With all that went on last year, I feel as if I need to regroup and change how I react to life’s challenges. Luckily, my 3 a.m. internal alarm clock provides me with time for introspection as to what to do. Our neighbor’s rooster apparently has the same internal clock instead of observing nature’s call. As I tired last night of his endless crowing and tried not to think about Kentucky fried chicken, I focused instead on how to go about change. As they say, you can’t change what you don’t admit so following are a few of my life’s challenges.
1. I am always calling my grandchildren any name other than their own. At this age, I just tell them to answer to anything. In 2022, I will give them name tags, large print of course. I will then reassure them that I remember their names but the tags will help them to remember each other’s names.
2. I often re-watch movies because I can’t remember if I saw them or not. My new plan will be to not continue watching when I realize that I have seen it. I now won’t hesitate to spend another hour in my sometimes fruitless search driving my husband crazy while I find a new movie.
3. During the past year, my kids have rolled their eyes and shaken their heads when I talk to any person passing by. Unfortunately, I come by this naturally because my parents never met a stranger. This year I will attempt to limit my contact with most, some, maybe a couple. And I will definitely say I told you so when my kids do the same thing someday, it’s in the genes!
4. Multitasking, especially while driving, does not work for me anymore. From now on I will put down the taco and apply my makeup before I leave the house.
5. I find myself constantly commenting on how young an attending physician is. From now on, I will remind myself that every patient over the age of 60 probably comments on their doctor’s age. As I have become a senior, I don’t mind my age but I am shocked by it. When did it happen and when did doctors start looking like teenagers to me?
6. Due to my 68-year-old short term memory loss, repeating stories to friends and family has been an occasional occurrence. This year, at the first glimpse of that tortured glaze that comes over someone’s eyes when they have heard it all before, I will immediately recognize their boredom and free them from their misery.
In 2022, I will do my best to change what I can in a positive way. And while continuing on I will consider my wrinkles, occasional stiff knees and exaggerated gift to gab as a badge of honor. Aging really does change our lives in many ways physically and mentally. Until we are there, we don’t think it will happen to us.
Changes can be beneficial as were my husband’s 2021 shoulder and wrist repairs. We got a chuckle when discussing these changes with my son. He remarked that we were trying to take an old car and turn it into a corvette. I replied that his scenario would be great, but realistically, our goal is to just enjoy our lives at this age and keep these two old cars running. Happy 2022!
Tina Jensen is a member and one of the coordinators of activities for the Escalon Senior Fun Bunch. She contributes a monthly column for The Times.