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January Newsletter 2022

Common Annoyances of Older People

Are they putting jar lids on tighter than ever before? Because it turns out that I can't seem to open any new jar anymore. Not just, but especially, those large jars of Marinated Artichoke Hearts from Costco. Sadists who hate old people made those huge jars with their Frisbee-sized lids. I could be in a Gulag, starving, and not be able to open those jars and eventually, the Gulag guards would be prying the pristine, unopened jar of life saving marinated artichoke hearts from my cold, dead hands and putting MY marinated artichokes on THEIR salad!

The bigger lids from the bigger jars from the Big Box stores do not allow your smaller, older hands to gain any kind of purchase and you find that you are asking yourself constantly: Why have the manufacturers decided to set their machines to screw the lids on so tightly? (Same with the oil lid under your hood, the nuts on your tires). You can't remember ever having had this much trouble opening jars before, so it must be the manufacturer's fault. Certainly not the fact that you are in your dotage and actually look forward to getting your AARP magazine every month nor would you ever dream of wearing thong underwear.

You bang jar lids on the counter top, you run them under hot water, you take your big expensive butcher knife and whack around the lid, cracking the knife handle. Not the jar lid. It's still intact and on the jar. You get out that ancient metal jar lid helper your mother gave you 25 years ago, the one that brutally and bloodily pinches that fleshy part under your thumb when the "helper" invariably slips off the lid. It has NEVER worked but you give the lid another go with the ancient jar lid helper while conveniently forgetting the definition of insanity. Again, nothing budges. After putting a bandaid on your bloody palm, you decide to finally throw the weapon of mass hand destruction into the trash. You think about calling your neighbor's teenage daughter to come over to open your jar, but find that too embarrassing. You decide to leave the artichoke hearts out of the salad.

Do you really think I would go on and on ad nauseum about how older people can't open most anything anymore if I didn't have a solution? It's called EZ-Off Jar Opener. From Amazon. Mine is installed (easily with screws) under the kitchen cabinet to the left of my sink. It can open EVERYTHING!

Can't open this either: That hard plastic molded stuff around everything, especially from Costco. Now that particular chore requires the terrorist's tool of choice - the box cutter - which is very dangerous even when not wielded by a terrorist on a plane. How can anyone - much less an older person - open that hard plastic stuff without hurting themselves. After attacking the plastic, we gingerly examine our body parts whereupon we notice scratches, scrapes and gouges on our hands and/or other parts of our body and we have no idea how they got there. It must have been the box cutters and the plastic. We can't recall. Because by now we are a wee bit bumfuzzled after all the skullduggery with the jar lids.

Wounding via the Twilight Zone: This is another annoying yet inexplicable thing that happens to older people. We get these strange cuts and scratches and bruises on our hands, arms and legs, face, ears - actually anywhere where there is skin to break. FOR NO REASON. "Oh, look, honey," we say cheerfully, "here's another one. Where are the bandaids?" Yet we have no idea how these wounds came to be. After I find one of these mysterious bloody things, I first look at my palms to see if perhaps it's the gift of stigmata, which would make all of this strange wounding O.K. Usually it is not. So, it was either the plastic and the box cutters or I hit my hand on top of the cupboard putting the cups away or an alien drilled me in the middle of the night.

TiVo-Hell: For no reason whatsoever (that you know of, which is not much), your TiVo (noun) does not TiVo (verb!) your favorite show. Now, this is pretty serious as older folk seem to watch a lot of TV and unlike the Boomers, the Zoomers, the Doomers and the Annoyancers, we were not born with a chip for electronic know-how. If something goes wrong with anything that contains a "chip", it's over for us, folks.

Anyway, we get to "know" certain stars and personalities and feel slighted if we can't watch them do their thing. Take Amy Schneider on Jeopardy, for example. She is the first woman- and certainly the first trans-woman - to win over a million dollars on Jeopardy. That woman is a walking encyclopedia... This is definitely a favorite show for oldsters, but what if Amy would, god forbid, lose, and we weren't there to share in her humiliating defeat? Because of something we did or did not do with the TiVo button! You and I would be very disappointed and feel like we have let our dear Amy down. Pretty soon we are in a tizzy - anxious and off balance - which then leads some of us to worry about cancer because we know that stress can cause that. And it's all our own fault because we are dolts with the TiVo because we are oldsters.

Not to worry. There are some wonderful supplements for anxiety, the kind of anxiety caused by constantly dealing with the new electronic Wizard of Oz buttons which never take you to Kansas where you want to go, but, instead threaten to take you to a Galaxy, far, far away from which you will never return. (Where you will become a lab rat for curious aliens.) Add TiVo-Hell to COVID-Hell to POLITICAL-Hell plus all of the other perplexing trigger-hells we oldsters must endure, and nutsville seems imminent. But before you throw your TV off the deck, I would suggest two great supplements: Tranquillity by Natura and Nevaton by Standard Process. One or both of these products will help alleviate your constant anxiety and self-loathing for screwing up the TiVo buttons again and most everything else in the post-modern world.

Our all-important and powerful telomeres don't like chronic stress either. To keep our telomeres strong so that they may continue to protect the ends of our strands of DNA, we can feed them some comforting supplements to counteract the effects of stress. Try Holy Basil, Bacopa, Cordyceps mushrooms and Ashwagandha. They are all potent adaptogens and will help you calm down from everyday stressors and help your telomeres live long and prosper.

"We are still living with the old paradigm of aging as an arch. That is the old metaphor: You're born, you peak at midlife and decline into decrepitude. A more appropriate metaphor for aging is a staircase: The upward ascension of the human spirit, bringing us into wisdom, wholeness and authenticity." Jane Fonda, TedX WomenTalk, 2011.

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