Sunday, May 01, 2016

Falling

My last physical fall occurred just a few winters past. I has been strolling pleasantly through a wintery woodsy area near our place. Upon exiting into the more open, snow-covered parklike area, I had quite a tumble because the snow had covered an icy patch on the path by the adjacent pond.

Falling in older age is not like falling at a younger age when you play football or contact sport and don't even notice the fall. Up you bounce, ready to rock n roll as it were. Now, you lie there, scan your body and assess the damage.

As I lay there and took stock, however, I realized that I was fine. Nothing broken or even bruised, except my pride.

However, as I begin to fall into old age (I said, begin), I also begin to take more precautions. I almost never forget to take my wallet with me when I go for a morning walk, as close to home as I might stay, for I am aware of what could happen. At this time of life, I could have a heart attack or stroke or at least find myself fallen once again but injured this time.

It's not that I anticipate this, but I also now find it prudent to take precautions. My wallet goes with me, so that should I be struck dumb or dead, someone can find out who I am and notify Sue and family.

In addition to my wallet, our dumb cell phone usually accompanies me. Assuming I am not struck dumb or dead, I can easily call for help — at least I can if I can remember how to use the darn thing because when you only use it once every year or three ...

Most of our lives are spent falling into old age. Although there are notable exceptions, such as the hockey player, Jaromir Jagr who is playing well enough in his mid-forties, most athletes begin to suffer a decrease in performance in their mid-thirties if not earlier. I would be surprised if everyone reading this hadn't noticed some deterioration in the same period in their lives. For me, it was heel spurs followed by achy knees as I entered my thirties. Not that I couldn't still coach ball or play tennis, but the deterioration had begun.

But falling, as in aging, isn't all bad. Somehow, there emerges a greater appreciation of life's blessings as we, perhaps, take more time to both physically and metaphorically stop and smell the roses. Think of the beauty of the Fall season. It presages winter but is a feast for the eyes and soul. We can walk in the glorious autumnal woods in pleasant temperatures and without being ravished by black flies or mosquitos. So I think it is that in our own Fall seasons, many of the pesky irritants of our earlier lives fall away as it were.

I just hope that I don't fall too far too fast.

18 comments:

Jayne said...

The old adage that getting old isn't for sissies is not so funny any longer for me. I am humbled by how my body can no longer do what my mind feels it can. It reminds me on a daily basis, when some part of me aches, and I can't even remember what I did to stress that part of my anatomy. My forties were so wonderful, and I assumed my fifties would be even more wonderful. Now, I see that this fall into later life has many challenges to overcome. Maybe that is the lesson.

Jackie said...

The analogy between the seasons of our life and the seasons of the year is well written here. Great job!
Continue to take care of you.
If (when) I fall, I find it takes me a bit longer to get up....but get up I do. And that's the important part, to me. Getting up and getting on with it.
Sending hugs from south Georgia.
Jackie

KGMom said...

Who says you aren't creative...oh, wait--I think you may have made that observation. BUT you are, you most definitely are.
Your lovely photographs have demonstrated your creativity for a long time, but so does this post.
And, oh yes, it does resonate. Aging-->falling.

Marie Smith said...

I find the whole aging business creeps up on you. I wish I could move faster than the rate of its creep but that is impossible.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

It is so true! I take a GPS, walkie talkie (kids bought it for me), and water when I'm forest walking in winter.
Falling is terrible.
For me it was shin splints playing softball. Then tendonitis...

Tabor said...

I have osteoporosis and falls terrify me. I have had a few in the last few years and mostly they have just been embarrassing. I usually do not go far from home where someone would not recognize my body...but maybe I should take my cell more often.

Ruth said...

Yes, I often think of myself as in Autumn too. And it is a beautiful time of year where we anticipate enjoying the fruit of our labours. Hopefully there is quite a gap before we fall into winter.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Beautifully written, sir (as always). I definitely do feel that we can draw analogies between the seasons of the year and our lives. You are a true poet.

troutbirder said...

Well said! My falls have been more from bike crashes though the neck brace I've bee wearing lately is evidence of a tumble down our basement steps.....Yikes & these are the "golden years"?

Jinksy said...

I just know that the older I get, the further away the floor becomes! :-)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Like you, John, we also become more careful with each passing year. The winger season poses the most challenges living in New England now, which is why we have bought several pairs of ice stabilizers for our walking shoes. The analogy betwwen the fall season and the physical act was very appropriate.

Donna said...

I was just about to say...and you carry the phone??Hahaaa
hughugs

Mage said...

The last couple of times I have fallen to far and too hard. My shoulders, knees, and one hip haven;t quite recovered from the last three falls, darn it.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I have fallen too many times in my life I am just clumsy.. or as I like to say "an accident looking for a place to happen". My last big fall (at age 53) involved a large rock in the driveway and my knee hit it solidly as I twisted my ankle on another rock and fell. Sliced my knee wide open! I had to crawl up the hill to my house and scared the poo out of my husband. It was awful. That was my last serious exercise walk outdoors. The older I get, the more I fear falling. But I still walk indoors or on the back porch. Love this post- have a blessed day!

Kerry said...

I'm glad that fall didn't have any lasting damage for you! I follow some of the same precautions as you do. I don't take my wallet, but almost always remember the phone. Luckily I haven't had to use it yet.

Kay said...

That falling business is always the scary thing for me. We even put up hand railings on both sides of the stairs for that reason. Mom has taken several nasty falls and I have too. Sigh... No matter how careful you are, you just don't know when it might happen. It's great that you're being as careful as you can.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh yes. This is all so true. I have even quit locking the bathroom door when I shower (which I had done ever since watching PSYCHO over fifty years ago.) That way, should I fall, no bathroom door need suffer when help arrives.

altar ego said...

I find myself tripping over things more often than usual, and fear that it is an omen of things to come. At least I am in good company, should I follow that road!