Old is being forgetful – at least that’s my take on the topic. Applying that definition to myself, I would say 65 was the turning point for me. That’s when I noticed that things I used to take for granted needed to be explicitly thought out. For example, having my credit card, wallet, keys and phone with me when I got in the car never used to be issues at all. No more!
Just today I spent 5 min. looking for my hat! I have two of these hats, with the second one bought after I misplaced the first one for 6 weeks! (Of course I found the first hat as soon as I bought the second one!)
While I feel healthy, have plenty of energy, and am alive with creativity as an artist, I confess that at least 10% of my life is wrapped up in some level of daily forgetfulness.
Of course there are other telltale signs of old age than forgetfulness. Impatience with technology comes to mind. But I put forgetfulness at the top of the list.
When something comes to mind, I no longer decide to wait until later to say or do it because I know I won’t remember anything later! Quite a come down after spending so many decades coordinating my husband’s schedule and needs, a house full of children, cooking, shopping, cleaning…without ever grappling with forgetfulness!
Happily, though I get flustered when my keys are not where they belong or my hat is no where to be found, 90% of the time I’m totally on track – as long as I talk to myself, “You’ve got your phone right? How about your keys?”