I can tell I'm getting better because I'm not sleeping 10-12 hours a day. The world is impinging again; current worries and noodges are shunting aside sleep. So maybe I can get some focused work done. I'll try.
All the self-help articles, the fillers in the newspapers that tell you what to do to look younger, feel better and live longer are driving me crazy. There's one going the rounds now that is really annoying, showing how to massage your cheek bones (and lymph nodes too if you know where they are). Do this regularly, you are told, and you'll look three years younger. Shoot! Is anyone going to notice if I look 83 instead of 86? I don't think I will.
Even the big promises from anti-age wrinkle ads (note they all say 'will reduce the LOOK of wrinkles', not reduce the wrinkles. The wrinkles are here to stay), even the big ones say you'll look ten years younger. Seventy-six? Hell, I want to look 35!
I don't really. I'm into uncharted territory now, the old old age that's off the charts and that the woefully small number of geriontologists in the country don't know much about, let alone what they're doing. I've read all the warnings and cautions and encouragements re healthy habits and lifestyle behaviour and I'm way past them.
"Do this," they say, "and add four years to your life." I have already added more than four years to my life. What else can you suggest?
I have also read that old people are calmer, more optimistic, more tolerant (or more resigned?) and less subject to the blues. Yeah , well, sometimes. It helps, of course, if you can laugh. Keep laughing. Just emerging from - oh, dear, have to go back a way: emerging from a career disappointment, a deep depression, a pressured Christmas (I created the pressure and didn't respond adequately), a physical ordeal (heat off in my apartment) and a cold/flu/cough/whatever caused by discomfort to the point of health-threatening and despair to the point of resilience depletion, I am not quite as calm and tolerant as I am supposed to be at my age.
Look back on memories, we old-timers are told, and bask. Enjoy what you have accomplished. Rest on your laurels. My laurels are pretty mingy to rest on, not much comfort there. When I go looking for my successes I just see the ones that got away, my bad judgment, the mistakes I made, the ill-considered turns I took, not to mention the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that done me wrong. No comfort there. Best not to dwell.
Quite right Not to dwell.
Right now I am touched by the kindness of neighbours who have comforted me with lemons, honey, soup, bread and yes, tea and sympathy. Thank you, dear hearts and gentle people.