Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thursday Thirteen #216

Thirteen Changes You Can Expect With Age

According to the good people at WebMD, here are 13 things that will likely happen to each of us as we become senior citizens. No wonder my TT banner lady looks horrified!

1) Skin becomes less elastic and wrinkles more easily.
2) Nails grow more slowly.
3) The hair on your head gradually thins.
4) By age 80, it's normal to lose 2" in height.
5) You're likely to need reading glasses.
6) Night vision frequently loses its clarity.
7) You may not sleep as much, or as deeply, as you did when you were younger.
8) Bones get less dense, and therefore less strong.
9) You may have trouble recalling recent memories, as well as names and dates.
10) You may suffer a gradual decline in energy and/or endurance.
11) Your lungs become less efficient.
12) Kidneys decline in size and function.
13) High frequency sounds may be harder to hear.

For more about the Thursday 13, 

or to play along yourself, click here.

So what if it's Wednesday?

Tuesday Choices are here

(I'm only one day late)

1. Chinese takeaway or Indian takeaway?
Chinese. I've never really taken to Indian food. I admit it's my fault, not India's.
2. Daffodils or tulips?
Daffodils in a vase, tulips in a garden. Cut tulips don't last very long.
3. Pine furniture or mahogany furniture?
Pine. I like blonder woods.
4. Enid Blyton or A A Milne?
I'm sorry but I don't know Blyton, so Milne wins by default.
5. Apple or pear?
6. Beer or cider?
Apple cider on cold evening, beer on hot days.
7. House or bungalow?
Bungalow. I'm like my cats -- I enjoy curling up in small spaces.
8. Hersheys chocolate or Cadburys chocolate?

9. Mountain or ocean?
10. Reality TV or soaps?
Soaps, I suppose. But I haven't watched either in many a season.
11. Nightie or pyjamas?
12. Vanilla coke or Cherry Coke?
Cherry Coke.

Rule #5

My TV Boyfriend
If you watch NCIS*, you know about Gibbs' rules. Leroy Jethro Gibbs is the Boss, a very special Special Agent, and he has 51 rules that he and his team live by.

My cousin Rose just began watching NCIS recently and recommended it to me in a letter. (She and I have been regularly putting pen to paper and sending one another snail mail letters since the late 1960s.) I told her I couldn't believe that she didn't know Mark Harmon is my TV boyfriend and that I am the lay priestess of all thing NCIS! Since then we have been writing one another notes that include decidedly fan girl elements as we gush about our show. Lately we've been discussing what guest role Robert Vaughn should play. We believe it's inevitable that he appear since David McCallum (Ilya to his Napoleon back in the Man from UNCLE days) is an NCIS regular.

Anyway, I digress. I just got a note from Rose yesterday and on the back of the envelope she invoked Rule #5: You don't waste good. Then she scrawled, "And you are GOOD, Gal!"

That touched my heart.

For now that mother and my uncle are gone, the one who has loved me the longest and most steadfastly is my cousin Rose. And as far as family goes, she, my late uncle and my Aunt Jo are the ones who have accepted and at times even admired me for all the qualities that left my nuclear family wringing their hands and shaking their heads.

While it's unrealistic for me to act as though the shit with my sisters isn't happening, I must also remember that Rose knows me, loves me, and thinks I'm GOOD!
*And if you don't, you should!

Hello. I'm Old.

Spa trips are good for reflection. The quiet time encourages me to turn inward, the alone time clarifies things for me in my own head and in my own spirit.

The spa treatments just naturally encourage reflection, too, of this shell I inhabit. You have to be honest with yourself about yourself in order to choose the right treatments and get the most from them.

And so I looked at myself at 55. And I find much to my surprise that my age has finally caught up with me.

It's not vanity to state that, until now, my physicality has not betrayed my age. I remember that when I met my best friend 9 years ago, he actually thought I was lying and adding years to my age. I know that 2 years ago, my friend John mentioned to me (unsolicited) that he thought I looked less lined and "less matronly" than other women of my vintage he knows.

I'm not sure anyone just meeting me today would be surprised that I'm 55. My hair still doesn't have much gray but it has become noticeably thinner. A few years ago, when I tried to grow it out, I got frustrated by how hard it was to manage, actually breaking a brush at the handle. That would not happen now. And I'm seeing more hair around the shower drain. I know this is completely natural -- it's estimated that more than half of us will experience it, and it's part of why long hair is not that popular with women over 40. (Length weighs thinning hair down.) I know that I could see my grandma's scalp on windy days. I'm going to the dermatologist later this month. I'll ask him about meds. Maybe it's time for Rogaine. Or maybe he'll recommend I return to my GP for a blood test. If this postmenopausal gal now has an elevated androgen level, it may be time for a drug like Finasteride.

Likewise, my eyebrows are getting sparse. Again, this is not unnatural. That's why God made eyebrow pencils. Time for me to start using one.

My gums are receding. Again, a normal part of aging. That's why the phrase "long in the tooth" was born. More than 57% of women will lose at least one tooth after menopause.

My lips are thinning. I just read recently that one of God's cruel jokes on us women that as our hips get plumper, our lips get thinner and damn, if that's not true! I wouldn't care about this so much except for the prominent mole on my lip line. I always thought of it as a beauty mark, but now I think it accentuates my thinning lips. Another thing to discuss with the dermatologist.

Oh yeah, and I'm still fat. My metabolism has slowed. I have little or no energy, which means I don't move as much as I should. I've got to own this and do something about it -- not only for my appearance but for my health.

I hope this didn't sound too depressing, because I'm not depressed. I'm 55. I'm not very gray yet and I'm pretty unlined. I know I'm lazy as all get out, but I project an image of energy. My voice still sounds young. So it's not all bad.

It's just that if I find myself in the job market again at this age, I have to be honest with myself about how I look and what I can do about it.

And what I just have to accept. After all, Betty White doesn't look like Jennifer Lawrence. Looking older as we age is natural.