Tuesday 15 January 2008

Middle age angst

Hurray! I beat the alarm clock again this morning. I woke up exactly one minute before it went off.

Sadly, the only thing I can beat these days is …. not another runner at the marathon... but the bloody alarm clock! Thanks to the aging body, I don’t seem to need much sleep anymore.

When I compare my recent photos to those taken 2 years ago, I see a big difference. You may not notice it but upon closer inspection, I see new lines and loose skin. I just cannot beat the body clock simply because living wears the body out.

The first to go were my trademark rosy and chubby cheeks. Not that I’m complaining because for once in my life, I now have more defined cheekbone but I realize that sunken cheeks are desirable on the catwalk, not flattering on an aging face that has lost its shine.

Of course, not all changes are cosmetic. While I have always enjoyed reading, now my eyes tire quickly. I can't keep late nights anymore. As my estrogen level declines, the bodily fluids dry up, even the eyes. Dry eyes aside, my arms seem to have become shorter as I need to hold my book farther and farther away when I’m reading. As you can see, reading is now too tiring for me!

While the arms have gone shorter, the teeth now appear longer. Experts say they can gauge a person’s age to within five years from the examination of a single tooth—if the person has any teeth left to examine. That's because as one ages, gums tend to become inflamed and pull away from the teeth, exposing the base, making them unstable and elongating their appearance. Yikes!

As my bones and teeth soften, the rest of my body hardens. Blood vessels, joints, the muscle and valves of the heart, and even the lungs pick up substantial deposits of calcium and turn stiff. Ah, that explains why I wake up to creaking bones and joints. See, I’m more fragile, and not as agile as I used to be.

Not only do I need less sleep, I eat less too. Gone are my cravings for a plate of sinful, oily char kway teow (fried noodles). It’s all about healthy eating (only easy-to-digest food like oatmeal, banana and wholemeal bread will do) in moderation these days.

I could be exaggerating but really, let an aging woman vent on a boring mid-week morning, can?


WaterLearner said...

This is an interesting way of writing about middle age. I believe that we should love and embrace every part of our lives. When we were young, we hoped to be more mature and be able to carry a conversation stating our own views without being afraid that people will condemn us to some strange realms of existence.

Now that we are more matured, we realize maturity of the minds come at the price of physical changes.

I can't stay up as late as I could when I was younger. Also, my stomach can't digest the foods that it used to crave for. Dinners for me are best consist of porridge with very easily digestible dishes.

Recently a conversation with my little nephew reminded me to love myself at whatever age I am in. Much as we wish to go back to the time when we were young, do you remember that you had yearned so much to grow up faster then?

My nephew asked us innocently how long would it take for him to be 21 years old. (He just passed his 6th Birthday recently). His mom told him that it would take quite some time. She then asked him why. He said he wanted to quickly become 21yrs old so that he could get married like I did. Because in his perception, when a person gets married, then could one afford such big Lego Block toys that I recently gave him!! Haha.. He thinks that it is my getting married that "endowed" me with the capacity to buy such luxurious toys!!

But well..did we not all go through such ages of innocence?

Blur Ting said...

Haha, thanks for sharing. My kids used to ask such questions too...like when they can start working. I asked why? They said so that can afford to buy lots of prepaid cards to fund their online game. I was laughing when I told them that by the time they are old enough to earn money, they won't be interested in such games anymore!

Amel said...

Ahhhhh...well, sure you can rant anyway you want to, Blur. :-))))

But yeah, Karen's right...when we were kids, we wanted to grow up so quickly ha ha ha ha...

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