When I called my 75-year old dad one morning last week, he told me that his wrist was hurting. He then spent the next four minutes speculating out loud as to whether it might be a drill-related injury (he likes woodwork and is currently making a batch of umbilical cord-burning boxes in his shed!), whether it had been jarred when he used his jigsaw to separate a bag of frozen chicken breasts because he only needed two (yes, we have had discussed this and yes, he says he does try to remember to give the blade a quick wipe first) or the consequence of driving more than usual. He went considered a couple of other possibilities before letting out a big sigh and making a statement that struck me so soundly that I immediately wrote it down so I could keep and share it.
“Old people are always looking for an explanation as to why something hurts other than that they’re old,” he said. “But I suppose most of the time it’s just because we’re old really.”
I spend so much of my time looking at research in which people are trying to uncover simple causal (and, in my humble opinion, often mythical) relationships between different aspects of our incredibly complex lives, bodies and experiences. It was really refreshing to have this early morning reminder that, sometimes, it’s good to just accept that something is just the way that it is, and to then move on with one’s day.