One Foot in Front of the Other

I’ve been having trouble managing my joie de vivre.

Or finding it.

It went dark on me this month.

I think some of it had to do with my eyes. Having my cataracts removed meant that I could see a lot of things more clearly, including myself, unfortunately. And things in the distance, or not so far distance, like age and weakness, lost abilities, dependency. Someday, I won’t be able (or allowed) to drive my own car.

I’ve thought these things before, for years actually, even though I am healthy and sane and able. When I do, I usually put the top down on my convertible and drive faster. But that hasn’t worked this time. Everywhere I go, I hear the clock ticking. Like Captain Hook, I am tortured, running from one side of the ship to the other. Where is that damn crocodile? Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Resignation or struggle. Those seem to be the two options. And self-pity. But because self-pity has sort of an entitlement threshold, not many people talk about feeling sorry for themselves for getting older because, you know, there is the alternative.

The other night, after a long futile search for the hearing aid that goes on my left ear, I ripped the cochlear implant receiver off my right ear, fed up with its weight, its claw around my ear, threw it on the dresser where part of it splintered off to the floor, and yelled “I’m sick of all this machinery!”

Then I fell into bed and started crying. Crying like somebody died. Great, heaving sobs. About having to wear things on my head that help me hear.

But it wasn’t about that. I don’t know what it was about. If I said I knew I would be pretending, posing myself as a master of this aging process when, right now, I feel like its victim.

I do know that, like most tough times, the only way out is through the middle. And through the middle lies something – survival, possibility, life, happiness? Every time I’ve put my head down and kept on in my life, it’s been worth it. It will be this time, too, I think.

10 thoughts on “One Foot in Front of the Other

  1. There are just so many aspects of this growing old show that I wasn’t expecting. Or maybe I knew about them in theory but didn’t know how they would impact my sense of self and emotions. I think I have decided to enjoy each day that is good and live in the moment. I think it is equivalent to burying my head in the sand – something I haven’t done since I difficult period during adolescence.


  2. Aging isn’t easy, that’s for sure. And I think all of us have those days. Thanks for being so honest about yours and reminding us we’re all in this thing together. Nobody gets to escape time . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 1. Read Heather’s comment, again and again. Then hike up your trendy little jeans or your elastic waistbands and be glad you don’t have to stare down that monster every damned day of your life.
    3. BE. HERE. NOW.
    4. Lexapro.


  4. I sincerely hope your joy for living returns in force. These are tough days made tougher by the incessant march of time. It’s understandable that you’d be overwhelmed. Sending hugs.


  5. Heather

    Man! I hear you! I’m three weeks out from a double mastectomy. I got breast cancer in both breasts at age 49. Which makes me unique, apparently. I’ve been on the verge of that cry many times in the past couple of months but haven’t done it. I’m not sure what’s stopping me. 4 young kids? A husband who’s having a difficult time coping? Maybe when the chemo starts, I won’t be able to help myself and I’ll have a good, cathartic cry. For now, I’m going to keep on keeping on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m no expert but I think you can cry and collapse and get up and go on. You will survive a mad, hysterical cry and come out of it lighter. But I haven’t had your experience so it’s all theory. Know I’ve been thinking about you since the second I saw your comment.


  6. One of the things all our docs fail to explain to us is that after life changing those cataracts being removed..we become severely depressed. The high stress “what if’s” are gone and we see “clearly” ourselves..with all our foibles and faults.
    Totally natural reaction to sudden “sight”. Hang in there kiddo, it does go away.

    Liked by 4 people

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