Thoughts On Aging
Aging! There is no such thing as aging gracefully. We age like we learned to walk... with many pitfalls, bruises, and staggering around. Sometimes, we seem to forget where we are.. or who we are. We don't forget, but it seems this way to our families. You can't walk as well as you used to. You struggle for words when trying to make a point. People who once thought of you as intelligent, now think of you as a little odd. Members of your family nod their heads when you try to make a point, but you catch them exchanging glances with each other when they think that you are not looking.
All of this saddens me. I feel as bright and relevant as I did when I was in my twenties. The difference being, I now know what the hell I am talking about.
I am a thoughtful man. I am not one who jumps to a conclusion without thoroughly researching what I am talking about. However, I feel that everything that I say these days is either ignored, or taken with a grain of salt. Getting older sucks.
The physicality of it is even worse. I used to walk all over the place. Sheryl and I went to the city in the late '90s, and I walked the whole day, actually enjoyed it. Now, I'm lucky if I can walk around a store. My knees are shot. My back has been shot for years, despite two surgeries, and I seem to always be in pain. I do not take any drugs to alleviate my pain.. just the occasional Aleve, and, at night, a few glasses of wine. It's okay.. i've learned to tolerate it.
The worst is that I am going deaf. The hearing in my left ear is just about gone, and I have had tinitus in both ears for decades. This is because the 19 year old version of me worked around jet aircraft and thought that not wearing ear protection was the right thing to do. I thought that I was smarter then everyone who said that it was imperative to my hearing that I should wear the Mickey Mouse ears, as we called them. Also, I love music. I love music LOUD!
Now, I am paying the price. How sad is it that someone who goes around singing all day long, and loves music just a bit less then he loves his family, will soon be unable to hear a note? I will always have the memory of it's constant presence in my life. I cannot think of a moment where I did not have a song in my heart and mind.
I am not complaining. Most of my physical ills are because of choices that I have made in my life, and I am comfortable with that. As to the way that family and friends think of me? Well, we all reach a point in our lives where it seems that we are discounted. The good thing is that, eventually, they will think of you as someone who was wise and tried to do the best thing for their family.
I'm ready for whatever comes next, and I wish all who follow me Peace, Love, and Success.
John Zaffino Kent Lakes, New York
December 3, 2015