PC made up a meme for those of us who are over 40 (over 50 in my case).
1) Which part(s) of your body is/are hurting as you read this? List all that apply.
Actually, nothing at this moment.
2) Which of the following is/are no longer working properly? List all that apply.
*I've put my comments after the body part. If there's no comment, you can assume that part of me still works fine.
a) feet - I have to wear orthotics *all the time* and, connectedly, can only wear certain shoes.
c) knees - I've had big problems in the past couple of years but at the moment they're okay. But I'm very careful with them and rigorously avoid doing things like playing soccer at picnics in case it causes problems. So I self-restrict - which I never did when I was younger.
d) hips - my hip problem (wherein one hip felt as if it were slightly out of its socket, in an almost-sciatic kind of way), which appeared for no apparent reason a year ago, disappeared just as mysteriously, having not responded to osteopathy or physio, in August. I slipped over in mud while on a bushwalk and I think that acted like a self-chiropractic treatment!
e) back - I often get lower back pain - muscular, not spinal. I think it's from sitting down at a computer too often (weak abdominal muscles).
g) brain - I tried learning chess two years ago, having never played it at all, and just couldn't take it in. (On the other hand, I'm back at university and getting very high results, so it must be fundamentally okay.)
h) digestive system
i) blood pressure
j) memory - what's that? (I've been taking Gingko for the past few months, as a just-in-case.)
k) idealism - deep sigh
l) compassion - I hope mine's still intact but avoid situations which would test it too stringently.
m) optimism - I try not to think too deeply about the state of the world.
n) other (please specify):
skin. My dermatologist labelled the things which are appearing on my face "age bumps". I also have "white moles" - these are like little white thickenings of skin. They're only visible close up. I don't have many wrinkles but I do have quite a few solar keratoses and other growths, as well as some small seborrheic (I don't think that's the right spelling) cysts on my cheek. All of these are age-related (especially for an Australian).
eyes: I had perfect vision until I was 50. I now have to wear reading glasses.
hormones: My last period was three months ago.
veins: many broken and varicosed on my legs.
3) Has your hairline receded? (For both sexes.)
No. In fact, my hair seems to be of the same quality it was in my 20s, which surprises me (see questions 4 and 5).
4) Is your hair the same colour it was ten years ago?
No. It's no longer dark brown or any kind of brown. I'm not sure exactly what colour it was 10 years ago as I started dying it in my 30s (henna, etc). It had gone white by the time I was 44.
5) Is your hair the same colour it was ten days ago?
Yes. I completely stopped dying my hair about three years ago, after having blonde streaks for about two years before that. So I've been 'out' as a whitehead since I was about 46.
6) Do you know what colour your hair would be if you grew the colour out?
Yes. My hair is now essentially white (see 5). I'm consequently very aware of how few women my age *don't* dye their hair. For example, I went to a dinner party last week in which all eight adults were over 50 and I was the only one with visibly grey/white hair.
7) Are you still content to have your photo taken?
I now lift my chin up when I'm having my photo taken so that I don't get the double chin effect. That's new. I also hate having my photo taken from the side as it reveals how jowly I am. That's new too. And there are many horrible recent photos of me, which is new too - I used to be photogenic.
8) Do you think that Brazilians and/or back, sack & crack waxes are ridiculous?
Yes I do. I don't shave or wax anything and haven't since I was a teenager. I'm aware that this now looks pathetic rather than rebelllious due to my age.
9) Or have you had one (or more than one)?
10) Did it hurt more than childbirth / falling off a ladder / root
canal work / being attacked by a shark? (If not applicable, write ‘Not
11) Have you had root canal work?
Not yet - but soon. I have a January appointment with an endodontist for a consultation to have one done. Unfortunately I have a cracked tooth. Age-related.
12) Have you had surgery on any of your intimate parts?
No. At least, I don't think so. What is an intimate part? I've had various in/fertility surgeries, I don't think that counts. I wouldn't have cosmetic surgery.
13) Were you evasive about it with your friends and relatives?
14) How long have you known your oldest friend?
'Oldest friend' meaning someone I'm actively friends with (as opposed to simply knowing them and exchanging the occasional email) - I'm friends with someone I met when I was 16 and she was 13 but we haven't been close friends all that time (I was originally friends with her sister). Still, we've known each other 35 years. Someone who I have been close friends with ever since we met (and who is coming to dinner tonight) I met when I was 19 and she was 24. So that's 32 years. (It's very weird when you can start to talk in terms of 30 years of adulthood.)
15) How often do you have to grope around for a particular word before you remember it?
Not all that often.
16) When you travel, do you take a special separate toiletries bag
exclusively for your medications and other first aid supplies?
No I don't. I don't take any special medications.
17) Does the thought of starting a new relationship
(a) fill you with horror
(b) make you giggle
(c) make you want to run away into the desert
(d) other (please specify)
(d) but I don't think I should specify, given that I'm in an old relationship.
18) What have you found to be the most reliable mantras, slogans and shibboleths to get you through life’s bad moments?
We were all children once.
Make sure to act in such a way that you won't have regrets.
19) What makes you cry?
Self-pity. The sound of a newborn baby crying. 'Oh What a Beautiful Morning' from Oklahoma.
20) What makes you laugh?
My partner, my son, friends, some TV shows and movies, Alan Bennett reading 'Winnie the Pooh'.
21) Who were your musical gods and heroes when you were in your late teens/early 20s?
Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading, Joni Mitchell (there seems to be a Joan theme here)...
22) Is/are he/she/they still alive?
23 Which of these is no longer what it once was? List all that apply.
a) your ability to metabolise alcohol or other drugs of choice
b) your desire to metabolise alcohol or other drugs of choice
c) your desire to dance
d) your ability to dance
a and b. Especially b.
24) Have you now been to enough funerals to have definite and detailed
ideas about how they should be organised and run? If yes, please
I've given the eulogies at both my mother's and father's funerals. I think the form of the funeral should reflect the dead person's beliefs and tastes as much as possible.
25) Have people started trying to help you across the street?
No never, but I have been taken for my son's grandmother.
26) Could you get up on karaoke night and sing 'Non, je regrette rien' without bursting into howls of hysterical laughter?
Well I wouldn't sing it very well but I've always quite liked that song, though I could never see the appeal of Piaf.
27) If not, please explain.
See 26; I used to feel that I was someone who had no regrets but increasingly I have strong ambivalence about some of my past decisions (though I think there's no point to that kind of feeling).
28) What about 'My Way'?
I have to admit to a sneaking enjoyment of that song.
29) When did you last have a drink?
30) What was it?
Some kind of pink champagne which was a Christmas present from a customer (?client) of my partner's.