time is (no longer) on my side

Have you noticed that there are times, issues, events in people’s lives when they age? It’s as if suddenly an event propels them from youthfulness to old age. And while I could be talking about Syrian refugees, poor housing in NZ, the Living Wage for Porirua City Council, this is what is on my mind.


Actually this is a lie – I feel like the first two images.

My dad died when he was 62 and last year I felt anxious and relieved that I had passed his age of dying, but this year? Man, this year is the year I aged.

The aging has been precipitated by having been (unwittingly) a methamphetamine landlady and the subsequent effects: 10 months of decontamination issues with the young decontamer turning up, coffee in hand saying “Hi, we are home” – they have visited so often – and the combination of a year’s worth of steroids (prednisone).

While the flat under my house is now officially free of toxins (what WERE they doing in the toilet?) and the inflam is now down to normal range (.4 last check) the body has been subject to highs and lows of steroid usage. Now I just have to wean myself off the f*(((((ing predinisone. Not as easy as you’d think. My body is talking to itself “What ARE you doing?” ” Are we up or down?” “Are the adrenal glands working or not?” ” Are we immune or just resting” “Oh ok we are up now. We can dance”. “No wait, time to sleep”.

I am now 16 kgs heavier than I was after the hip operation and 2 kgs lighter than I was before the operation when I could hardly move. I have had 2 colds in the last 2 months and my greatest desire is to strangle young women at work and any child between the ages of 6 months and 7 years. I lie. I don’t really care about them, I just want to sleep. A lot.

Every weekend I sleep for one day at least 12 hours (3 hrs in the afternoon and 9 at night). I went dancing last weekend and had a reeeaally wonderful time (thanks so much Geoff) but I had to sleep most of the next day and coughed all night. I am going to Buenos Aires in March but rather than consider tango I want to stay in a leafy suburb (I’m looking at Recoletta) practise my Spanish and enjoy the view and history. The first time I was there we visited the cafe (La Biela?) where people were murdered by the junta. Truly, although my younger friend tells me I’ll be dancing all night – I won’t.

I will swan around to a milonga or two, but in truth it’ll be cafes, views, Tigre, Montevideo, museums and more cafes. Absorbing the ambiance and practising my newly acquired, but grammatically incorrect, Spanish. The classes have actually been fun and the much younger colleagues a delight.

I’m consumed with the idea of retirement and how I’ll afford it. Recent news items not withstanding, I am ok. I own my own house and there are possibilties. The 30 year old staying with me encourages containers she sheds on the back lawn. I’m not averse. I have skills and friends. I belong to a vibrant local and a global community. I’m in the lucky 1 – 5 %.

I just want to sleep a bit more.


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