Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Improving with age


Like good wine, I’m improving with age. For instance:

  • Mindfulness: Whenever I bend down or squat to retrieve something at or near ground level, I make a conscious sweep of the area to see what else I might be able to do while in that position.
  • Descending stairs: Once upon a time I used to descend stairs one step at a time. I’ve recently discovered bouncing down stairs one your behind is faster. I have to admit this skill is I don’t intentionally use due to the discomfort it causes, and I still start the descent with the intention of doing it one step at a time. But nevertheless, I often find I’m at the foot of the stairs earlier than expected.
  • Hearing: With my hearing aid turned on, I hear every sound. And I mean every sound, whether I want to or not. In particular the rustling of paper or plastic, and water from a tap or loo flushing sound like a jet airliner taking off.
  • Taste: I can now eat super spicy food that one I couldn’t tolerate. Now I can actually get to perspire profusely, turn bright read, and partially loose my voice and still enjoy a super hot Thai, Indonesian or Indian dish.
  • Forgetfulness: This is a skill that I have always been rather good at, especially with faces and names. But nowadays, I’m capable of forgetting almost anything.
  • Temperature sensitivity: when I was young, I was scarcely aware of changes in temperature. So much so that I more or less wore the same attire and footwear all year round. My improved sensitivity means that even a few degrees variance sees me looking to change my attire.
  • Awareness if pavement/footpath irregularity: Until I hit sixty, it was extremely unusual for me to notice uneven surfaces. I could even step over a curb and be almost unaware that I had. Now I notice almost every surface irregularity. The irregularity alarm (a sudden lurch forward to regain balance) is now triggered several time a day.
  • Understanding time: when I was young, I was under the mistaken impression that days were too short and years too long. Nowadays, I realise that days are much longer, and years are really very, very short.
  • Maturity: I used to associate growing up with growing old. Now I understand that they are unrelated. I wonder if I’ll ever truly grow up?
  • Wisdom: If only I had some of the wisdom I possess now when I was much younger…

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

3 thoughts on “Improving with age

  1. I’m with you on all of these, the bum bouncing down the stairs made me laugh. I too have a hearing aid, and another one as well for the other ear, I’m hoping not to fill all orifices with devices by the time I’m eighty. It can be quite unsettling hearing like Superman/woman, but by gum it’s nice to take them out sometimes and enjoy the silence (muffledness (troposphere word).

    Esme Cloud enjoying Barry’s post a lot.

    • My hearing aids have a little Bluetooth remote control that I carry in my pocket so that I can change the volume individually for each ear. It has programmable modes to suit different noise settings. I’ve only got two – “normal” and “restaurant” – but it can have several more. The restaurant mode is programmed to amplify only sounds in the range of normal speech. It certainly helps where there’s a lot of background noise. I find it very convenient to switch off one ear or the other so that I can concentrate better on one person at a time.

      • The one I had ten years ago was very poor, it had a volume button, but all it did was make sound louder, it wasn’t capable of cutting out background noise, whereas the one I have now is a bit more savvy and has the volume option but also is set to focus on . . . I can’t remember properly but it picks out voices more than the last so sounds like ‘restaurant’ is for you. There’s also a system over here where you can have your aids connected to a system called (despairs at her lack of memory marbles) . . .found it – T-loop. If you pay to be part of it then whenever you go to places like museums and large shops, indeed anywhere that has it installed, it creates a magnetic loop around say the counter you’re ordering at, or the exhibits you’re looking at and makes the voices and sounds much clearer again. I am likely to have described it poorly, tech phases me like a sci-fi gun. I’m not in T-loop because once the aid is set to it you can’t turn it back off yourself, and people complain of a loud buzzing sound when they’re at places that don’t have the loop. My lip reading is now very good from many years spent in clubs and pubs where I haven’t a chance of hearing anyone. I just have to make people face me straight on whether they like it or not, hahahahaha.

        Esme of ear trumpet fame.

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