Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

You know you’re getting old when….


Most of the time I forget I’m almost finished with my 5th decade of life.  I think I’m maybe thirty-something.  Forty-five at the most.  Then along comes some episode and I realize how old I really am, and particularly how much older than most of the people I work with, play music with, hang out with, go to dog events with.


So let me share with you a couple of stories that made me realize I’m no spring chicken anymore.  These are just little stories, nothing major, no epic drama.


It’s cold here in Michigan.  Sometimes it’s really cold.  We had a couple of weeks earlier this month when the wind was howling and the temps were in single digits.   When the walk from office to the car in the evenings was excruciating.  I happen to sit by a window up on the fourth floor, looking out over the parking lot and most of the winter people stop by to use my window and their remote starts to get their cars warmed up before they head out into the storm.  For most of this winter, and last winter too for that matter, it never occurred to me that my key fob also had a remote start.  That I too could have a warm car with ice melting on the windshield by the time I stumbled through the dark and wind to my vehicle.

Last week I paid attention, wrote myself a note which I placed near my keys (“start car”) and actually remembered to use the remote start thingy before getting dressed in hat, coat, scarf, boots, and gloves to head for home.  I couldn’t actually see my entire car from my office window, it was parked behind a big van, but I could see the front lights, and they blinked so I figured I was good to go.

Just before I headed for the stairs, now dressed like an Eskimo, I happened to glance outside.  Looking at my car I became confused.  What was that at the back?  Why…it’s the hatch, fully open!  And why weren’t the lights still on?  And no exhaust coming out of the back?  Surely I hadn’t….why yes I had.  Instead of pushing the start engine button on my key fob I had pushed the open hatch button.  Because they look so much alike, don’t you know.

So not only was my car not warm…it was colder than it had been before.  I quietly pushed the ‘open hatch’ button again, watched as it closed and then meekly crept down the 4 flights of stairs and out to my car where I shivered as I drove home.  I didn’t tell anyone for a long time.  Now I’m sharing with you.

Stop laughing.

Some of you know I’m the librarian for the community band that I’m in.  That means that the beginning of most rehearsals is hectic for me as people that have missed previous practices need music.  I’m always running around looking for music and making copies.  Often they start rehearsing while I’m still off doing something else.

So this week was no exception.  I’d put my clarinet together and started to warm up when someone needed something, and then someone else needed something.  Before long I’m running around and they’re playing already.  Finished with my tasks I rush to sit down in my seat, sharing a stand with the highschool girl next to me who I already know thinks I’m about 95 years old.  She looks at me out of the corner of her eye and keeps playing.  I suddenly realize I am not carrying my clarinet and I don’t know where I set it down.  I scan the room, locate it on a table, go get it and sit back down again, reaching for the top of my head where I keep my glasses when I’m not reading.

They aren’t there.

I don’t remember taking them off while I was running copies, but they could be anywhere.  Or maybe I never had them, they could be in the car.  I know I can’t read the music without them, but I figure I’ll do the best I can.  I push my chair back a bit to be further from the music stand and think “I can see pretty good tonight, maybe I don’t need those glasses anyway,” and I start to play.

The teenager next to me is still watching me out of the corner of her eye.

Sometime in the first piece of music my ear itches and I reach up to scratch it and realize that I’m wearing my glasses.  And obviously have been.  Which is why my eyes were seeing pretty good.  I’ve heard stories about people losing their glasses while they were on top of their heads.  But I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of anyone losing their glasses while they were wearing them.

And now you have.


Stop laughing.



Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

22 thoughts on “You know you’re getting old when….

  1. Okay, Okay, I’ll try to stop laughing. I’ve probably got ten years on you, so just hope for the best. It doesn’t get any better! Loved this post.


  2. Please understand, I’m not laughing AT you. I’m laughing WITH you. I can relate, really relate, having a couple of decades more experience in this area than you have. The stories I could tell . . .


  3. can’t type.. still laughing too hard


  4. Hilarious! The best thing is that you’re able to laugh at yourself. Sense of humor keeps you young.

    I was typing up some paperwork on one of my studenst yesterday. I had to include his birthdate. I looked it up, and our records say he was born in 1998. I thought, “That’s impossible! That must be wrong. If he was born in 1998 he’d still be in elementary school. Right? Hmmmm. Calculator….Ack!!!! I’m almost old enough to be his grandmother.”


  5. Oh my dog! This post was too much fun!

    The remote start/trunk button. Well it could have been worse I guess — if your car alarm went off while you popped the trunk.

    Glad you found your lost/not lost glasses too!

    That’s the good thing about Mommy playing a trombone — it’s a big shiny instrument. There’s no way she could misplace that instrument — like you could with a camouflage black clarinet that blends in with everything.


  6. Oh, Dawn, forgive me for still laughing! Like ^Carol^ said, it’s not at you but with you. I suppose you could blame it on age, but perhaps it’s just that your brain was otherwise occupied. Sounds like you’ve got a LOT of things on your plate right now (and at least the high schooler next to you didn’t say anything, right?!)


  7. been there done that – I didn’t even know or could find where the demister setting on my car was – new cars have sooooo many buttons and gadgets.


  8. OMG YOU POOR THING! I am laughing because I can sooooooooooo relate! Oh and I will be 60 this October. I can barely say the number


  9. I’m laughing WITH you… honestly, I am… because I could tell similar stories (and I laugh with myself about those, too). I swear the panic button on the key fob looks a lot like the open trunk button. Why else would I set off the alarm?? 😉


    • I accidentally hit the panic button in a campground. At 5 a.m. and I couldn’t get it to stop. For a very long time. Luckily I was all packed up to go so Katie and I just left.


  10. Oh this was a good one. Especially the hatch and the glasses. Know that you are not alone, I’m right there with ya! 😀


  11. This was a great post for a smile, Dawn. I think it’s great that you shared. I’ve got to mention one little technicality, however, and I swear this is not to make you feel older!!! When you turn 50, that’s when you finish your 5th decade of life; the first one was birth to 10 years old, so I think you are actually working on your 6th decade. Please don’t hate me for pointing that out (it’s the math teacher in me!) 😉


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