As a senior, I tend to closely monitor my performance to be sure I’m not “slipping.” In my middle years, if I forgot something, I’d put it down to being too busy or would reckon that the item was somewhat less important than whatever I was focused on. If I lost any physical strength or ability, I’d be sure that I could recover it with a little training. Now I worry about “signs” – signs of my worst fear: loss of self-reliance.
This week was a particular hell in that regard. I double-booked an entire weekend. Trying to board a bus over a snow bank with two bags of groceries, I slipped and fell into the arms of a very sweet young man. My new optometrist must wonder if I’m safe to be left alone after I inserted my new contact lenses without removing my old ones and then declared that the prescription was wrong.
But I’ve found the antidote to these fears. Nope, not walking, although it is one of my favourite activities. It’s babysitting two very active toddlers for two days. They remember every word that comes out of my mouth and so must I. My reaction time is tested moment by moment as one of them learns to climb out of the former safety of her crib, or nose-dives off the couch, or requires a toilet immediately, or reaches to wipe the finger paint from her hands on my shirt.
And I’m ok!