Every seven years, or so, we grow enough new cells to have a new body. Really. I don't know all the scientific facts related to this phenomenon, but you can check the facts.
So, every thing, from blooming bulbs to hair follicles, have a life line of sorts. We can see growth in babies and in teens, in people we have not seen in a while, but we don't really see it in ourselves. We do, after a while, when the face in the mirror looking back at us is now our mother's face, not ours. (Or, father's!)
When we are older, we are more concerned about things breaking down than about things that renew. I'm sure my hair is new. But, my liver? How do I know?
I can't eat the same things I used to eat. My liver, stomach, intestines, and all the other parts of digestion tell me I can't eat the way I used to. I must adjust, or I'll be spending my golden days at the doctors' . I've given up on sweets because my organs are rebelling. These are not the same organs, trust me, I used to have banana splits and not only didn't gain an ounce, but I had no trouble sleeping.
I'm writing this blog at 3:30 a.m. my time. NOT BY CHOICE! I had a B.L.T. sandwich for supper last night. My stomach prepared a legal brief that was delivered four hours after I went to bed, reminding me of my legal obligation to maintain this body as it is; not make it worse.
I know that all around me,( in this town with many older folks it is easy to find living lessons), people are shopping in the local supermarket one day, and in for a bypass the next. We are all falling apart when we least expect it. I don't have to remind you that four weeks ago I was on heavy medications to combat the pain of bursitis in one shoulder, a pain that cancelled any other growth except household mold.
We change. We tend to break more easily. We tend to forget more easily. And it will only get worse if we don't take action to halt the decline, and plan the changes we can control. The last few weeks in physical therapy pointed out ways for me to upgrade my workout for my upper body all through the cold and wet months, so that come spring, I can pull weeds and dig plants, push carts and do all those gardening chores without straining, spraining or breaking any body parts.
What about the parts we don't see? How do we keep the brain running effectively? We need to grow new dendrites by exposing ourselves to new tasks, new challenges, work at staying active mentally, and not just doing what we enjoy and comes easily. It's probably a good time to learn a foreign language, new math, new skills, a good time to become activists, promoting causes that need our attention. We help others grow as well.