There are a couple of things that are particularly difficult about aging. The first is when your body begins to betray you. It starts with the pulled muscle that used to heal in a couple of days, but now is not quite right after a couple of months.
Eventually various parts stop working properly, and you amass quite a collection of pills and potions around the bathroom sink. Your heart isn’t doing this right. Your kidneys don’t do that right; and your brain? Something about the brain – I forget.
The second is that there are things that you either can’t or shouldn’t do. Can’t as in you can’t just pick up that hundred pounds and put it up on a shelf. Shouldn’t as in anything involving an extension ladder. I don’t mind hiring out some of the repairs I used to be able to do myself; I do mind the fact that when I assign something to the kids and they don’t follow through, I can’t just do it myself.
It seems like only yesterday I was the nerdy high school kid worrying about bell bottoms. Back then when I thought of getting older I mainly worried about balding and wrinkles.
Hola, Steve, from California–near beautiful downtown Burbank. I think your Aging author, Walter Dunham, is a bit dated. Why is it a sweet old lady takes time to enjoy life, while a grumpy old grouch is too busy complaining?
Like the great old Model A and Model T automobiles, when we get older our bodies don’t always function as before and have some limitations. Yes, there are some engine noises, some aches and pains, some speed restrictions, some issues with starting and idling (sleeping), and some “gas” and spark backfires. But dog-gone-it, when we’re on the road we go and we get to where we want–if our children or the DMV allow us to drive.
Insofar as memory is concerned, the crucial thing I remember is the distinction between “where” my keys or coffee cup are versus what my keys and coffee cup “are for.”
And as far as enjoying life, the aches, pains, ladder issues, lifting heavy stuff and all–I’m still lying on the girls I meet and telling them I’m 45 and asking them out for dinner. I’m a bit more discerning who I ask these days. It’s really not surprising the number of persons who still enjoy an evening of fun and back-and-forth conversation–especially with an “elder” once I tell them the truth.
What I’ve learned is to be 60 years full of life is far more joyful–and enjoyable– than to be 40 years old.