Middle age moves

November 2016

As I recently walked through an airport and, in fact, throughout my whole trip,

I noticed that I no longer have that “spring” in my step. Lately my movements are a bit more prescribed.

I feel like I am constantly assessing my risk of stumbling, falling or just looking plain stupid.

For example, I find I can no longer get into or out of a lower vehicle (that would be anything lower than my SUV) with any amount of grace. Instead more often I find an outstretched hand urgently extended to assist the “old lady”. When left on my own I abandon my coat, purse and packages with a flourish and then prop myself up with whatever stomach muscle I can muster. I am usually groaning about now, something I recently realized isn’t just a sound in my head.

Today grocery carts are more than something to help carry things in, but a way in which I use to prop myself up while making my way through the all too narrow aisles. Add to this my acute ability to pick the worst cart in the sea of those available, grocery shopping now has become a part of my upper body exercise routine.

While away, and as is the norm in the “big” city, a friend and I did a lot of walking. After I estimated a 15-km sojourn in one day, up and down hills and sidewalks, we were feeling a bit cramped. (and I don’t mean the small space type).

That same evening we made our way to a restaurant, hoping to rest our middle-age bones and all too swollen feet. We found one but had to decline because none of the furniture had chair backs. Really? Chair backs! The one mandatory furniture item for two women who had obviously taken their shopping day too far.

Although not wanting to move another step, but driven by more comfortable seating, we visited another establishment. While waiting for our table we were asked to sit at the bar and that meant bar stools. (Was there no end to our pain?) We weren’t certain how, with any self-preservation, we were going to make it up and onto that seat. You may be able to best visualize our approach by watching what a toddler does when he or she scurries up on a chair that is far too high.

The bartender put drinks on the bar at precisely the same time we had achieved success, probably associating our sweating with a hot flash. We drank as if we hadn’t had water for weeks. By the way, getting off the bar stool didn’t look much better.

Whether it is walking, kneeling, climbing hills or stairs, or even standing still at a cocktail party, the movements I had mastered as a young woman have been lost. With the party season fast approaching, I will be casing out the carefully placed furniture in the room.

I consider this to be a sort of adult musical chairs, using my middle-age moves to acquire one of the coveted seats first with as much grace as I can possibly muster. Of course in the highest heels I can possibly tolerate (but that is another story).

Have a wonderful festive season everyone!

Sue Prodaniuk is a marketing, advertising and communications consultant. She can be reached at sprodaniuk@shaw.ca.

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