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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Time Marches On (and tramples my body)

I may be a great many things (hey, watch the name-calling), but at the same time, a lot of things I used to be are slowly slipping off the list.
Like young. And thin. And energetic.
Though I was warned my body would start to disintegrate around age 30 (which was, sadly, true), sometimes I get so used to living inside my own skin that I'm still taken by surprise when I realize something has stopped working.


Maybe because it's so gradual; it's not like you wake up one morning and you've completely lost your short-term memory, or you suddenly find yourself holding the newspaper at arm's length, complaining about how the type keeps getting smaller. It happens more slowly, like rusty, corroded gears, having bathed for many years in the brine of youth, grinding to a halt inside a hulking, creaky, outdated machine, your abilities slowly ebbing like a Sea of Usefulness intended only for the young.
What the heck is wrong with my Metaphor Production Gland today? Gah, that's probably the next thing to go.
Anyway, you get what I'm saying. Usually I don't think a whole lot about getting older, but the other day I got one of those undeniable, unignorable signs of aging.

Namely, I hurt my shoulder while I was peeing.

And no, I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary or strenuous. And no, I do not plan on talking about urination in every single blog post, despite all evidence to the contrary. I don't know how on Earth I hurt myself, I think I reached for the t.p. too suddenly or something.

That's just the thing - when I was young and something hurt, there was a logical reason why. Ankle hurts? Oh yeah, I twisted it while I was running yesterday. Back hurts? Spent an entire weekend working in the yard. Face hurts? Fell down while drunk. Logical.

When you start to get old, you don't need a reason to be injured. Heck, you don't even have to move to hurt yourself, you can just wake up from a restless night of sleep and have a neck ache that lasts for two months and feels like burning hot coals are being stabbed into your spine by angry piranhas.


Here are some more signs that things are headed downhill:
  1. In the car I kept feeling something behind me, wedged between myself and the seat. As I irritably groped around for the cause of my discomfort, I discovered the issue was simply that my arm fat was chafing against my back fat.
  2. My mental faculties were called into question a few days ago when my toast popped up for breakfast, which prompted me to grab another piece of bread out of the bag and butter it while my toast sat in the toaster, getting cold.
  3. I heard a crackling noise in the stairwell; was it something under the carpet, or - God forbid - a critter scratching inside the walls? As it turned out, it was just the sound of the cartilage in my knees breaking into tiny pieces as I climbed the stairs.
But what can you do? Exercise, eat a healthy diet, see your doctor regularly?

Pshaw, that's for people with boring stuff like will power and health insurance. I prefer to just look on the bright side, which is completely free and takes a lot less effort.

For example: Sure, I managed to throw my shoulder out of whack just by slightly turning my torso in the bathroom. But at least I made it to the bathroom, which frankly isn't something I intend to take for granted as the years wear on and I begin to notice the Poise commercials are populated by women closer and closer to my own age.

And maybe I'm a little flabbier than I used to be, and maybe I do catch wind like a sailboat when I extend my arms out to the sides. But I'm proud to say that the coffee I sloppily dribbled down my chin this morning spilled onto the floor instead of onto my protruding belly, so either I'm getting my waist back or these pants are magical and I'm going to wear them every single day from now until forever.

And maybe my memory is failing, and I can't remember what I was doing while I'm still doing it, but that's the kind of skill that comes in handy as a parent. If I'm It during Hide And Go Seek, I'll wander off and end up getting 45 quiet minutes of solitude to fiddle with my Twitter feed before one of the kids comes out to remind me I'm supposed to be looking for them.

So all is not lost. I might be falling apart and absent minded and gaining weight in new, weirdly stretchy places - but I'm not quite dead yet. And when you're getting old, sometimes the "yet" makes all the difference.

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Go slowly - don't strain yourself - and then you just, um, what was I talking about?
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40 comments:

  1. "Namely, I hurt my shoulder while I was peeing."

    ...seriously, you just made my morning, my terrible terrible poop covered morning (not mine, in case you're wondering). Brilliant post. Why didn't I write it??? That's right, because you're awesome.

    Everything on me is going. Slowly but surely. Sometimes, the back of my knees itch, and I'm always disappointed to realize it's just my butt cheeks rubbing up against them again.

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    1. Hahahaha! The one redeeming quality of my butt cheeks was that they were behind me, where I couldn't see them. These days I'm liable to trip over one - so much for ignoring them. Sigh.

      I'm really sorry to hear your morning was so poop-covered (snickers quietly in the most supportive way possible). If it makes you feel any better (though not less poop-covered), it makes my day that a funny lady like you thinks I'm funny. :) Thanks so much for the Twitter/Facebook love!!!

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  2. I hear you! I am 40 and I already ordered a few spare parts, they must be lost in the mail though...
    I swear I have arthritis in ONE finger and a few other symptoms of "old" - my husband and I just use "old" for pretty much every ache and pain, because it covers everything ;)
    But I'm still here - and while I'm incapacitated on the couch I can still annoy my kids!

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    1. That's such a good point - as long as I still have the ability to annoy my children, what more do I need? :)

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  3. The toaster thing KILLED me because I do stuff like this all the time. But I've always done it, so I don't have my ripe old age of 37 to blame for it.

    I blame that age for when I hurt something and it's not fine the next day. I am like, "Why does that still hurt? That makes no sense!"

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    1. I've always done it too, so it's almost a good thing that I have age to blame it on now!

      I hate it that I don't heal overnight anymore! I also hate it when you do something super-minor and it doesn't hurt until the next day - it makes it really tough to figure what in the world you did to yourself. Gerry couldn't figure out a pain he had in his foot for weeks, and finally he realized it was because he'd lunged to catch something at work. Not only does it not heal overnight, it shouldn't hurt in the first place!

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  4. One thing I have noticed becoming more dangerous over the past couple of years is sneezing. I've pulled a muscle in back twice in recent years because of sneezing while in awkward positions like bent over or slightly turned to the side. Now when I feel a sneeze coming on I quickly stand up as straight as I can and stand still until it passes.

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    1. It's a sad, sad, pathetic thing, this aging business. I hurt my back by SLEEPING ON IT, and as I gingerly grannied my way down the stairs I thought, "This is what it's going to be like when I'm 80. It's going to take me 45 minutes to get down the stairs." And then I had the horrible realization, "That's what it's ALREADY like!" So I'm pretty terrified of what 80 will bring.

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  5. OK, I just found you via Mommy Shorts (the Preggo announcement) I don't normally click on other people's links, but I liked the name of your thing and then just read this and my kids thought I was having a seizure or something because I was laughing so hard I was crying. I'm surprised I didn't wet myself...that's usually the next step.

    Because I'm old. Yet I'm only 40 and don't even remotely look like it so I don't quite know how that makes me so damn old, but I am. I can TOTALLY sympathize with hurting yourself peeing (I have to sit down very carefully so I don't blow out my knee), waking up with more aches and pains than I had when I went to bed (I once pulled out my back GETTING OUT OF BED!) And I'm NOT kidding about the pee thing...I have to prepare myself before I sneeze or cough or yell at my kids or (goodness forbid) barf. Actually, on the rare occasion I barf all bets are off...I try to do it sitting on the toilet with a waste basket in my lap. It's all about preparation...and clearly giving perfect strangers TMI. Sorry!

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    1. Don't be sorry, I'm a little bit in love with you now! I peed a little just reading your comment - it's taken over a year post-baby-#3 and a lot of kegels to stop making a puddle when I crouch down to feed the cat. All bets are off if I'm barfing - just stand back, everybody!

      I've actually had several unexplained knee-bucklers sitting down to pee (why is that? shouldn't medical science be studying us?) and I'm fairly certain I must be a sleep-contortionist based on how my muscles feel in the morning. I'm so afraid of getting any older - hold me! Oops, sorry - too much?

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    2. LMBO, they won't study us because we are Moms and we just take it. It's like it's our Lot in life!

      (And I really wish that I COULD LMBO...and that the "B" stood for butt, belly, back-fat...but not BOOBS! I don't have nearly enough of that to offset the first two B words...)

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  6. I'm so depressed after reading this...yet so thrilled at the same time because other cool people are getting old along with me! Wanna room together in the geriatric ward some day?

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    1. Oh my goodness, we are gonna terrorize that place together!

      Day 1: Hide each other's dentures and forget where we put them.

      Day 2: Demand to have all our food mashed, then refuse to eat it because it's "too mashy."

      Day 3: Wheelchair races.

      Day 4: Get evicted.

      I can't wait. ;)

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  7. I know I'm getting old because I fell asleep on the couch at 9 last night (and woke up at 4:45), my toes crack with every step I take, teenagers freak me out, and because my kids told me so.

    The good news is, you don't LOOK like your body is falling apart!

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    1. Thanks for saying so, Jen O., but it's all done with an elaborate system of pulleys and mirrors. If you remove all the hocus pocus I have going on, it's considered a misdemeanor for me to go out in public in at least 7 countries. The only place I can go without wearing Spanx and ten pounds of spackle is WalMart - I am considered pretty hawt by WalMart standards.

      The teenager thing made me laugh - I was out on a walk one evening over the weekend and got all nostalgic for the summers of my childhood when I saw some kids on bikes up at the corner. As I got closer I saw they were teenagers, though - wearing their baggy pants, circling the intersection like sharks. Suddenly they weren't sweet kids out for a ride - there was sinister loitering going on, and I had to resist the urge to ask them if their moms knew they were out so late. ;)

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  8. started laughing when you hurt your shoulder peeing and completely lost it when you buttered the non-toasted bread ( i myself prefer a cold breakfast, and therefore pour a glass of milk instead of pouring it on my cereal ). i think the best part (haha there's no best part, silly!) is that if our mental facilities deteriorate at the same rate as our physical ones we won't know what the fack is going on anyways

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    1. That's a mighty healthy attitude you have there! I'm afraid my mental power may be draining at a slightly faster clip than the physical abilities, which means one day in the next few years I'll be one of those people who keeps trying to do stuff even though they have no idea what they're doing.

      I LOVE the pouring a glass of milk instead of putting it on cereal thing - I would so do that too when I went on autopilot, if my body had any muscle memory whatsoever of ever pouring a glass of milk as a beverage (my poor bones). :)

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  9. Oh my goodness. I hear you girl!!! I went to pick up Zane today and pinched a nerve. Really-body! I am not old but you need to give me some break! PS- you look awesome!

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  10. Glad I'm not the one! When I see people my age walking down the street, I always assume that they're so much older than me, but then I realize that they're actually my age. I'm still convinced that I look 18, but I'm thinking that's probably not true, since I never get carded. Sigh...Then there's the ridiculous amount of time I have to spend finding creative ways to disguise my post-pregnancy paunch, which I'm still completely in denial about...

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    1. Ha! Yes, the people our age look ancient, and people younger than us look like toddlers. Sheesh.

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  11. I've always equated being old with big pill organizers. Have you seen they make 21 compartment ones for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner time pills 7 days a week? Yikes! When I actually consider buying that at the store I'll know I'm old. (Because hopefully I'll be so far gone mentaly that I won't have realized it much earlier.)

    Funny that we're both feeling old today. I hope we can both get back to feeling like our young virile selves soon!

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    1. Yeah! Let's young it up! We should go out and do buttery nipple shots at 10AM and then order watermelon at the McDonalds drive thru for laughs, then go skateboarding and scrape all our knee skin on the cement, shake it off and go driving around just because driving a car is cool, drink a whole bottle of vodka in a public park and then hang out at the mall for 11 hours.

      Oh wait, I forgot - being young is dumb. I love those pill organizers - so practical. I'm going to start calling people "deary" soon.

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  12. As a 67-year-old Poise-wearer, I feel your pain, and then some! Funny post!

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    1. Thanks, Eva! So you're telling me everything doesn't magically heal itself, then? Bummer. ;)

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  13. I will turn 39 this year and I don't plan on getting any older than that. I hope your shoulder feels better soon because I can't imagine having to tell the doctor I pulled a muscle reaching for toilet paper.

    I don't have kids, so I have time to hurt myself through super worthwhile pursuits, such as playing Fruit Ninja for an hour. My shoulder totally seized up after that.

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    1. Fruit Ninja is so dangerous - don't let it get out that you play it, or your health insurance rates will go up.

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  14. My mental faculties were called into question a few days ago when my toast popped up for breakfast, which prompted me to grab another piece of bread out of the bag and butter it while my toast sat in the toaster, getting cold. === that's a sign of getting older??? I do crap like that all the time. And frantically. Like Pavlov's dogs. Ding! And I do something completely backwards like that! UGH.

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    1. I'm not going to really worry until the toast pops up and I go check the microwave, wondering why my food isn't in there.

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  15. Dang! Awesome post. So true, and so fun. I would write something witty, but apparently my brain has stopped working b/c I'm too old. Also, my kids are fussing and I need to jump up (read: slowly ease myself up until I can get my creaky joints moving...) to get them....

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    1. Ha! There's no actual "jumping up" done around here, either. I prefer to think of all my reations as slow-mo stealth moves. Like an aging ninja.

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  16. What in the hell is the matter with you young women? Old at 34? 37? 40? At 67 I have some of these problems, but I'm 67, for god's sake! Either you young'uns all have poor genes, or it's being mommies that does it. I keep finding more reasons for having chosen not to have children,but the reasons keep getting scarier...

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    1. In my case, I think the difference is that I'm a wuss. 67-year-olds generally don't complain unless they have the plague and their right arm falls off. I cry about it if I get two hangnails at the same time. Plus, my kids are trying to kill me.

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  17. Oh, getting old is so much fun! I love it when I stop mid-word and say, "What was a talking about?" Peeing is a dangerous activity. My friend peed in the ocean recently and threw her back out for a week.

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    1. Isn't it??? I drive my husband insane by trailing off mid-sentence and forgetting what I was talking about, or cutting myself off several times and starting new sentences without finishing any of them. Good times.

      P.S. Thanks for the warning about the ocean; I can't afford to be immobile for a week! But on second thought... maybe I'll just *pretend* to throw my back out, and use the excuse to catch up on sleep. ;)

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  18. Hey, if your arm catches wind like a sailboat, you probably get to places faster now, right? See the bright side!

    (Thanks for linking this up to #findingthefunny a couple of weeks ago! Sorry I am such a loser and just now reading it.)

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    1. Sure, but it would work better if I had some roller skates (see how old I am - roller blades are out of the question). Um, the fact that you can read blogs at all while trying to move makes me feel pretty dang special that you made it over here. :)

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  19. LOL...OMG I love you. I know, I know - we've just met and it seems rather quick to say that. But at our age, you have to move quickly, while there still is YET. Seriously though, you are the FUNNIEST person in the world ever. I laughed so hard at this post I had to lie down on the ground for fear my upright position would cause a torrential downpour rather than dribble. LOL...I may have strained something too. Ah well, a pulled something is better than finding another strange, stray facial hair...why is it that men lose their hair as they age and my face finds what they've lost?! If you figure that one out, lemme know. Anyway, you have a new old fan! Mwah!

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    1. It does NOT seem too quick - I totally love you back based on the awesomeness of this comment alone - it completely made my day! At least two days, really, because I'm going to bed soon (what's a woman my age doing up at 1:13am???) so I fully intend to carry over the day-made-osity through tommorow. ;) Mwah right back!

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