I’m pretty sure that when I woke up this morning, I was 4,081 years old. After a dismal night’s “sleep” (and I use the term loosely), there was absolutely no part of me that wanted to drag my sorry behind out of bed. So I stayed put. Much longer than usual, which put my poor body into shock. I mean, to be fair, I don’t spend a lot of hours being horizontal. It’s not my body’s fault that it misunderstood the situation entirely and gave me ju-u-u-u-ust a touch of rigor mortis.
It’s a good job I’ve taken to leaving a crowbar by my bed for just such difficult mornings. I had to pry myself out from under the duvet today, no easy feat but made easier by the fact that my back teeth were beginning to float… I really think I oughta get a hoist installed next to the bed because I have a sneaking suspicion that as the months pass, it could become my new best friend.
I rose from my bed, unfolding myself ever so carefully and ever so slowly but only because I had no choice. You’d have sworn you were in the woods, stepping on snap, snap, snapping twigs as I worked my way to becoming vertical. I’d love to blame all of that racket on the ancient floorboards, which do creak and crack all the time but that wouldn’t be fair.
It was chilly in the cottage, just what my stiff and ailing joints needed to get moving…NOT!! Perhaps off to the loo and then ease myself back under the duvet…??? I could hear the duvet singing sweetly, calling me softly, beckoning me back under its lovely, gentle warmth…
Nooooo, I answered wistfully. Nooooo. I have deadlines for writing projects. Clients with appointments. Besides, I’m parched. And I really need some toothpaste. I love toothpaste a lot. And I could use a nice big bowl of soup, now that I think about it. That’ll fix me up.
But still my duvet sang back, ignoring me, insisting that all of that could wait…for just a little while…
“Come on,” came the silent hypnotic words. Crooking its finger at me, its sultry, decadent whispers tried to draw me back like a magnet.
I had to dig. I mean really dig to resist that delicious temptation. If not for my floating back teeth, I think I’d have caved. But finally, I turned away from my bed and stuffed myself into some comfy clothes, just perfect for staying in and writing on a chilly, frosty day. Congratulating myself on making magnificent progress, a proud little smile began to spread across my face as I made my way to the bathroom and reached for my toothbrush. I was beginning to feel kinda good about the day. Hey, I’m up. I’m dressed (in a manner of speaking). I’m getting ready for my day. I’m stiff as a corpse and aching like mad, but I’m up!
And then inadvertently, I glanced in the mirror as I went to turn on the tap. Oh, my word! I’m sure there must be a few more wrinkles since the last time I had the misfortune of catching a glimpse. Probably a lot more, actually, but I’m not gonna look too closely. And egads! There’s more grey creeping into my brown hair, isn’t there? And aren’t parts of my face drooping and sagging a little more, too? Were my eyelids always lying down on the job like that or is this a new thing?
And you’d think my pillow was made of razor blades or detailed wood carvings. I look like I’ve got a road map deeply etched into one half of my face and it’s like that every day until sometime after lunch. What the hell happened there? Those lines used to disappear after about 20 minutes. But now? Oh, no, none of that anymore. I dread getting morning deliveries. Bad enough to look like you just climbed out of bed at 11 a.m. when you’ve been up since 6, but worse if you frighten people to death and they drop on your doorstep.
I tried using “Deep Gap Polyfilla” so as not to traumatise little children or cause heart attacks in the elderly, but they wouldn’t sell it to me by the vat. So now I keep heart-zapping paddles by the front door, just in case, as the postie and the occasional grocery delivery guy aren’t exactly spring chickens.
Aw, man, I hate mornings. I mean, I really hate mornings. They’re bad enough all by themselves without all this nonsense.
Damned mirror. It’s a good thing I can’t see anything below my neck in that thing. So much for feeling good about my day. Sighing heavily, shoulders drooping (oh, why not, just like the rest of me!), I squeezed some toothpaste onto my toothbrush this morning, grumbling to myself about how many minutes I had left before arthritis was going to kick in and add yet one more reminder of this terminal illness (“Life”) to my days…
My duvet was screaming at me by this time, ordering me back to bed where I could cover my aging, wrinkling, greying head and drooping, sagging body, and hide there in the dark. But I carried on, the responsible part of me still stronger than the one that isn’t coping too well with this aging rubbish. I put one foot in front of the other. Brushed my teeth. Made some tea. Warmed up my magic elixir.
Ah…soup. One of my very favourite things in the world. And especially for breakfast. It just puts everything right.
Today was no exception. Maybe it’s just the Jewish Mama in me, but I swear, with each spoonful of the soothing concoction of chicken broth, vegetables and herbs, I felt a little better. A little less like a corpse. A little less like I needed some WD-40 applied to my stiff and aching joints. I began to sit a little taller. And maybe I wasn’t really 4,081 years old after all.
By the time I was down to the last spoonful, all was right in my world. Okay, my hair was still turning grey, the wrinkles were still there, too, the road map would be gone sometime later today and I still wasn’t up to running laps around my cottage. But none of that mattered anymore. I felt great. I had another new day to play with. I thought about all the parts of me that DO work and felt grateful for every one of them. My comfy clothes and I cranked up the blinds, noticing the pretty sunshine as I poured a cuppa tea, and headed for my desk.
Yup, it’s another new day. How blessed I am, creaking or not, wrinkling or not, sagging and drooping or not, to have another shot at doing some things I love, and speaking with people I love. Another new day, filled with possibilities. What are you gonna do with yours?