“Things are different today,” I hear ev’ry mother say. Mother needs something today to calm her down. And though she’s not really ill, there’s a little yellow pill. She goes running for the shelter of her mother’s little helper. And, it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day.” Rolling Stones/Mother’s Little Helper
Ok, so maybe I didn’t take very good care of myself when I was younger. I didn’t do enough sit ups, I didn’t floss twice a day, and I didn’t save for a rainy day. Sex, drugs and rock and roll were often my sustenance. But, I ask you, is it really necessary to be taking more than 14+ (I’ve lost count) medications a day now to make up for it? Is it really worth it?
My husband and I were having this discussion over breakfast a couple of days ago and I was voicing my general disgust with having to do so much just to stay alive. Before you read into this that I’m suicidal, stop. I’ve been there, done that, and that’s not what this is about. I’m just weary of taking pills, all day, every day. I’m in an “off” cycle for exercise, too, and taking in way too many carbs for a well-behaved diabetic.
I don’t know if this is a trait that baby boomers hang onto or not, but I still resent authority and when the doctor says “do it” I immediately ask for other options or will spend hours on the internet trying to justify why I don’t need to eat better, take pills, walk five miles a day, lift weights, etc., ad naseum. I make deal with the doctor, myself, and no doubt the devil: if I’m being pretty good in general, I’ll get gelato, or if I can get my blood sugar down in time for the next A1C test, I’ll get to drop a pill or two.
It really is pathetic. I’m not stupid and I know what I need to do, but there it is again: I just don’t want to. My husband, on the other hand, is a total realist. He takes two meds as part of keeping his heart healthy (he’s had a heart attack–they seem to run in his family), keeps up with his exercise, and has trouble understanding where I’m coming from. “Don’t you want to live to be 104 like your grandmother?” “God, no!”
See, I’ve had a lot of fun and seen a lot and I don’t much care if I die tomorrow. I think I peaked in my late twenties. And, yes, I have issues with depression (which seems to be what runs in my family) and I’m taking meds and seeing a psych nurse, but you know, I just don’t care. I’m here, now, I think for my husband and my sister, surely not for me.
I’m not feeling depressed, just flat. *shrug* Who cares?
At any rate, we got to discussing the “ills” of getting old and the propensity seniors have for discussing their physical ailments and their friend’s physical ailments and even their dog’s physical ailments with any stranger they meet. Doesn’t that seem odd to you? I noted that the high school friends I’ve reconnected with (via Facebook) in recent months all seem to be suffering some sort of malaise.
One has completely reverted to senior year–he posts old pictures of the gang surfing all the local haunts and scrounges You Tube for videos of the songs that we grew up to or danced to in high school. He also has issues related to his time in Vietnam and is on disability courtesy of the military. He’s also become a Christian with a capital “C” much removed from the rowdy and rasty kid I knew in school!
Another has become a militant Republican and a very vocal Christian, as well. In fact, several of them have “discovered Christ.” I’m not sure what prompted the radical change in them–these were the same kids who marched in demonstrations with me against the war, you know, “Hell no, we won’t go!” Some even left for Canada or to surf the best waves to be found worldwide. Many of them did end up in Vietnam and I know now, that many of them didn’t return. Is it that?
On a side note, if you’ve never attended a class reunion (I haven’t; I moved around too much to be found, I think.), what images do you conjure when you think of seeing those old friends again? In one of my less intelligent thoughts, I always picture these classmates and friends looking much like they did in high school. And, I sadly, don’t. I was so skinny then and cute and popular. Now? Well, let’s just say I’m none of those and a bit of a recluse.
Where did that disconnect come from? I’m getting reaquainted with these people, reading their posts, looing at their pictures and I’m dumbfounded. Why did I ever think like that? The two cutest guys in my class are old, chubby, bald and wrinkled! Some of the girls look pretty good still, but almost to a one, the guys are unrecognizable. What the hell am I worried about??
But, aside from existing under that disillusionment charm, I’m also suffering the effects of discovering that not everyone remained as liberal as I did. Or as rebellious (at least in my ideas). They’ve aged in ways I assumed we all would, families, grandkids, conservative, religious, staid, bored and unhappy. Is this the norm? And, I assume they all want to live forever, while I can’t see the appeal.
At any rate, I think I’m glad to have “jelled” early, even if I’m taking 14+ meds, including lots of little yellow mother’s helpers, daily. And, I really am here only till my husband is gone. Then, I’m checking out, a happy camper for the life I’ve led.