Aging

untitled (2)I have always wanted a VW Beetle convertible.  And, I’ve got a birthday, anniversary and Mother’s day all coming up together within a five day period.  (This is where I wish I had emoji’s.)

I test drove one a few weeks ago.  The young salesman went along for the drive so I asked him, “Who buys these cars, little old ladies like me?”

Ever the polite young man, he said, “We do sell it to the demographic whose children have all moved away from home.  They don’t need an SUV anymore.”  Well, lucky me….

I am that demographic. 

This particular demographic makes me feel old sometimes.

A few weeks back, I discovered that I can no longer turn a cart wheel.  I was devastated.   I grew up turning cart wheels across the floor.  Once I realized how stiff and uncoordinated I had become, I began walking everyday  to get fit again.

Then, one day last week, I decided to plant a small blueberry bush.  I trudged out to a sunny part of my backyard, with shovel in tow, wearing my most comfy flip flops.  I put the shovel in the ground and put one foot on the top, pushing with all of my might and realized that I should have waited for a rain.

I needed all of my weight to start digging in this hard ground so I jumped with both feet on the shovel and was instantly propelled into the air and then flat on my back.  My first thought was, ‘oh my gosh, I hope no one saw that.’  My second thought was ‘wow, this ground is really pretty soft’.  They were random thoughts.  But, it was if the world had stilled and these thoughts were very important.

It was so bizarre.  I’ve always felt physically agile.  But, here I am laying on the ground not exactly sure how it all happened.  I got up, shook off and looked around to see who might be out there watching me make a fool of myself.  Then I got down to business.  No blueberry bush was making a fool of me.

For a while, I decided that I would walk twice a day.  Now, I’m back to once a day.  Most days, I take the dogs.  I have Lucy, my fifteen pound sweet-as-can-be dachshund and Louis my sixty-ish pound standard poodle.  Lucy is a great walking companion.  She is happy, knows our route and doesn’t get rattled by other dogs.  Louis is not quite two years old and he is an utter fool.

When we started our walks, butterflies were spooky to Louis; not to mention kids on scooters, basketballs, soccer balls, sprinklers, trampolines but most importantly, other dogs.  He does not understand walking in a straight line on a sidewalk.  And, he is constantly worried that Lucy might leave him (he’s on the short leash).

Once we get back from our walk, he is exhausted,as in done for the day.  He lays in his bed unable to even get up for a treat.  He is a delicate flower.  I will say, in his defense, that he does drag a middle aged woman for about two and one half miles.

It’s good for us.  I feel stronger already.

Last Thursday, my daughter Olivia (BSN, RN) and I took both dogs for a walk.  They always give me Louis.  Anyway, we had walked about two thirds of our route when I decided to speed up a bit.  Louis and I walked in front of Olivia and Lucy and were doing pretty well.

Then, out of the blue, my feet got tangled.  All at once time stood still.  I was totally present.  I tried to recover from my stumbling.  For three ‘don’t step on the crack or you’ll break your mother’s back’ strides I began twisting my body like a football player trying to escape the opposing player’s grasp, except, I was trying to land on the grass instead of the concrete sidewalk.

Finally, I hit the ground.  My palms hit the concrete as I pushed myself over onto the grass with my shoulder taking the brunt of the fall.  I could hear the dogs nails scrambling on the sidewalk but could not see what they were doing.  Olivia, who I will refer to from this point forward as Nurse Betty, yelled, “Mom, are you ok?” before I hit the ground.

Then, upon landing she yelled so that all of middle Tennessee could hear, “Is your hip ok?”

Huh… Did I hit my head and not realize that I hit my hip?  No, my hip seems to be fine.  Then, I knew.

“Olivia, I am about to turn fifty-two, not seventy-two…..my hip is FINE.”

But, I continued to lay there.  The grass was really itchy on my back.  My hands had a little rug burn on them.  But, I could move.  Then the next thought was, ‘I hope nobody saw me fall.’  I could just imagine the young mothers up the street out playing with their ‘littles’, seeing the old gal fall and instantly dialing 911.  It would be mortifying.

I guess pride comes both before and after the fall. For the last five days, I’ve been moving a little slow.  But, I’m not going to let that sidewalk make a fool of me.

 

 

About The Author

Jean Heaton

I am a daughter, sister, aunt, mother and probably most notoriously, ‘the Vet’s wife’.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Robert | 23rd May 16

    Glad they didn’t have to put you down…..

  2. Lourdes | 1st Jun 16

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  3. Trish | 1st Dec 16

    You had me at: I’ve always wanted a VW Beetle convertible. A few months back you & Matt came over to show off one to us that you were thinking about buying. That was so nice to have you & Matt stop by for a visit. Please do come back anytime. We miss our old neighbors! NOT THAT YOU’RE OLD. I cannot call you old because I’m ten years OLDER THAN YOU!!! Heck. You know what I mean, right?????

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