By: Michelle Kuchera
From the time I was a child I can remember listening to the adults around me talking about “getting older.” They described the physical aches and pains as well as the loss of memory and slower reflexes in both fine and large motor skills. I heard women complaining of wrinkles, while men lamented about “the good old days,” when they felt more carefree and lived like there was no tomorrow. Nearly everyone I know who has reached the age of fifty has begun to find it difficult to read small print without squinting or getting a headache. I’m forty now, with my own wrinkles, a temperament lower back, and the on-set of arthritis that I choose to ignore. I also seem to be more forgetful and more aware of my mortality. I believe that in this late stage of young adulthood and early stage of middle adulthood, everyone begins to recognize some of the signs associated with our aging bodies, especially people who are used to being active and independent. As I think about this next stage of middle adulthood, that I’m about to enter into, I have a very strong memory of my piano teacher. When I first met her, she was a vibrant, delightful woman in her early fifties and her ability to play the piano was phenomenal. I could set any piece of music before her and she would play it perfectly. By the time I graduated from high school, just twelve years later, arthritis had set into her hands and she was barely able to complete a song and rarely played a piece without fumbling through it. Her spunk was gone and she had become very withdrawn. My most distinct memory is of how sad I felt watching this process occur over the course of my time with her. I believe that Marge came to suffer severe depression when she lost her ability to continue to perform at her peak, due to her crippling bone disease. It seems this type of thing happens to many people in this stage of life, as most folks are simply unaware of how quickly time slips away and they have...
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