I was old for a couple of months this year, and then I stopped.
Old age started abruptly, out of the blue. I began feeling tired every day and worrying in a boring way about a work overload. Something was wrong.
One day I had been reading after lunch in the sun. Then it was time to get back to work.
But no. I felt tired—again. Tired? How daft was that? I’d already been resting like a dear old Methuselah for the last half hour or more. (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a fascinating book with an onion of a story, hard to stop reading. It’s Anthony Marra’s first novel, set in Chechnya, 2004.)
I drew the logical conclusion, or so I thought: maybe it’s time I began to work less, relax more. So I stayed in the chair and read another chapter. By the time I finished, my hands were shaking: I was more tired, not less.
Off to the GP to be diagnosed with a harmless little condition that is, I’m told, almost universal after a certain age: postural hypotension.
Prescription: don’t stay too long in the same position, whether lying, sitting or standing. Drink enough water and a reasonable number of coffees. (I can handle that.)
And when you feel tired, don’t just sit there — move! Get that blood pumping again.
Knowledge is power. Now I know what to do, so I don’t get tired. I’m back to normal, which is full of beans.
Work overload? Bring it on. That’s normal too, and no reason to worry.