One of my favorite bloggers (Grown and Flown) recently wrote about the “Seven Signs of the Aging Apocalypse” – or those inevitable indicators that we are aging.
Recently, as my brothers and I were planning my Dad’s 80th birthday and we were trading hilarious “Dad-isms” that would eventually become a poem, I realized that … I recognized myself. I had one of those “OMG I am becoming my mother/father” moments – while at the same time beginning a running commentary in my head about what my children will be saying about me – or what they already may be.
So my list might be called “Seven Things my Children Laugh at About Me as I Age” (it’s not quite as clever, but, in my defense – Apocalypse is really hard to spell):
- Gas prices. It is ridiculous how often my husband and I comment on this when we are driving (and we may or may not route our trips around Costco to fill up on the way). Yes, I know.
- Preoccupation and discussion about the Glory of Nature. Apparently it starts with birds – but with me I think it might have been sunsets, and has since moved to fall leaves, flowers, you name it – I’m pointing it out, and my son is rolling his eyes – I promise. As the author points out “You are now pointing out birds to your kids because you’ve lost all sense of reality about what young people are interested in. Hint: It’s not birds. I’m pretty sure that every time you genuinely admire a bird, you get a wrinkle.” Sigh, I can’t even imagine the result of all of the forced leaf viewing.
- As we were writing the poem my brothers were all “Wait, we have to add the bit about his obsession with stretching”. Ha ha ha – wait. If I’m not talking about stretching, I’m actually stretching, or I’m reading about the benefits of stretching and feeling super guilty because I’m not stretching enough and my profile looks like a turtle (or maybe a buzzard).
- Kombucha and kale smoothies. Enough said.
- Digestive aids. Probably too much said.
- The paralysis that comes with losing up close vision – (but the upside is that reading glasses have become a new fashion accessory!) My son loves to show his friends the font size on my phone.
- Misplacing everything. Whenever anything goes missing the immediate assumption is that I’ve put it somewhere completely unrelated. I might have put the sponge in the refrigerator last night . . .
This is a frequent topic in my friend group – all of us are in our mid 50’s and in some combination of parenting/caregiving/sandwich generation. This has become a fun and often hilarious exercise- but I’ve also noticed that it has created connection – we are all experiencing aging in our own way (both the scary/negative, and the not so dire and maybe ok) and this has been one of the ways we create community and support one another. I hope you have this same kind of connection with someone or a group of people in your life who can join you on your aging journey and be there to listen and laugh with you. I would love to hear what your kids say about you – please share in the comments below. (From my manager) “When the three of us are driving home from somewhere at night Hagan always says “please don’t make me ride around and look at houses with good exterior lighting” (insert laughing emoji here)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find my sponge.