Monday, April 3, 2023

It's Official

Exactly a week ago, I got a letter summoning me to jury duty in the morning of May 15. It would have been my third time; in 1998 I got summoned twice in quick succession, and I went on the appointed mornings, but I was never picked. Ben also got summoned some years later, also twice within a few months, and he even served in a domestic violence case, but it was easy because the culprit admitted to the deeds. 

Japan didn't have jury system between 1943-2009, i.e. when I was growing up. (Since 2009 they've had a quasi-jury system where "lay judges" hear cases alongside professional ones, but I don't know anything beyond that.) Watching the telly and reading the newspaper, I grew up thinking jury system is another example of a shiny Western thing, democratic and aspirational, but I personally never wanted to participate. 
I've always seen the world in black and white, and whosoever claimed to see both sides, or the middle, were noncommittal, either from lack of conviction or the will to study an issue. I was so adamant it took time to reconcile with the fact I was starting to see gray areas in my "old age" (mid-40s??), and was noncommittal on sometimes. Totally not suitable to take part in deciding someone else's predicament. 
More recently, as the world seem to move faster, so much information being readily available, I became less engaged from the general goings on, and more easily swayed, relying on persons who I believe know better. I also see how little I know of most anything, and I've become less confident.
Then there are other, "real" considerations: my body aches more/often; my hearing is considerable worse; my comprehension slower and incomplete, if not misdirected; one hip is semi-permanently dodgy and I can't sit in the same position for long; I can't lift my right shoulder in a certain angle; my muscles don't stretch as easily and can't reach the "high" shelves which didn't use to be "high"; the newly acquired face/eye problem I thought was just temporary this summer may now be a recurring thing. 
Once in a while, nine times since the 2020 Lockdown, I've had instances of thorough confusion about mundane things I usually know/do without thinking, the sort of things I read about associated with dementia. Worse, while being confused, I'm fully aware it's the sort of thing I don't have usually have to think about. My attention and endurance are measured in nano-seconds. As for the forgetting, I've arrived at a place where some of it doesn't appear so bad, because I'm not so angry or embarrassed about forgetting so much so soon. 
And while not all of this relates to jury duty, I'm not sure how outdated my values are in comparison to the social norm/common sense. I genuinely don't feel comfortable being responsible for someone else's predicament, when I have enough problem deciding things for myself.
Esther thinks older generations' opinions are just as important in a jury, and I agree in general, but I'm going to leave it to healthier, more confident 65s and over for this particular task; I'm declining all participation. (There is also provision for Covid-related issues, as I imagine most every other jurisdictions.) 

You might have guessed; I'm 65 today. Mom has said in the last decade of two, "insert_my_age is nothing, wait until you're insert_her_age!" But it's is not a competition, and today I am the oldest I've been in my life. Oh, boy, do I try not to say this to folks younger than I! Worse, I've mentioned this a lot here, I'm a heck of a lot less fitter than she was at this age, and looking around I've been aging faster than folks of the vintage. Which is a little disappointing because until my early 50s, I looked much younger than my chronological years.
I imagine my life getting even smaller each year. I'll get further left behind by technology if/when Ben looses interest; I've noticed since smart phones he's not interested in all technology, just some. I imagine weaving less and slower and less accurately, but I'm also less worried about speed and have time for the fussier. Sometimes. The number of things I wished I could/would do will increase; I'll finish reading fewer books; I'll be longer-winded, repeat myself more, and ask others to repeat and speak up even more; annoy more, add value to less. And, yeah, I'll probably be more acerbic, rather than mellowing, and less self-aware. And fat.

I am not self-pitying, not grumpy, but realistic. Later today I'll keep weaving a significant-birthday present for someone else. And I'll give my 29385604th try making a pie crust, which has been a bane of my kitchen existence since 16, cranking out Baked Alaskas on ready-made crusts. In the evening, I'll LINE with Mom, opening with my standard joke of the last few decades: "Thanks for your contribution on that auspicious day, Mom!"

Like Ali told me the day before my 60th, I got up, and it's been another day.


  1. Goodness me, I can't believe I forgot arthritis - it's here so often these days, but never as badly as during the lockdown, I don't take special notice except to gauge the "temperature" of the day.

    Can you imagine how much more... ummm... nauseating I'd be if I ever acquired a real health problem? OK, forget I asked.

  2. Happy Birthday! You made another year. Please make sure you have a full medical checkup. I am 66 and understand the not being able to do all that you have always done but your list of things that don't work seems to be a bit long for your age, it could be there is something going on that doesn't have visible symptoms. My husband's kidneys were almost gone and he just though he was getting older, a blood test found the problem and now some of the age related symptoms are gone because of the treatment for his kidneys. Good luck and have a great day.

    1. We can't find anything really wrong, tests yield nothing, other than osteoarthritis being "an incurable disease," (I love my doc's sense of humor) and hay fever is a thing.

      Also please add your real name.

  3. Happy Birthday! Think not of your aches and pains and enjoy the day! Sixty-five is just a number that is convenient marker for government services.

    1. Thank you, Janet.

      I do and don't think about my problems, Janet. One big reason being I was so healthy most of my life, until "the changes," and I didn't have a single doc visit in that time. Other than hay fever and pretty extreme myopia, every "problem" since has been an affront to what I used to think was my natural/default state, and I think this is why I keep track in sporadic detail; sporadic, because sometimes I can't be bothered. :-D At the base is I'm obese and I lead a sedate lift; we started changing things last winter/spring, until the hay fever struck, but with winter slowly approaching, we'll get back on track. Although regular, (not clasped weft) weaving on the four-shaft Jack IS a really good cardio workout!!


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