Brother #3 called me on the eve of my travel to ask if I would take our father to the dentist tomorrow so he can attend the house closing.* He warned me Father is quite anxious almost paranoid but me taking him rather than Brother #3. He tells me Father ruminates I won’t be able to do it. Apparently Father is almost agitated and it is over small matters: I won’t know the directions to his dentist; I won’t know how to get a walker in and out of the car.**  Brother #3 is bewildered why these simple things should be so upsetting. I explained to him  as we age changes in our routine and deviations from the usual become harder to handle. Even a simple change like the dinner hour or  the prescription pill is now round when it used to be square can evoke panic and fright. In the aging brain the parts that light up during a deemed deviation are not unlike encountering something life threatening.  Our brains literally become less resilient with age, more’s the pity. 

I remember when I was a boy witnessing this phenomena in ‘old people’ and vowing I would not do so when I was that age. I put ‘old people’ in quotes as at 58yo one could argue my train is arriving at the station and I am already feeling peeved when something upsets the status quo. Last night I foolishly upgraded Firefox on the home computer thus making my at-home access to work inoperable. Yes, I can call support next week to help and I have access on the laptop but this knowledge didn’t prevent me from going quickly into a swivet perfectly imitating an old man in a nursing home not getting his meal at the usual hour. Afterwards I felt bad and vowed to do better. 

Stoicism states life consists of the unpredictable and the unexpected (and often unwanted) so just go with it and chill – you will survive.  I wonder if any of the Stoics ever reached 70 years old. 

It will be an interesting car ride tomorrow taking Father to the dentist while I watch the road and listen to him talk, sorely taxing my hummingbird brain more than my desire for predictably.  I just hope it doesn’t snow or the two of us will arrive at Dr. Walters’ office resembling an orchestra of scorched cats. 

 

 

*Father sold the family house. He had the luck a previous neighbor is buying the house. They moved away only to move back and they wanted to stay on the same street. Father and they know each other and the buyers are paying in cash and want in ASAP. He is quite relieved for the unused house was costing him 2K/month. The money on the sale  is going to reimburse Brother #3 for building an annex onto his house.  

**What he really should fret about is my lack of experience driving in snowy and inclement winter weather. Oh the horror.