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September 8, 2013

Aging and moving

Moving and a not-so-friendly attitude toward aging are surprisingly linked. This anti aging attitude shows up in various ways as a sort of background fog or a constant and annoying underlying tone.  There is a sense of being undermined by thoughts about diminishing faculties or a preoccupation with checking for symptoms and uncertainty about the future. This became clear to me one day last week as I was vacuum packing some nuts. We have what we call our sucker. It’s a small counter top appliance that we use to suck the air out of plastic bags in order to preserve it in the freezer. It involves sealing one end of a plastic tube then filling the package with the food and putting the topmost edge into the machine which sucks the air out and seals the package once the air is gone. This is an aging machine, we got more that 15 years ago and is one of those things that Joe has repaired and kept alive because the newer ones are too complicated. We like our old simple funky machine.

I put the seal on the bottom of the tube, filled it with nuts and put the top edge into the machine like I’ve been doing for years. But the machine would start to suck then stop. Sometimes that is caused by a wrinkle in the top edge. I double checked and all was well with no wrinkles and folds. I tried a few more times then thought, “This is it, this is the end of this friend. It’s time to let it go. We’re moving anyway and it’s old and it just gave up the ghost.” I quickly thought of myself, how one day that is what they will say as they consider one of my symptoms. “This is it, she’s had her time and now she has to go.” That was a shocking thought. It was alarming how dispensable I felt, like a machine that stopped working.

This is not true on the surface of my life but that brief moment of identifying with the machine brought me in touch with an aspect of myself that is perhaps on the way out.

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