Katharine Osborne column: I'm getting D's and F's in School of Life for the Aging

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 8, 2007

By Katharine Osborne

For The Salisbury Post

In the School of Life for the Aging, I’m beginning to question what grades I could make. No A’s or B’s, just D’s or F’s.

As an example, in an attempt to recover from a very bad day, I will confess my actions, expose my shortcomings, and relate my frustrations.

One recent Sunday, I dressed in a favorite outfit to wear to church. After breakfast, I was scurrying around, trying to organize one small part of my life. Even though I wasn’t watching it, the TV was on with my favorite Sunday show, Sunday Morning. I thought I had been checking the time until I heard the show sign off and realized that my church was starting and I would be about 15 minutes late if I left then. I just couldn’t walk in that late. This was the first blow of the day to my ego.

Since I now had some spare time, I decided I would finish paying the bills that I had started paying on Saturday. I opened my checkbook and there was a check I had written on Saturday that should have been included in the return envelope. I had been so upset over the new style bill that was almost impossible to read that I had written a scathing letter requesting another type bill. The main problems with the bill were that the print was so small and every other line was darkened. For old eyes this is a very disturbing combination. So in my haste to complain, I forgot to include my check, and the mailman picked up my complaining missive Saturday afternoon. What a horrible blow to my sense of keeping perfect records.

The third disheartening event of the day was revealed when I took the Sunday papers I had read out to the blue recycle box. I noticed my car had not been inspected in September as it should have been. On top of the usual happenings such as “Where did I put that object?” or “Why did I come into this room?” three major failures in one day were deadly blows.

Monday morning, bright and early I took my payment check to the Bank of America and it was credited to my Visa bill. I then went to have my car inspected. Well, here was a most unusual happening. The computer in the car would not allow the inspection because it had not been driven enough recently. A trip to Charlotte three days later added the needed mileage and I was once again legal.

Living — yes, just living — and learning to adjust to new circumstances are two main ingredients in the process of aging. Acceptance of our frailties and blunders is essential to a happy life. So I give thanks that sometimes I can recognize my mistakes and trust I can continue to make some attempt to correct them.