Woke up this morning with the above riff in my head…well, I know nothing of Methuselah, the biblical patriarch and a figure in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, except one is ‘as old as…..’ So, looked him up to learn he lived to reach 969 years of age, not a bad innings as they say. One of the highly intelligent questions in the pop-up menu up was, ‘is he still alive?’ to which, surprise, surprise the reply was ‘Deceased’. I also found many depictions of him but the one I most liked is this beautiful stained glass window. Well, perhaps it’s a slight exaggeration to say I’m feeling a thousand years old but, while the hip replaced some ten weeks ago progresses nicely, its mate is playing vengeful games and I am frustrated at not being able to ‘go for walks’ without feeling very sore very fast, that bone on bone soreness (no problem padding round house, garden, supermarket etc). And still I cant bend to pluck prolific, wet-season weeds nor sit for any length of time writing without getting up as stiff as I presume old Methuselah was. So the challenge is to come to terms with what is, thankful for panadol osteo and my wonderful Jon while investigating interim measures. More importantly, to take the mickey out of myself and have a laugh about the ‘oldies aids’ I now employ in between the whinging. Here are a couple of the ‘oldies aids’ I now employ-a pick up stick, very handy implement to avoid bending to floor, a wedge cushion to assist sitting position (not sure it helps and has the added ‘benefit’ of making a perfectly comfortable chair less comfy to sit in), orthotics to hopefully reduce the newest, sore feet…and cop this, my physio suggested walking poles rather than a single walking stick (dad’s dear old one) which I had recently taken when out walking for a few minutes on the road! So, trying to put my vanity aside, I went online and ordered a pair of walking poles…no way will I be seen walking through town using them but certainly will try on the foreshore or our local road and certainly on ‘walks’ when we go to Tasmania in a few weeks. People tell me they are great and my friend Laine, who had used a single one, when I mentioned how daggy I would look, vanity,vanity, replied, ‘oh no, not at all daggy. If you have two of them, you look professional!’
I am reminded of my old and very elegant mum who resisted all such aids, thus I learned to prepare her psychologically well in advance; first came ‘sensible’ shoes (oh, I haven’t yet mentioned shoes- still to come!!!), then a walking stick. This was followed some years later after she had a couple of falls, by a walking frame, which we nicknamed Schleppi, (from Yiddish shlepn, to drag). By now she was into her nineties (she lived to 101 years) and only in the last year or so did she require a wheelchair. After my father died, aged, 100 years, I moved back to Melbourne to be her primary carer and, with these aids, we were able to go out and about, visit her friends, even still attend concerts into her nineties. She was so funny, constantly berating me, see how my daughter treats me, she would somewhat aggressively proclaim in front of the friend whose house we had just arrived at as I suggested the safest way to negotiate the path or to watch out for a step. I tried to see these remarks as funny though inevitably failed at times, as the constancy sometimes felt hurtful. Hindsight being a great teacher, I now see this behaviour as part of her pride and resistance to the ever-increasing frailty and pain of her very advanced age. Still, to this day I wish I had brought more grace and humour to the situation, which in retrospect was a great lesson. And so, this little blog shifts from me to my darling mum…….
I am lucky. Many friends over the years have passed on items of clothing, some of which have served me well and been much loved for many years. Amongst them an elegant pair of sandals and others I have purchased, some a little dressier, some very casual. As the years have progressed I seek ever more comfortable shoes to accommodate what I term ‘difficult’ feet, no mean feat (wordplaywordplay) when vanity requires them to be attractive. Add to this that I am not one of those women ‘born to shop’. I hate shopping for clothing, especially for shoes, get bored very quickly and see it as a necessity rather than a pleasure. My strategy is to keep an eye open for something I really need and this eye sometimes must remain propped open for prolonged periods, like a year or more until I fall upon the right thing easily, only then it becomes a pleasure. However, as the years progress, what worked then sometimes doesn’t work now and thus the painful process of the ever open eye must recommence. Given that I live in a small town with little choice, this becomes ever more difficult and I am disinclined to drive two hours south or three-and-a half north to avail myself of greater choice. Trips to Melbourne or overseas trips often made this easier and more enjoyable, for a short period! Anyway, knowing my wardrobe contained not one but several pairs of shoes unsuitable for ‘difficult’ feet, Methuselah in combo with Mari Kondo (get rid of that which no longer ‘sparks joy’) finally came to my aid and yesterday I plucked several pairs from my wardrobe which will go to friends and the op shop.
This week the walking poles arrive! OMG!!! and this morning, a day later, I awoke with a new riff in my head…the old grey mare she aint what she used to be, aint what she used to be etc etc, remember?
No commiserations please, just having fun here. Other comments welcome, always nice to hear from you. And a few more pics for good measure because I can’t resist.