And when exactly did it happen, anyway? I can recall having boundless energy. I could chase 3 kids and a dog, make homemade meals, wallpaper a room, and mow the lawn, all before dinner. Now it’s all I can do to sweep the floor, toss in a load of laundry and reheat leftovers, without taking frequent ‘breaks’.
In the late 90’s I took my main bathroom out, right back to the 2 by 4’s. Every piece I ripped out I took to my local building centre and said “I need one of these, exactly this size” and dutifully they cut whatever it was I needed and I drove home and put it in place. When it came to removing the toilet (cause I was putting in a new tile floor) my father, who lived in another city, ‘talked me through it’.
Now, I should point out, none of this was approved by my husband. He refused to learn home renos himself but didn’t want to pay a professional either, so I took matters into my own hands, hence my frequent trips to the building centre. (my husband is a wonderful, intelligent man but truth told, he can barely build a sandwich let alone tackle home repairs) He came home from work late one evening and stumbled into the toilet, which was in the middle of our bedroom (I had to put it somewhere) Once the bathroom was done I put in a new sub floor throughout our entire upstairs (I needed them for the new rugs) then I wall papered my kitchen and put in a tile back splash. Suffice it to say, I had energy in those days. Who knew they’d end?
Last week I cut down a tree that succumbed to last years’ drought in our region. (terrible shame, it was a 13 foot Colorado Blue Spruce) I used a hand saw, trimming off all the branches, then taking down the trunk in 2 pieces (By the time my husband got home from golf, there was only a small stump) and I’ve paid for it ever since! My leg muscles are still stiff and my left shoulder throbs constantly in response to the sawing motion. Ok, so I acknowledge that maybe my renovating days are over…..but it doesn’t stop there.
Recently, we had a party to attend which required dressing more formally and I had to wrestle my way in to a pair of panty hose for the dress I was to wear. Sitting on the edge of my bed, I carefully start to gather one leg of the hose and cram my foot in. With that leg in up to my shin I then gather the next leg of my stockings and I’m shocked to discover I can’t bring the other leg up enough to get into the stocking. (when did this happen?….and what kind of lethal stockings are these?) I inadvertently roll back onto the bed trying to cram my foot into the stocking at the very moment my husband came in to the room (bet that was pretty) and in my haste to recover I rolled right off the bed landing in a heap on the floor (arse side up, of course) and cursing the defective stockings. My husband diplomatically pretended not to notice (but I’m sure I heard him snicker). I wore slacks to the party.
It seems that every year we age robs us of something. If it’s not your physical energy, it’s your memory. (by the way, do you see the irony in that? If my memory had been intact maybe I would’ve remembered that felling trees was for younger people) You work a lifetime so that you can retire and enjoy your ‘hobbies’ but by the time you get there, you’re too tired and everything hurts.
If I can offer one piece of advice, it’s don’t take your energy for granted because it’ll be gone before you know it. Just look around at those of us ‘over 35’ (ok, well over) and note the slower gait, the ‘sensible’ shoes and ‘practical’ clothing (pants with an elastic waist). It’s not our choice to slow down, (rather it’s nature’s sense of humour at our expense) so enjoy it while you can and don’t laugh at the rest of us, cause you’ll be there in the blink of an eye! (fyi, I’m the one without panty hose on)