Ageing is interesting and I’m not going to reframe the experience with trendy catch phrases because I’m already fining myself $50 if I use the words #resilient, #fluid, #strategic and #intentional. That’s $200 to a charity of my choice! 😊Am I the only person who gets a little peeved when they hear an inner city academic or non-for-profit executive lecturing a flooded, regional community on the need to be #resilient?? (Crap – another $50!)
Or to be more #fluid? Do we all turn into water? Watching your home and community being washed away in a wall of water is about as #fluid as you can get. (Damn – another $100!) And have these Surry Hills think tanks ever thought that people might like to live on a river away from a noisy, snobby, smog filled city or even God forbid, live where they do because they can’t afford a terrace in Paddington or Darlinghurst or live in the bush because they work on the land, or their family are 5th generation settlers or part of a 60,000 year old Aboriginal mob who owns the land and rivers?
Breathe David. Be #intentional (Sigh – $50)
Anyway, back to my descent into old age, and no, articulating the obvious doesn’t mean I’ll lapse into melancholy or age quicker.
Truth be said, I am full of aches and pains and suspect cholesterol levels and blood counts and…. well, you get the picture.
So, I visited my family doctor, and she sent me to get a blood test and thinking I would be clever, I booked an early morning appointment at one of MANY medical centres in Bondi Junction. Problem is, everyone thinks they are clever, so when I arrived there were 20 plus people queued up waiting for the front door of my chosen centre to open.
One advantage of getting older is the pleasant realization that being clever is not unique. As my sister frequently says.
“I’m just common, garden variety.”
Ageing though can be painful and annoying. Not spiritually, but physically. Neck, back, knees and hips. And even though I am wiser and calmer and more reliable, waking up every morning with a frozen neck and lower back is debilitating. Yes, I am grateful for my amazing life and loving family, but I can’t help thinking we as a species are beginning to outlive our bodies. Are WE aged becoming another superannuated resource for capitalism and the medical industry? These were my profound ponderings as I hobbled over to join the end of the queue and was immediately advised by the elderly gent in front that the queue was a daily occurrence, almost a social outing for those bodies that are breaking down or refusing to work how they should.
As I tried to avoid the chitter chatter by inventing patterns in the pavement at my feet, I gazed over to the coffee shops on the other side of Bondi Junction mall and witnessed loved ones and indentured, Uber drivers drinking low fat, oat milk piccolos as they watched the clock, hoping against hope that their one-hour free parking tickets didn’t lapse.
Maintaining health or even clarifying ill health has become a cash cow. A lucrative pipeline for the elite! Even the baristas and avocado growers are vicariously benefiting from high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, sore hips and concerning skin blemishes.
I was broken away from my daydreaming by the lovely, old fella in front.
‘The front door opens at 7.29am. No earlier, no later,’ said the gent.
‘I wonder if he maintains a door opening spreadsheet,’ I mused, because the whole queue seemed to be throbbing and vibrating in anticipation of that dirty, metal, front door squeaking ajar.
And low and behold, when the door opened at 7.29 everyone stopped talking and started to smile.
As the queue obediently filed inside and each of us got closer to our personal, medical nirvana, we put on our face masks, handed over our medical certificates and sat down in a waiting room smaller than most public toilets. Obviously, providing functional, safe waiting rooms impact on the bottom line of the investors.
I started humming Neil Young.
‘I’ve seen the needle and the damage done. A little part of it in everyone…’
And then my name was called, and I jumped to my feet like a schoolboy, grinned smugly at the rest of the grimacing waiting flock and strode to my blood testing destiny.
Blood test done, I broke my fast with an oat milk piccolo and avocado on ancient grain, whole meal toast. Thank God kale has gone out of favour and flavour in Bondi! As we all know, Bondi trends come and go as quickly as an afternoon, ocean breeze – except cocaine of course!
Appetite sated, I hopped in my shiny new car and drove back to the doctors to organise cortisone injections for my arthritic riddled hips.
God, it’s good to be alive! 😊