There is an adjustment we all must make when we face 60 and counting. When I had to face the disheartening fact that my 60th birthday had come and gone I was in shock. Deep depressing life altering awareness that I too was entering the realm of OLD AGE!!!! If you have been reading my weekly blog you know that this has been a recurring theme of my blog. Now that I’m 66 things haven’t changed that much. I am still in shock and looking at ads on TV or in magazines that mention men and women over 60 needing necklaces around their necks in case they fall and can’t get up or bath tubs that you have to sit in because showers are too dangerous or caretakers that come to your house because your kids are too busy to come by to check on you. These ads are for old people right? I haven’t changed. When I hear about an old man or woman of 60 plus years that has gone missing. I still think to myself … oh, poor old woman, she is so old she has lost her way. It takes me a minute or two to remember that I am older than this old lost woman. In my mind I still have time and potential to do all kinds of things that I used to do. I guess it is too late to be a prima ballerina, but you know there are a few things we can still do. Flirt, sure, of course, I can flirt. Sing and dance while driving down the street, absolutely. Still occasionally I catch myself (while dancing to a new tune, on the radio) and I realize that holy moly, I’m old. There is less time, and less energy. I occasionally get a pain here or there and this reminds me that hells bells, I’m aging!
The Good Yes, there are a lot of good things about aging. People have been right all along about getting older and acquiring wisdom. It’s true; just by surviving you acquire knowledge. Yesterday, I had to help my twenty-one year old son maneuver the difficulties of setting up a payment schedule with a hospital for a small procedure that he will need to address. (He dislocated a finger and he needs surgery. He swung on a rope and landed too hard onto the surface of the river.) He suggested that I couldn’t negotiate and get a better deal than he managed previously. I told him that I have been in a hospital before and I know my way around payment plans. Well, I made several phone calls and guess what? I got him a better payment plan. In almost every part of life the wisdom that comes with age is a huge plus.
For women or is it just me? The very, very, best part of aging for me was menopause. Thank you nature, for finally stopping the monthly migraine headaches, the stomach cramps, no more birth control pills or paraphernalia that accompanies birth control. Knock wood, I feel pretty great most of the time since that monthly visitor has hit the road.
And LOVE; well there isn’t a chance of hearing the pattering of a new set of babies’ feet coming into the bedroom unless it is someone’s grandchild staying overnight for a visit. The best part of love… let’s say you meet that one great love of your life in your sixties or beyond, then just like the song that Maurice Chevalier sang in Gigi, “And even if love comes through the door. The kind that goes on forever more, forever more is shorter than before. Oh, I am glad that I’m not young anymore.” Love might be sweeter since we realize how fast time flies by.
The Bad. It is hard for some people to stay positive while aging. I understand this problem. We have seen trouble. We have experienced sadness and loss. If you are over 60 you might have health issues or perhaps your spouse is ill. This is a trial that must be faced. It is hard to stay positive when you or a loved one is in pain.
There is also the grumpy old man or grumpy old woman syndrome that seems to be a prevalent affliction in some older people. Are you too quick to lose your temper? Is it hard to see the humor in life? Maybe take a breath and smell the roses. Is it worth it to be upset or angry over little things? Look in the mirror maybe it isn’t everyone else. Maybe it’s you. Remember the old saying during the hippie era? “Make love not war.”
The Ugly. Life is hard, it’s true, and there isn’t any other way to say this. As we age we get a little slower, we look at ourselves in the mirror and see a person we don’t fully recognize. If we keep on living we lose everyone around us that we love. Family, friends, pets everyone. All of the things we knew and were comfortable with disappear with time. In the end we must face our own end. Not easy. None of this is easy. Sometimes the losses are devastating.
Except, have you noticed? We already have faced a lot of these hardships and we are all still here. Chances are we might all be around for a few more decades. Maybe we are all stronger than we knew? I had a very good friend that was in her 80’s when I was in my 20’s and she told me that her secret to aging and aging well was to keep making younger friends. She also told me to keep being curious and to keep your desire for learning. Be interested in other people. Don’t dwell on the past. Be interested in the future. Don’t talk about your aches and pains. Be cheerful. Don’t get upset over little things.
My advice is to smile, sing and dance while you are driving and listening to your favorite tunes. Watch old movies with a large martini close at hand and a bowl of buttered popcorn. Flirting is a must. Write a blog with sex in the title. Is something upsetting you? Put an ice-cold bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge and order some take out. Works for me.
Until Next Week…