Getting Old(er)

The pleasures of age are closer to what I hoped for than I expected they would be, including, in no particular order,

  • decent red wine
  • free time
  • contact with loved ones
  • a sense of calm and forbearance
  • pain which is controllable
  • bodily disorder short of malfunction

If the last two seem to be non- or even anti-pleasure, consider that they are under control, are not incapacitating.

Naturally, my mind — memory, to be specific — is less sharp; this dullness manifests itself primarily with words, not only names and the names of things, but other parts of speech as well. I am more comfortable among verbs now than among nouns; I also retain a hold on adjectives. But nouns, alas, no. Although, be it noted, while I will fumble for the name of a movie or a book or an animal or even the friend to whom I am speaking, the difficulty is less when I am writing, particularly as now, when I am literally “writing” on paper with a pen(1). To end the thought, I seem to retain some nimbleness among numbers(2).

One reason — it may be the reason — I find words faster(3) when writing than when speaking is that there is more time to plan ahead, to work in context for many seconds, rather than needing the right word, or a pretty close one, instantly. This point seems to be emphasized — the point about speed of access — by a better grasp of words when writing by hand — and as I get older, perhaps, ever more slowly — than when typing on a keyboard. Still, it may have to do with greater comfort, for most of my life, as a writer than as a speaker.

I have no explanation for continued facility — basic functions, that is — with numbers. I practice now and then, but not as much as I practice talking and writing.

Could be I talk and write too much.


  1. This is being copied into the computer from a genuine notebook.  ↩

  2. Anyone know if statistics are available on this?  ↩

  3. More easily and more accurately, at any rate. And yes, “at any rate” is a deliberate pun.  ↩

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