You know you’re getting old when the happiest moment of your day is finding a sunglass strap. But stick with me here. It’s not exactly that my life ambition has shrunk so small that a dangling piece of fabric is enough to satisfy my deepest longings. But it is very real that age insists that you spend precious minutes— and sometimes hours— looking for something you need, accompanied by a stream of four-letter words and deep heaving sighs.
Now I am not now, have never been, and hope I’ll never be, a key-loser. They’re always in my left–hand pants pocket and if not, I’ll know it in a nanosecond. Likewise, the wallet in the right. (See my faith here that my blog readers are not pickpockets.) In the front shirt pocket lie my glasses, memo book and Niji pen. When I’m home, those five things sit on my desk, all my change in a little jar. As Maria Montessori says: “A place for everything, everything in its place.”
But keeping track of my sunglasses drives me crazy. Too big for any pockets, not yet assigned a place in the backpack, I’m just constantly putting them one place, then another and then searching for them helter skelter. And so I decided to get one of those glasses straps and just hang them around my neck. The first two stores I tried didn’t carry them, but then my wife showed me four different ones we have at home. Score!! Even different colors for different shirts.
And so for two days straight, I’ve happily tromped around San Francisco fully aware of the presence of my sunglasses. It’s a bit inconvenient when you hug people, but after a college education, I think I can figure out how to solve that problem. And now with all the time freed up from looking for them and all the emotional angst spared me, I believe I can now be a fully realized compassionate being with time to write the great American novel. Working on my opening sentence:
“It all began with a sunglass strap…”