Where have all of these things gone?

Do you ever have grumpy days—the kind of days where you are sadly aware of your own limitations?
I’m not a fan of grumpy days, but they make me wonder.
On one of these not-so-nice grumpy days, I was wondering about things, things like aging. I was trying to build my clothesline platform and I spent more time standing and staring than actually sawing and hammering, like I was waiting for my brain to kick into gear.
When I did tasks such as that before, when I was young or younger, it came automatically or almost, despite my limited abilities.
While I was wondering about this aging thing, I felt a sad sense of … oh, it really is gone.
Gone is quickly remembering a name or a television show or a book I read or my children’s names. Gone is my vocabulary and trust in my ability to spell.
Gone is remembering how to make ishgy-gishgy cake, the recipe of which is a family secret (and if I told you the recipe, I’d have to kill you and who wants that?)
I’ve made that cake a billion times, if not more, but lately I have to confirm if it is three eggs or four because I have another favourite recipe that uses four eggs and well, what if I mixed them up.
So rather than trust my memory, I check. Check it twice, sometimes more.
I guess Santa is in the same boat because he checks his list at least twice, or so the song tells us. He’s okay with this so perhaps I should be a little more tolerant with myself.
Gone is easy, flowing conversation. I bore easily with my own stories and sometimes just stop, mid-story, and give up.
“Ahh,” I say, waving my hand to sweep away the invisible words. “I can’t be bothered.”
I bet it’s annoying to my listeners. Or maybe they’re as bored as I am with these stupid stories that start out interesting in my head and quickly evolve into blah, blah, blah.
Gone is my ability to see small print. Nothing makes me more frustrated than trying to read the directions on the bottle of some miracle cure and I can’t. Not with dollar store reading glasses or even optometrist-prescribed reading glasses.
I feel like I should hang one of those huge magnifying glasses around my neck so I can lift it up and read the ingredients or the price or the warning labels.
I border on rage sometimes—rage that has me wanting to throw said miracle cure through front window of store housing such small print.
Gone is the flexibility to turn my head to the left. When I am riding my bike and want to see if a car is coming, I have to stop and turn my whole body.
Sometimes I rely on my hearing, but that’s just risky. And other times, I just go anyway and hope it works out.
Perhaps a mirror for my handlebars would be a good purchase.
Gone is my tolerance for wind-bags. You know the kind. They belong to every organization you’ve ever joined. They come to meetings to hear themselves speak because I guess they have an extreme fondness for the sound of their own voice.
They want to share all the details of their life and seem to feel the need to recite their résumé.
I used to have tolerance for such things; took the position that everyone should have a voice and that everyone should be heard.
Gone is leaping from bed in the morning without aches and pains. Gone is my willpower not to have two pieces of cake (okay, maybe that was always gone).
Gone is my certainty about almost everything.
Where have all these things gone? Maybe they’ve gone in search of the matching socks I haven’t been able to find for years. The difference now is … I don’t save the strays. I just toss them out.
Keeping them seemed a sign of hopeful optimism. I guess that’s gone, too.
wendistewart@live.ca

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