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Saturday, July 11, 2009

What you didn't know.

Old age has been portrayed in a variety of ways. Most of the time, we saw the two ends of the spectrum: the part of old age when sickness and diseases take away dignity; and the part when people have extra time to travel, play with the kids, have sex with new partners in Miami, and look better and feel happier than ever.

Old age is on a continuum, just like other stages. We are just as prepared to grow old as we were to be adults, or parents. Some of us had models around, big brothers or sisters, uncles and aunts, people who divulged inner secrets about the life we would encounter.

The fact is we are all afraid of growing old, feeling old and degenerate into invalids. We are even afraid to entertain the idea until...

The first thing I want to tell you is that no matter your age now, you will be old, you will be infirm, you will have fewer resources than you have now, and you cannot avoid that state.

Remember when you wanted to become a singer? Or a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor? You looked for a mentor, a model to guide you through. You studied the people you wanted to be like, and you adopted attitudes and strategies that helped you achieve your goals.

So, come along for the next few posts. Add your suggestions about attitudes and strategies that helped you or someone you know navigate this passage of life.

The more we know about the voyage, the easier it will be.

70 comments:

Brian Miller said...

ok, you have me hooked for the journey...those dreams you mention...keep holding onto them loosely. they can happen at any age it seems.

Gran said...

Yes, yes! As I have aged, I have learned to love my creaking joints and other outward signs of aging. Because along with all of the physical losses, I have learned many new and wonderful things--about life, and about myself. I'm along for the ride!

potsoc said...

When I was born, premature or so my mother said (?), my parents were told i'd be lucky to live till the ripe old age of 9. Now 78 I live each day as a triumph over prophets of doom and look forward to a good 15 more years. After all on my mother's side they all lived over 90.
Never say you are finished. There is always something new to learn or do. When I retired, 15 years ago, I kept looking for knew challenges: learn to use a computer, get into digital photography and photos handling through software I never dreamed existed. Intellectual undertakings have been done at the McGill Institute for Learning in Retirement since 1995. This year I'm taking a sabbatical from group moderating there but not from attending.
Curiosity and exploring are keys to a happy getting older...and they help getting over diabetes, rigid knees, less agile fingers and shorter breath. The less you are active the more you notice these annoyances. Keep going, you will put off rusting, just like with an old car.

merrilymarylee said...

I consider myself at Jr. Senior at this point. My doctor told me just this week that I shouldn't consider myself "old" until I'm 85.

What I hope to avoid is allowing my life to become a soap opera: As The World Turns Around Me. My favorite senior friends still have room in their hearts to care about others. So did my mother, who
was in constant pain the last ten years of her life. Tethered to an oxygen tank, she still fed the birds, read books by the dozen each week, stayed in touch with friends, and kept her wit and her wits about her.

Pyzahn said...

Oooo, I think this is gonna be good.

Angela Recada said...

What a terrific idea for a series of posts. I look forward to them, and the insights you and your readers will share.

An English Shepherd said...

I think people concentrate on the more negative aspects of older age. What about the positives all that experience and wisdom for a start.

Wizz :-)

Helen said...

Many years ago I learned to keep moving, literally and figuratively. The motion of life keeps us young ~ and if we stop, we just die inside.

Not being afraid to take risks, knowing some will pan out, others won't. Being OK with all of it.

Boots said...

This is going to be a great walk to take with you and others ~ I do not like being 51,and I dont just like accepting it either lol!
I found a book though that really gave me alot to appreciate about the process of aging..."A year By the Sea" by Joan Anderson. Her story was great but her meeting up with another 80 year old woman, Joan Erikson (wife of the famous Psychologist Erikson)...I will start looking for some of her quotes but she shared with the younger Joan all the things to be sure and do every day.

My own mother lived to be 79 and never acted old NEVER! and that is what I will try to do as well..

Lori ann said...

So interesting and certainly a post that we will all be interested in, since this affects us all.

I am not afraid of growing older, it's just as you said, it's a continuum of life.

looking forward to the rest of the series!

david mcmahon said...

You and Potsoc have placed this in a wonderful perspective.

Sorry this is off-post, but in reply to your question on my blog two days ago, I back up all my images immediately.

Then I archive them to a portable hard drive. They are archived according to month and year, which makes them VERY easy to track down.

It's a very simple system - but simplicity is a good thing!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I'm looking forward to this journey on which you are about to take us.

At 62 1/2 I'm enjoying life. I'm trying to keep it simple, enjoy each day, and appreciate the time I have with my husband who is 9 years older and with my cute dog who is almost 12.

After meeting the G-man 5 years ago I learned to play golf and after my retirement 2 years ago I practice & play regularly as well as go to the gym to use machines & free weights. As many of you know I enjoy photography, read, and love to keep up with "blog-land".

The G-man goes with me & is strong & active everyday. He plays golf 3 or 4 days each week, goes to the gym, and participates in Amateur Golf Tournaments.

Being physically & mentally active is important as we age. Get us on the right track LakeViewer!

Ribbon said...

This is a wonderful topic.

I'm the last born in my family with 12 years between myself and the next sibling.
I have learned a lot throughout my life from observing them.
One lesson that stands out in the crowd is that fear in an unhealthy state can be your worst enemy.

Life is also teaching me that it is a privilige to grow old and not a given right.

I'm looking forward to your future posts as always.

best wishes
Ribbon

willow said...

Count me in! I turn 53 in a few months and am definitely looking at the view from the other side of the hill.

Sink said...

I'm thinking that you are a wonderful model for grace and dignity at any agee.
Looking forward...
xxoosink

Delwyn said...

Hi Rosaria

This will be a good discussion. I look forward to a mix of ideas...

Happy Days

Beth said...

In the words of Sponge Bob Square Pants, "I'm ready! I'm ready! I'm ready!"

I'm ready to learn!

Natalie said...

I was thinking about this topic this morning! Count me in.xx♥

marc aurel said...

More naps, richer dreams.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"The more we know about the voyage, the easier it will be."

Do you think so? Relating the bumps we know might clog us up. I'd rather move ast them quickly,but sometimes need to stop to figure them out. Does that mean I'm afraid or just want to figure it out so I don't make the same mistake again?

Most interesting post. I want to go with you on this voyage.

Shadow said...

you've got me interested in what to come....

Dave King said...

"no matter your age now, you will be old, you will be infirm, you will have fewer resources than you have now, and you cannot avoid that state. " - with a bit of luck, of course! Which basically is my attitude to growing old, it's better than the alternative. I don't write about it, though, as I'm wedded to the dictum: write about what you know.

Frankofile said...

Blogging is one way to keep our voices assertive and positive as life moves on. Your blog is a great example. Thank you!

Gaston Studio said...

What a great opportunity to learn from others Rosaria!

I'm 67 and don't consider myself old (yet) but then, I've never had a problem with growing older, rather I have a problem with accepting the things my body doesn't want me to do anymore. Having a really bad back, I've had to make reluctant adjustments, and while my intellect tells me it's necessary, my spirit tells me differently; makes for lots of trips to the chiropractor!

♥ Braja said...

Oh, Rosaria, how timely! I love this...it's Diamond Sidebar material for...let's see...Tuesday. My input? I'd say don't be fooled into thinking old age comes at a certain age: after this accident, I walked like an 86 yr old on a good day. Seriously. I got it down to 76. Now I'm at around 66. And I'm only 45. Life and it's changes and happenings can age you rapidly; maybe not physically in terms of closer to death, but in terms of taking you physically to a place you THOUGHT was not yours to occupy for many, many years. And one thing I love very much is a scriptural quote from eastern texts: "Hundreds and thousands of living entities meet death at every moment, but a foolish living being nonetheless thinks himself deathless and does not prepare for death. This is the most wonderful thing in this world."

♥ Braja said...

You've inspired me to do a post about this later in the week....I hope it doesn't clash with what you have planned; I'll link to you as the source of my inspiration if that helps?

lakeviewer said...

My goodness, who knew!

You have been inspirational to each other here. If you haven't read each other's comments, please do. We are on this journey together, the pilgrims to Canterbury, Dante to the underworld and overworld. I noticed Braja is adding her eastern wisdom here. This is grand sharing. If you write about this topic on your post, do link us all, as more voices mean more perspectives, more sources of wisdom and guidance.

Carry on!

Maggie May said...

This should be a good discussion.
I range between being really fed up when new pains come or else I seem to be enjoying life as best I can. I think the secret is not to dwell on things and to keep as active as possible, mentally & physically & not dwell too much on the future, as we might be run over by a bus before it happens! Cheerful aren't I?

Bogey said...

With an open mind and an open heart, I am definitely looking forward to your upcoming posts. Considering the various stages of life everybody is in, especially on your comments page, I think it is vital to be listening to each other. Who knows, we may accidentily find what we are searching for right here.

Woman in a Window said...

I am absolutely intrigued as to where this is going. Exciting stuff. Does that make me old? Nope. Just alive and curious.

Nancy said...

Love this idea! Happy to follow along, and learn something, too.

Jennifer said...

You are right - a good "role model" would be a wonderful guide to growing old well. I look forward to your posts.

Renee said...

You amaze me. These posts are pure intelligence.

By the way, how I pray that I too can one day find out things about my teenage granddaugher (she is two now).

Love Renee xoxo

The Things We Carried said...

Okay, here I am dropping by and break and you have me hooked :). Sounds like I must come back and read, as I have always loved to do here!

jinksy said...

Methinks young at heart is the answer. The mind can grow older and wiser, and the body, which has a mind of its own, can fit in, like it or lump it!

Moannie said...

I wrote a post http://theviewfromthisend.blogspot.com/2009/07/miserable-shmiserable.html-that was crying out for this response. Though I have to say that for the most part I sail through life towards the inevitable with equilibrium-there are days, thankfully few and far between, when I wish that my 75 year old body could keep pace with my racing,40 year old mind.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Great idea. I think I experience a bit of what getting old feels like before my time due to health problems. It worsens the fear in a way but has taught me some of the coping strategies too. Enjoy everything we can, and above all, keep going! Life is beautiful.

AirmanMom said...

Congrats on the POTD! I look forward to following your blog!
~AM

Sarah Lulu said...

Yeeeeaaaahhhhh congratulations on your Post of the Day ...from another more mature rebel. *smile*

Merisi said...

Cpngratulations on winning David's Post of the Day Award with this foray into what we all try to not think about, but are inevitably drifting towards ....

Kikit said...

I'm still in my late twenties but there are times when I look at the mirror and say to myself, "I've grown a little older." Growing old is probably a common destination for everyone.

But you know what, I think I'll be 22 forever. I just feel like that way. :)

indicaspecies said...

I hope to be here to know more about the navigation of the "passage of life". Reached your blog from Authorblog.:)

Gaston Studio said...

Congrats on POTD Rosaria!

Susan said...

Post of the Day! Hurray!
This will be a great series of posts, I can tell.
We don't like aging, but we wouldn't like the alternative.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Rosaria...congrats on post of the day!
I have my infermities and I never dreamed I would at my age.I fight it though!!

Quirkyloon said...

You will have infirmities.

So true.

I never dreamed that in my 40's I would have infirmities galore.

But it's all good. You just keep pushing through after all the alternative? Not so pleasant. *smile*

Debbie said...

This sounds great. I need all the advice and encouragement I can get.

Willow said...

My grandmother used to say, 'Willow, you don't want to grow old. It's awful.' I would look at her aging body and wrinkled skin and think, 'But imagine the alternative.' (like David King) I intend to go out walking, running, biking, traveling, gardening, knitting, reading, singing, until the very last breath. My father was told near the end of WWII, to go home and die; there was no help for him. So he went home and lived until he was 80. He was too stubborn to die. I inherited his strong will.

Jessica said...

Reminds me of that lyric:
"I'm no good at being old, I'm only good at being young..."

Which, to me, means that we are just as good at getting older as we are at being young. Life is seasonal and to deny each and every turn is as easy as denying the Earth's revolution.

So, I turn to the oft repeated: "I still feel the same inside."

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Moannie talked in this vein the other day..its the human condition l believe... and I wont have anyone tell me different...OKAY!!

vicki archer said...

Such wise words. We must prepare for our elderly years long before we get there. I am witnessing old age first hand with my parents who are 92 and 94. They are blessed with reasonable health but still it is very hard. My father tells me there is nothing 'good' about getting old except what would be worse is not to....xv

Cheffie-Mom said...

Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!

Eddie Bluelights said...

It's a deal, Rosaria, you have me hooked. I think age is all in the mind! I am nearly 65 and just defeated a 29 year old ambulance colleague at arm wrestling! He was astounded!! His mate, a 26 year old ex para soldier narrowly beat me - boy did I make them sit up!! All the young ladies at work like me and so do all the lads and they all regard me as one of the boys!
I think your series is a wonderful idea and I expect a big audience.
Many congratulations on POTD - wvery well deserved ~ Eddie

ellen abbott said...

When my mother turned 60, she declared herself to be old...and then she became so. I don't want to be like her.

My neighbor at the country house is 82 and last summer he was on the roof of his greenhouse making repairs. I want to be like him.

Amelia said...

OK...I am so ready for this journey...really. My bday is next month, and I have mixed feelings about turning another year older. I don't FEEL "old", but I will only be a few years from 40, and that scares me with facing cancer again, as I have so many dreams to fulfill yet. Somehow, I WILL make them come true.

Kim Kasch said...

Today I'm feeling my age. I was wakeboarding all weekend and today I feel actually older than my age. I hate getting old but I guess it's better than the alternative. Actually it's not the age, it's the lack of physical abilities: I have to wear glasses now, never had to until I hit about 45. Can't bounce back like I used to do. :(

Lola said...

I'm late with my comment, but I wanted to add my applause and my huge thanks for this wonderful topic and series of "talks" about where we are all going.

I've missed you and reading your posts, but especially today, as I sank my teeth in a double double at In-Out-Burger, my thoughts were with you...

Big smiles,
Lola xx

ArneA said...

Excellent !!!
But what is your definition of getting or being Old.
I am almost 62 and feel Old sometimes, but according to my wife act like late thirties when the blood is pumping in my vessels and we experience new sides of our relationship.

Being terminal sick at the age of 47, but postponed death through Heart and Kidney transplantation, has given the 25% last years of my life something I did not believe was possible. I want to be older.
Life is good and it is great to live.

But there is a point when it is time to throw in the application to stop. When I am not able to take care of myself, or when I only cause problems for my family and the society, I mean my second chance to live has come to a successful completion.
Then my thanks will go to the Donorfamily. Their gift for Life has been fulfilled. It is time to go.

Congrats with being the PotD Winner

Boots said...

OMG!ArneA Thank you for sharing,time, however much or little, is so very very precious. I really dont want to take away from any of the posts...I just found a simple link to a video by Joan Erickson..She and her husband did the 8 stages of life..
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3816934280710331621

Man of Roma said...

I will come along for the next posts about this alas interesting topic. It has already started an impressive discussion. I won't talk about strategies of mine because at the moment - I'm 61 - they don't seem to work. I had dreamed of an old age spent in contemplation (writing, thinking, music, nature), where being progressively invalid didn't matter much, but for a number of reasons it seems I got it all wrong. I am reading what the others propose and am listening carefully.

Cynthia said...

I'm with you Rosaria, and look forward to the next few posts. I hope that I can shape my future in a pleasant and peaceful way...I agree that it's good to be well informed. Thanks for your openness. <3

Mervat said...

I am surrounded by older individuals who have just surrendered to being old. In their mind they are no longer on the continuum of 'growing older'. It is very sad and disheartening. I only wish they shared some of your insights and ideas on this topic. I cannot wait to read more.

Reya Mellicker said...

This is GREAT!! I will definitely come along for the next few posts, definitely!

It was a revelation (a few years ago) when I realized that in aging, I wasn't doing anything wrong.

YES everyone grows old - or dies young. YES YES YES.

More. Can't wait to read more on this.

Saretta said...

Looking forward to your word of wisdom! What I see of aging...worries me!

Tessa said...

I've said it before and I say it again - you are an inspiration, lakeviewer. I admire and respect your intellect and brio. I love the way in which you help all of us, in our own particular way, to move forward and to open our eyes to the world around us rather than sitting in a corner wracked with self-pity. In my case, it was my chronic homesickness for Africa - your words to me on that subject were the balm I so badly needed at that time. I still go back and read them from time to time!

I shall follow your posts on the 'continuum of life' avidly. Thank you for being who you are - I'm so happy to 'know' you.

Trixie said...

You've got a real good attitude. I'm one who's livin' it up, I'll tell you what!

Renee said...

I want to get old very badly.

xoxox

potsoc said...

Don't rush, Renée, it will come in due time. Speed kills you know. Que va piano, va sano, que va sano va lentano. Si?

sallymandy said...

Absolutely wonderful. I can't wait to read more, R. Thank you--and I can see from all the comments how on target you are.

I've recently visited with my parents who are 76 and 74. Trying to get nuggets out of them about the road ahead. It's not easy--though they have given me good role models.

Rob-bear said...

"The more we know about the voyage, the easier it will be."

Sadly, not always true. I've seen far too much of the sadder side of aging.