The Noises of Aging

A friend of mine was complaining about her ageing husband, who is about my age.

She said he has been grunting every time he sits down. It doesn’t matter if it is a flop into the chair style or easing down slowly approach, out comes the grunt, every time.

Bravely and with pride, I asked my wife if I do this. “Yes.” Just a response of one word. I was stunned. I’d never heard or knew I was doing that. When did I start to get so old!

I was my own foley artist as defined by Wikipedia:

Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects added to films, videos, and other media in post-production to enhance audio quality.

I was more digitally involved than I thought. Maybe I should start recording these grunts and get them on a collection of sound effects and become a dot-com millionaire. But I digress.

One of my philosophies of life, I thought, would apply to this situation. Here is my personal version:

I have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference

Step one was to be aware every time I was adding sound effects. At home, in the yard, getting into the car – anywhere. I made good progress and was confident. I was much more conscious as I took a seating position in many different situations. I was often grunting, timed perfectly with the termination of a successful knee-bend.

Step two. I needed to move the awareness from post grunt to pre-grunt. If I could do that, I could change my behaviour. Gradually my success at step two improved to almost perfect.

Step three. Stop grunting. This was successful but unnatural at first. Sometimes I was just stubborn and wanted to have an excellent solid, impressive grunt. There was a satisfaction that was hard to explain. I enjoyed these decreasing moments of joy as I worked my way to no grunts.

Step four. I need to forgive myself when I failed and focused on the future.

I encourage older adults and seniors to look back at my journey and consider using it as a template to change your behaviour. Make yourself more appealing to those around you. Can you be more pleasant around others, more complimentary? Can you skip one story about your health with its aches and pains, to focus on something not so personal?

Before I finish this final draft. I asked my wife if she remembered when I asked her if I grunted when I sat down. She smiled with loving eyes. “Yes.” She can be succinct at times. I asked her if I still sounded off. She said that she wasn’t aware of my grunting. That really didn’t answer my question as she could have acquired selective deafness. She pondered again and told me that I wasn’t grunting.

Thank-you dear.

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please email me or leave your comment. I really do read every one.

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And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley
Photo by: Elien Dumon on Unsplash