To my continued amazement, I have reached the point in life that people refer to as “old”. Also, “getting on”, “ancient”, “on slippery ground”, “aging” and a lot of other terms that are usually accompanied by sad head shaking.
I’d like to tell all you “youngsters”, (I could add a lot of synonyms here but that’s too much typing) we are ALL aging each & every day. From the day you are born you are getting older and no one ever, ever, ever gets younger…no matter how hard they try.
The thing is that after you are born, your parents, grandparents & assorted relatives are watching out for you, making sure you don’t eat crawly bugs or put things in electric sockets. A little older & you find siblings added to those who look after you & then teachers join the group.
In your teens you find friends, TV, radio, movies & magazines providing guidance & advice, with mixed results.
You marry; start a family & books, magazines, experts all over are there to tell you exactly what you need to know, again with mixed results.
The children grow up & move on, lots of friends, family & the never silent TV is there to guide you through the emotional passages.
Then comes a time when you notice people leaving your life; they move away, they get sick and, yes, they die.
Suddenly you are without parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles & so much of your life is missing. So, where does the advice come from now?
I saw an “expert” on aging giving a talk about how to “deal” with old age. The “expert” looked to be about seventeen years old. Now, that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t read all the data on aging but, it certainly does mean that he has no firsthand knowledge about it.
So, it occurred to me that the best people to talk about this stage in our lives would be US. We are all different, have different outlooks, different activity levels, different obstacles to clear each day. Let’s share how we deal with life at this point without elders to guide us.Maybe I didn’t pay attention when I was younger but all I remember in the way of advice was: “Old age ain’t for sissies” and “Don’t get sick”.
So, what things have I learned?
Simplify, enjoy, ignore and move on, which all boils down to “avoid stress”.
Medical things are more in the picture these days so pick good doctors. Pick a doctor you trust, if you are second guessing your doctor, pick another one. There are a lot of them out there & we are really lucky in East TN to have a lot of good ones. Once you feel confident with your doctor, do what he says & you know have one less thing to worry about. Simplify.A lot of little aggravating things can fill your day like that walking into a room & forgetting why you are there bit…and then remembering as soon as you’ve gone back to your starting point & gotten comfortable. Like putting something down & when you go back to get it, it is gone (my husband says this is proof of an alternate universe that likes to play tricks on us). What gets me is that later on the item will be right where I thought it was…how does it do that? It’s a part of life now so accept it & forget about it.
Let’s not overlook forgetting words & names; though I can’t blame age on forgetting names, I’ve never been good at names. There was one time that lives on at every family gathering when I went to introduce my husband to my sister’s new boyfriend & forgot his name…my husband’s name, not the boyfriend’s. They do not let me live that down. Of course once I introduced him as my first husband, as my husband shook the guy’s hand he said, “I’m also her last husband”. The guy said, “How many husbands has she had?” My husband said, “She won’t tell me.” As you see, my husband is a good sport.
One of the best pieces of helpful advice is to cut stress out of your life as much as possible. In my case that means no TV, no newspapers, no Facebook, no politics in any shape or form & absolutely no stupid people. That last one is a toughie. Fortunately, once you’ve passed the ¾ century mark people will ignore a lot of what you say so you can express yourself rather freely. Enjoy it.
Most of all…appreciate the good loving people in your life, laugh at life & yourself and every now & then eat cake for breakfast.
So, what have you learned about aging? Even if you are a youngster you must have learned a thing or two, right?
Contact Us, put Aging in as the subject & write us a message re: your personal experiences, but remember: nothing stressful or I’ll ignore it. <g>