Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting older

It's tough getting old but it's even tougher to admit it to yourself. Well I've been able to deny it for awhile even though anyone I have hired at work would be of son or daughter age and many of my recent bosses have been younger than me but somehow I was able to rationalize those things away, although I am not sure quite how.

Well, a couple of things have changed to cause me to think a bit more about this.

The first one has been going on for awhile, you see I wear contact lenses versus glasses as it makes my life a bit more normal. I can wear sunglasses bought at Target and then head out for a run. I can play softball, soccer, run in the rain or snow and not worry about my glasses. I still remember heading out wearing glasses in the wintertime, my glasses would always fog up. Have you ever tried to run on snow and ice when you can't see, it's not fun. Since I got my contacts, they have never fogged up.

Now just wearing glasses doesn't make one old but wearing reading glasses just might. For a year or so, I have noticed that my eyes are needing the magnification provided by reading glasses. So why not wear them, well I can see fine with my contacts most, no make that some of the time and when I put on my normal glasses, I see fine. It's just was when my contacts get a bit dry that I have issues. Well, truth be told, last summer I did have an issue while running in Whitewater state park. I was just kind of wandering when I came to a crossroad so I pulled out my map and took a look. I couldn't read it, I held it as far away as I could but as it started to get clearer I ran out of arms. So I just went left, as it was the road less traveled. Turns out it led me to an edge where the drop would have hurt, so I headed back and went right and eventually found my way back. I thought to myself, so what would I do if I was in a race and I needed to read a map? I think the answer I came up with was that I would be in trouble.

So did I go back to wearing glasses or head to the Eye Doctor to see what options I might have, nope I denied it and moved on. Oh, I did decide if I run a race where I don't know the course I would throw some reading glasses into my Nathan, just in case.

My denial phase continued, yes I did get the large print bible, which worked for a bit, then I put reading glasses into my bag because there was still some fine print that I couldn't read but so what if I looked old in church, there I had peers. But at work no way, I knew my co-workers would be amused if I put on reading glasses so I would just print things out on B size paper or avoid that 6 pt font. That has worked ok, with just an occasional meeting where someone would print that A size paper with that dreaded 6 pt font as a handout. It was getting harder though to read an 8 pt font and I was thinking I would eventually need to admit time had caught up to me. Turns out, that time has happened as I had to get a phone for work, it's an ok phone, a Samsung Jack. Kind of nice actually, I can now get my email 24 x 7 (and that's good how?), except I can't see the display. So now my dilemma is what to do?

The second thing, is that I have now retired from softball. I thought I did that a couple times in the past. The first time was after I hurt my shoulder and couldn't throw without pain, I did play with it for 10 or so years until I got so fed up with playing in pain that when our team dissolved I said I was done. During that winter, I got talked back into playing with a different team as they knew I could hit and said I could play a position that didn't require a lot of throwing. I decided to, as I was still relatively young, probably real close to 30, even though I knew it was a young persons game and I was getting pretty old (my how wisdom comes with age). I then thought I was done once again when I quit working at Unisys, I was now in my early 30's but another Unisys team convinced myself and a couple of my old teammates to play with them. We had known these guys for years and we agreed to play until one of their players retired, his name's Paul and I think he was 62 at that time, I figured he would play for a year or two more. Each year that went by, we got worse but it was still fun as we were occasionally competitive and I could still hit and the shoulder only hurt when I threw. Well last year at the end of the season I decided that I should retire from softball, I have thought about it all winter and came to the conclusion that I wasn't having fun anymore and frankly playing 2 softball games and then going on a long run a day or so later really didn't work that well together. So after 35 years of playing softball (current age of 52), it's over, I told them I was done and since I am a Bears fan, don't worry there's no chance that this will be a Farve, oh by the way, Paul is still playing, I think he is now 78.

So that's it, I am officially getting old, I can't see and I am no longer playing softball.

Now I am pretty sure I will eventually break down and keep those reading glasses close by, but by chance if I ever stop you on the trails and ask you to read my map, please just help me out as it's hell getting old..................


Kel said...

Welcome to the presbiopic crowd! I switched to multifocal contact lenses about 2-3 years ago and have been able to avoid using readers most of the time. Still have a little trouble in low light, but it's nice to be able to read my Garmin while I'm running and not have to worry about fogging up glasses :)

Mike said...

Thanks Kel, I will have to look into them as you reminded me I can't read my Garmin which is also a nuisance.


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