I think I'm going through the change. No, not that one! That one, the hot flushes, the tiredness, the noticing of grey hair and the realisation that there are probably more days behind me than in front, was a walk in the park really...compared to this.
Yes, this manifestation is wholly more insidious and sly. It catches me unawares, as well as smacking me squarely in the face. For this one consists of a number of things that no one taught me to expect. Items such as, unexplainable skin conditions that wax and wan, the temptation to stay in on a Saturday night, the inability to sit through a two hour film at the cinema without wishing the whole thing would hurry up and end so I can go home and make my hot chocolate, the impossibility of taking a cup of tea after six in the evening without peeing all night, an increased sense of right and wrong, warranting an equal amount of grumpiness, a sad sense of futility as established and long-cherished habits fall away, as I realise that I don't need them anymore and an appalling sense of loss as I discover that I no longer want to learn. That last one, coupled with the knowledge that many of the things I once held so high in principle and that were so important, are surely now gone for good. And worse of all, that I do not care that they have gone.
This change sees me delving more intently into the past and revelling (even wallowing) in nostalgia than ever before. It convinces me that even the periods and habits I once had little time for and the places I had no longing to remain at, I now find fascinating and instructional. And therefore enjoyable. I seek them out. Interest in many subjects is waning. I feel as if I am leaving the intellectual world and all its problems and joy behind, hurtling forwards towards a metaphysical and spiritual place which has no name. It is not exactly discomforting but not too strange either as I have the feeling that this is a path well trod before me and also that I have many brothers and sisters that are experiencing the same. I now understand how my grandparents and later, even my parents were able to leave watching an exciting film on television to perhaps make tea. Yes, the entertainment was not deemed that important. To children, things are so important aren't they? I understand now why my father eventually didn't mind so much when his roses died inexplicably, or why mum ceased making a fuss over small issues. It was, the change.
My need to create is diminished. My need to be recognised is on its way out. My organisational ability has increased. My urge to control my destiny has almost vanished. Names are harder to recall. My imagination does not scare me as much as it once did and I pay less attention to it. It, no longer feels the need to be expressed. Which brings its own sort of sadness.
There is a lesser need for communication, a humbling of spirit. I have begun to understand why authors write less as they age. It is not because their creativity ceases. It is because the soul within grows tired. This new change then would explain why I choose to rest, sitting upright in the morning before I stand, why losing weight is extremely hard, why certain foods, once so freely eaten, enjoyed and digested, now have the same effect on me as poison. Or close enough to it as to cause discomfort. And why my medicine cabinet is stocked with so many life-saving goodies! It explains my choice of going to bed early with a good book instead of a bad person, it explains why I like to snooze in the afternoon, how I can chat with the elderly easily, and why I purchase lots of things of which I have no need. I am in a dilemma. I have the facilities of a strong person yet with all the inherent problems of a weak one.Yes, its the change. Hopefully, the final one. But somehow, I don't think that's true. For I have this almost awful feeling that in perhaps twenty years time, I shall be here (God willing) ready to explain away the experiences of the true last and final frontier of my life.