A wicked cold snap has whipped across the Great Plains this week, leaving most of rural Nebraska in double-digit negative temperatures. It’s that kind of cold that makes your face sting and your muscles ache. As a result of the weather, a pair of long underwear and a hooded sweatshirt has accompanied my attire for the past few days. I have convinced myself I would undoubtedly freeze without them.

Before bed last night I went to take off my hooded sweatshirt and noticed the front pouch was puffed out. Praying it wasn’t a result of my “winter weight” gain, I quickly went digging for an answer. I ended up pulling out two handfuls of waded up tissue and paper towel, sad souvenirs that marked my day’s activities. Like an 80 year old I had stored away used Kleenex as efficiently as a squirrel stores its nuts. The sad truth is that I don’t even have a cold to blame for the unnecessary hoarding. It can only mean one thing…

I’m officially old.

Something bizarre happens when you begin to age out of your mid-thirties. You are no longer a young adult and you still convince yourself that middle age exists as a category for your parents. However, sometimes things occur that make you realize you are actually getting old (e.g. – a pocket full of used tissue).

Fearing the worst, I started looking around for other clues as to the impending aging process. What other signs were practically staring me in the face without my knowledge? 

I still use an actual Day Planner. That can’t be good…

wallet day planner

I gifted myself anti-aging salves and creams for Christmas. I assume the next step is the Debby Boone “Lifestyle Lift” procedure…

wallet kiehls best

I have a dish of “sucking candies” in my kitchen. Dear God…

wallet sucking candy

And then I caught a glimpse of my wallet. It is official: I possess the wallet of an old man…

wallet open2

Sure, there are the usual suspects one would expect to find: a driver’s license, credit cards, a little cash. However it’s the other contents that have me worried…

wallet contents

It resembled the time capsule of a bizarre bachelor. Odd notes and quotes scribbled down on scraps of paper, postage in case I have a mailing emergency, a family photo that seems unrecognizable now, a business card from a venture long gone, a dollar coin of no significance I can recall (possibly the onset of Alzheimer’s?), a Post-It note reminding myself to “Make Good Choices” (Do I need a reminder?) and my abbreviated funeral plans in case my demise comes quicker than expected.

All I needed was an AARP membership card to seal the deal.

I like to think I will grow old gracefully. However, it’s the slap-you-in-the-face-senior-moments that come from left field that make you realize the transition might not be as graceful as you would prefer.

Now…where did I put my wallet?

Follow more from Scott at County Seat Living

Scott Rager

Robert Scott Rager is a Nebraska native who returned home to start a boutique business called "County Seat Living". His personal goal for "County Seat" is to translate the lifestyle design he was creating in Los Angeles for the past twelve years and apply it to the sensibility of the Great Plains. Whether he's writing about decorating, homemade ice cream, floral creations, event planning or product design, he wants the personality and style of Nebraska to shine bright.