other health-related circumstance that has affected their life in ways that often seems disruptive and worrisome.
We’re all getting older.
I first noticed this a few years ago when my mom was still taking yearly trips to visit her aging mom in Switzerland. She would leave my dad at home in the house but everywhere around the house I would notice notes. Large notes with clear, block-printed letters, reminding him of things like keys, dentures, wallet, and the cat (who had an annoying habit of trying to escape between his legs when the door was slightly ajar).
The notes were posted in obvious places (like the one about the wallet and cat was near the front door), but it’s been years since my grandmother died, and my mom hasn’t really left my dad for longer than just a few days at at time (if at all). Yet the notes are still stuck at the same locations as before.
I wondered about this today. Are the notes still effective or have they, over the years, become part of the general landscape, like a lamp, or a picture, or a mirror?
I contemplate aging, and forgetfulness, not just because I feel myself getting older, but also because life is so incredibly busy (in a good way) and I tend to find myself easily distracted when I’m doing boring things like laundry, or cleaning out a closet. Like right now, I am multitasking by cleaning out my front closet by the door (because the winter stuff is out of control in there and needs to be stored into the attic now), I had a hunk of meat I needed to dress and place into the slowcooker (because activities tonight taking us in different directions at different times) and then I walked by the laptop and saw a message on facebook and here we are. I’m typing (instead of finishing up the closet).
The worst part of it is not even that. The worst part of it was me leaving the tap running in the kitchen with the plug in the sink. I went into another room, and then promptly forgot to return to the kitchen to turn off the water. You know how that goes. You leave making a mental note to come right back with whatever item, but on the way you see x that needs picking up and y that you could move to its proper location and by then you’re by the bathroom and the spots on the mirror you’ve been meaning to wipe are in your face and then the toilet paper is out….
But the water was running in the kitchen and I completely forgot about it. We spent thousands on this kitchen renovation a year ago and here I am almost flooding the whole room. Not only that, I also forgot to turn off the oven when the buns were done, and I could smell smoke by the time I realized I hadn’t removed a basket I had left in there accidentally.
So an almost flood-and-fire in the kitchen got me on this train of thought about forgetfulness, distractedness, and yes, aging.
I feel old.