I realize I’m getting older. There are mirrors in my house. But sometimes I just do not want to be reminded of the ticking clock and the perpetual movement of the calendar. I wanna be in the moment and if in that moment I feel young as springtime I can delude myself for a little bit, can’t I?
Then I visit the mailbox.
We get lots of catalogues. Over the past 20-plus years this little korner has appeared in print I’ve probably mentioned that fact dozens of times. And I realize that many of the companies who send them out are intertwined in some businessy way that I don’t give two hoots about, but that’s why catalogues I’ve never purchased a thing from arrive in my mailbox. I can deal with that. We have an outdoor wood furnace and a burn barrel on the premises and a recycling center in the township. My biggest problem is that no matter what arrives, before I toss it in the recycle bin or the flames, a compulsion overcomes me. I must scan the pages.
Today, that was a mistake.
The catalogue is one I’ve never seen before — and hope to not see again for many years to come. The cover was rather innocuous — “slip-ons make walking a breeze”, “active compression comfort fit knee wrap” (I already own one), “relief at your fingertips” (chest congestion cream?), and the worst, “take a seat cane” (it holds up to 250 pounds!).
Inside were the usual cheaters (as in eyeglasses, got some), diabetic socks (there are folks younger than me with diabetes and I’m blessed to have escaped it thus far), compression socks (own those for my venous insufficiency) and incline wedges to put beneath one’s pillow (got one of those as well). But there were pages of wheelchairs of all sorts. And pages of adult “diapers” of all sorts for both men and women. And pages of disposable underpads for furniture and mattress protection. Oh dear. Pictured were lots of canes and bath safety aids, a few stepstools and a couple lifts to make it easier to get up off the toilet seat. Not to mention the medication organizers that look like they could hold a whole pharmacy. Is that what I have to look forward to, thought I? Do all of these things really make life more comfortable for the aged, thought I? It was depressing to say the least. The only real highlight was the personal megaphone — every woman should have one, especially if she has a man in her life. Just sayin’ guys.
On the one hand, sixty-one is not young, but it’s not exactly advanced either. I take walks every day. I bike often. I clean my own house. I mow grass. I do farm chores, including unloading hay bales. I play with my grandkids. But in all honesty and on the other hand, I walk slower than I used to, I bike less distance than I used to, I clean more in spurts when deep cleaning. Much of, but not all, the grass mowing is via rider, farm chores and haymaking are seasonal, my grandkids, at ages 7 and 12, can outdistance me in a footrace easily, and most depressing of all, I actually own and use a few of the items shown in this gosh darn easy comforts catalogue. Am I old?
I went to the dictionary. The definition of old is “having lived for a long time; no longer young,” which makes it all subjective. My paternal grandfather lived to be 98. That’s 37 years past where I’m at now. He was old. Maybe my genes came from that pool — if so, I can burn these catalogues with glee.
Suns out, off for my bike ride and will drop “easy comforts” in the recycling bin as I head out.