The thing I hate most about being old is dealing with my own grouchiness.
Sometimes I don’t even know what causes it. I’ll be in the middle of a million little tasks (okay, I exaggerate. I’m not a multi-tasker. I can’t handle more than two things at once), and I’ll suddenly get mad because one of those things just isn’t going my way. I mean … unreasonably upset, kick-a-chair-leg pissed off. The printer is out of ink and I forgot to buy some. Adobe Acrobat has crashed (again) and I’ve lost all changes I made in the last hour. I’ve been waiting two days for an interview source to call me back and he chooses to finally do so while I’m in the bathroom. Or my favorite … I’m in the bathroom when the phone finally does rings and I rush to answer it only to get a pre-recorded message about carpet cleaning.
I want to be the cool, calm, collected individual who simply breathes deeply and deals with it. Unfortunately, I am the loud-mouthed grumpy gal who never takes things out on people, but gives holy hell to machines and office furniture. My dogs have learned to accept this situation—they know when I grumble and swear it usually has nothing to do with them. They lift their heads from their paws, give me a bored look and lay back down again with a “it’s-only-mommy-again” sigh.
I am connecting this phenomenon to aging for two reasons: 1) it seems to have gotten exponentially worse as the years have passed, and 2) I tend to blame everything bad in my life these days on how old I’ve gotten.
I have no magic solution for my fellow friends who are in the same boat. If they’re my friends, they are likely as ancient as I am. So I’ll offer a solution to the next generation (or maybe the grandchildren of the next generation. I really am ancient.) Buy my sister Allyn M. Stotz’s latest children’s book, Grumpy Kyle. It’s one of my favorites because of the lesson it teaches you: its all a matter of how we look at life.