By TINA JENSEN
The other day, I told my husband that I was going to my car to get my day planner. When I came into the house, he asked where my day planner was. “I don’t know,” I said, “but I found the gum I was looking for.” We call that “squirrel”. The definition of a “Senior Squirrel” is when anyone over the age of 55 enters a room, can’t remember what they were looking for, picks up something else and goes about their day.
It also includes things like asking my husband to call my phone about 50 times a day so that one of us can find it, that is if I remembered to charge it. Squirrel! I have tripped over the footstool at the end of our bed for the umpteenth time today because once again I forgot I moved it there last week. Squirrel! You know how, as a senior, multi-tasking is just not what it used to be? If you are a senior, do not even think about texting three people at the same time. I did that to a friend yesterday. The text asked if my granddaughter could come over on Friday. The friend texted back, “Will I have your granddaughter on Friday?” “No,” I said, “that was meant for my daughter-in-law.” She then asked again, “But will I have your granddaughter on Friday?” As Abbott and Costello would say, “Who’s on First?”
A friend and I took a line dancing class recently and much to my horror, the instructor taught us three dances in an hour. Did she think we were hot young 18-year-olds with memories still intact? Our brains don’t work like that anymore (unless I need to order a Starbucks Grande hot vanilla latte with three pumps of vanilla). Afterwards, I remembered the first line dance but forgot the last two while my friend remembered the last one and forgot the first two. Just like the old “Mission Impossible” movie where they say, “This message will self-destruct.” Before I knew it, all three line dances were wiped from my memory and replaced by my grocery list. More times than I want to admit, I have tripped over something, or nothing or whatever. I’m amazed at how I used to jump up like a yo-yo but now I have to take a minute to inventory body parts to make sure they are all still in the right places before I get up.
I have to apologize because I know I am rambling and often talk about how surreal aging is now that I will be turning 70. Did I say that out loud? I did and I am proud. As a kid, our generation survived black and white television. If we wanted to change the channel on that big ten-inch screen, we had to get up and do it manually. Can you just imagine that now? My grandchildren would disown me and never come back. Another hardship that we survived was the fact that our school lunch was in a metal lunch box usually containing an unrefrigerated bologna sandwich with mayonnaise. Unchilled milk bottles were delivered to our front porch and picked up to refrigerate whenever we remembered it was delivery day. Yes, we were tortured and possibly poisoned. So I say, if we could survive those things, we can certainly survive old age with a smile on our face and a skip in our step. It helps to know I’m not the only one who ‘squirrels’ … I’m not, am I?
High five to all fellow squirreling seniors. Just know that you are not alone and we’re in this together. Copy this because this message will self-destruct!
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.