Getting older (note, older, not old, pls) is a royal pain. Although better than the alternative, perhaps. Much of it is a confidence thing. Some a physical thing. Or a memory thing. Anyway, I’ve identified five standards I hope to maintain even when I’m as old as the indomitable Captain Tom.
- Doing my own feet. Which means bending and reaching my toes for a sustained period. It’s way better to get a proper pedicure, of course, but I must be able to trim them myself. The whole shiny red polish thing can be tricky, but a neutral shade that doesn’t show the wobbles is fine with me.
- No groaning or grunting when I sit down or get up from a chair, or in and out of the car. Such a tell. And with arthritic knees and dodgy hips, I understand the impulse. But resist, resist! Similarly, no muttering under my breath as I go about my business. No idea why this is an old person’s trait, but it is.
- Shoulders back! Walking all bent up is a sure sign of looking old. Not good. Now, seeing as I’m so tall, I’ve tended to stoop since I was about 15, but it’s got to stop. Currently implementing exercises to stretch my pecs and strengthen my lats before it’s too late.
- Not checking my travel tickets Sounds like a small thing, but I know perfectly well when the train/plane/ferry is, I’ve looked a million times. Then I’ll run just one more itty-bitty check to see that I’ve got it right. Of course, it’s perfectly possible, being a nervous traveller, that I’ve been doing this all my life. But even if I have, I’m going to try and restrain the urge now it’s beginning to look like an old lady thing.
- Resorting to Google when I can’t instantly recall something. This is handy, I know, but what’s it doing to my potentially demented brain? Conversations in our house sometimes go like this:
‘You know that actress… the one in the film we saw last week on Netflix… or was it Sky?’
‘The courtroom drama… a remake of that seventies series… you know the one.’
Long silence. The answers are there, on the tip of my tongue. But neither of us can remember the name of the actress, the title of the film or the seventies original, or even the platform we saw it on. Then one click… and all is revealed.
But All Is Not Lost.
Stay alert! is my motto du jour – despite its dodgy associations. Look at Captain Tom: coherent, upright and determined at 100. Or, of course, there is an alternative stance. I could decide not to give a damn, like Rhett – my favourite character from a now-unmentionable movie – and just sink into bent, muttering, dithering, foggy old age. Not.