Every year I add another birthday to the list. This last March I had my 24th 25th birthday. Yes. I am still 25 but I’ve had it 24 times (I’m not doing the math I don’t think my calculator goes that high 24+25). I also quit using the term celebrate, for two reasons.
First, there is no celebration, party or even special dinner. I try to get that day off work but it is not must have. Most people don’t know it’s there until someone posts about it. By the way, the day listed on my Facebook page is not true. It is in March but it is not the 1st. I don’t want people knowing what day it is. It really irritates me when employers feel it necessary to display my personal information on public boards. I asked to have it removed once and was told they couldn’t do it since they would have to change something in the computer (I think it was a program that automatically grabbed the information). I could have gone to court to have it removed, it is MY information anyway, but decided against it since it would only have added to the unwanted publicity.
Second, why would I celebrate getting older? When you are young, you enjoy getting older. You get old enough to drive, to vote, and to drink. When you get up there far enough it’s like whoa, slow down Nelly. I am loath to admit it but I am no longer as fast, strong, or active as I once was. Goin off 4 hours of sleep does not work well for me anymore.
Now there are advantages of reaching this point in life. My knowledge has grown with everything else. I know when to just sit back and not get excited about things, they will even out later. I know enough to pick my battles as I can’t win them all. I have so many job skills it is almost scary, I’ve been a railroad laborer, I’ve been a machinist, I’ve worked in a plastic conduit factory, I’ve worked in several different health care positions (both physical disability and mental health issues), and many factory positions just to name some of them. I get board easy so I like to move around when something gets to be routine. The other issue is that I can remember a lot about each job to quickly get back into it.
The down sides I have already talked about. I am no longer as strong as I once was. My mind tells me I can get back there if I work hard enough. My body give me an argument every time. I have been, still am, and always will be a believer in the human body’s ability to adapt and over come obstacles in life. It’s how body builders gain such size and strength. If you push the body to its breaking point, it grow back tougher and stronger than it was before. I believe it happens for both physical and mental aspects of life. After my shoulder surgery, they told me I may never be able to do a flat bench press again. Ha, ha, ha. Never tell me there is something I can’t do. A year and a half later, I was pushing 300 pounds for a max. I also got back to work in only 2 1/2 months. The doctor said it would be 3 months or maybe 6 months since I was a diabetic. I’d be lucky to get 190 up now I think. I have forgotten what the inside of the gym looks like anymore.
Speed is another down siding piece of my life. I was fairly fast in high school, for my size. I’ve always been big, broad shoulders and solid build. I never had to be fast as with that size as I didn’t bug me to get hit. I didn’t go looking for fights. My dad would have kicked my ass if I had. He had a short temper and I pushed it too far more than just once. I have inherited more than just my lack of model looks from him. I feel I have a better control of it though. I don’t beat on other people. I take it out on objects instead. This is going off on a tangent but this is why I fear a low so bad. I DO NOT want to be like my dad. When my sugar is low I get very combative and aggressive, kind of like dad. Like to think I have grown up better than that. Back to task, I am no longer as fast as I was back then either. Age has slowed not just the muscles but the response time as well. When I worked at a health care facility I was on a home with people who were very high functioning. They could eat on their own, go to the bathroom on their own, even do their own laundry with prompting. When they went off it was epic. Thrown chairs, phones, punched TV screens, and of course inanimate object were not the only thing they went after. It helped being fast and strong to deal with that kind of thing, ducking a punch or grabbing an arm before it hit someone else. It’s as much being able to talk to them and calm them as doing a take down. They will tell you that being calm yourself will help calm them down, it is not a lie. Knowing I could deal with almost anything that came my way helped keep me calm. I couldn’t do that anymore I believe.
As much as I’d like to believe it isn’t true, a person goes down hill later in life. You can’t stop it but you my be able to slow it down with practice and exercises but it will happen. Just a few years ago I was able to get by on just 3 hours of sleep, but now if it is less than 5 I get worn down. Having been a diabetic for nearly 41 years has only added to all the normal old age issues, joints going bad, eyes getting bad, and metabolism slowing down. That last one is one that may actually be a bonus. I have for many years now believed that my metabolism is higher or at least more reactive than most people. If I sit down my blood sugar spikes and when I start doing things again it drops. If it slows through aging will it magically level out? One can only hope.
One of the things I’ve heard people comment on with getting old is that you come into this world naked and helpless and that is how you go back out. Not the most politically correct terms but it is mostly true. After a certain age you starting loosing the skills and abilities you need to survive in this world. I am so looking forward to this, not. I’ve learned to be a fighter. I’ve learned to work hard to survive, all diabetics have to. I will tweak my life as I need to continue to live but there will come a point when it just will not work anymore. That does not mean I’m going to roll over and quit. Ever.