Thursday, January 14, 2010
OMG - It Happened!
In this process of aging there are markers and events that remind us that time is moving along: the first gray hair or wrinkle, children reaching milestones, parents with declining health – some are serious, some are just vain, but they all scream out, “You’re getting older!” I’ve come to grips with the fact that I am getting older (not old, just older) and I’ve welcomed many of the signs of aging: celebrating my 50th birthday almost two years ago, my oldest child getting married this past summer – gray hair? Hah! I conquered that concern years ago (with the help of my hair color guru, Joelle). But last night an event happened that really stopped me in my aging tracks! Last night I gathered with my group of neighborhood women friends for our monthly Pokeno game. Pokeno is similar to BINGO – everyone gets a Pokeno card which is filled much the same as a BINGO card except that instead of numbers, the Pokeno card has pictures of playing cards in each square and a deck of cards is used instead of the typical BINGO balls. During the second game last night, as the woman sitting next to me was “calling” the cards, I suddenly realized that my brain could not connect the card she was calling with the pictures of the cards on my Pokeno card. I panicked a bit as she called out and showed us three different cards and I found that I could not make sense of those cards in relation to my Pokeno card. Finally, I said out loud, “Well, that’s just weird!” and I went on to explain what was happening. The friend on my other side said, half-jokingly, “Maybe you are having a stroke or maybe you have a brain tumor.” Frankly, that’s sort of what I was worrying about myself, but as she spoke I realized that was not the case. The truth was, I COULD NOT SEE THE DETAILS ON MY POKENO CARD BECAUSE I NEEDED TO USE MY READING GLASSES! I’ve used reading glasses for computer work and for reading books, menus, etc. for several years; I have glasses lying around all over my house (in fact, twice I’ve had a little boy whisper to me, “Debbie, someone left their glasses on the back of the toilet” – yea, we know who those belong to…), but the Pokeno card is not small, there is no small print and, up until last night, I have not needed my glasses to see my card. Last night my brain said, “Enough!” It refused to make the effort to discern the shapes, numbers and letters on my Pokeno card from the blurred visual message that was being sent to it. Last night I had to retrieve my reading glasses from my purse and do the Granny-glasses head tilt where I looked at my card through the glasses, but then had to tilt my head down to look over the top of the glasses whenever I looked at someone across the table. This may seem vain, but this was an aging event that I have dreaded, that I have denied was coming and that I’m still not sure I can accept. Maybe my eyes were just tired, maybe the lighting wasn’t good…maybe I’m just getting old(er)!