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An Age Old Question . . . Old Age February 24, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, People.
51 comments

In my teens, I embraced the passing years:

Sweet Sixteen . . . Sublime! 
Driver’s license at 17 . . . Freedom! 
Legal drinking age at 18 . . . Par-tay! 

These stepping stones to adulthood beckon us  forward, and lull us into complacency about the relentless march of time.

Fast forward a few years and we start to face milestones which are not nearly as fun . . . like the daily decision of how to tie our shoes.

Tying my shoes used to be almost as reflexive an act as breathing.  Now, I have to strategize:

Hmm, should I bend down to tie my shoes, and risk getting stuck due to my creaking, arthritic  knees?  . . . Or should I put my foot up on the bench, and possibly wrench my back in the process?

It’s a tough way to start the day.   It’s also one of the reasons I moved to Florida.

Here in the Sunshine State, the aging populace can don footwear without laces to tie or shoe horn extensions to wield.

Just slip on a pair of sandals or flip flops, no bending or stretching involved.

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Bliss!

Despite having solved the issue of footwear, I still stare perplexed at the  number of candles littering my birthday cake each year, wondering where those years disappeared.  I smile only by considering the alternative . . .

No, not death . . . cryogenics!

I’ll freeze myself until they discover a cure for Old Age!  I just wish I’d thought of this about 15 years ago  . . . when I was still worth preserving.

While I could go on about the challenges faced with each passing year, there really is no need.  If you are as old (or older) than me, you can supply your own examples.   If you are younger, I don’t want to worry you about the future you will face ~ like needing a crane to hoist yourself off the toilet, or not realizing, due to hearing loss, that your flatulence is audible.

In any event, my biggest concern is not my own deterioration.  I am not going to worry about the passage of time until my feet no longer look good in flip flops.  If my eyesight fails quickly enough, that day will never come:

As others run away from my hideously deformed feet, those same feet will continue to look shapely and youthful to my aging eyes. 

At present, my primary concern with aging involves my parents.   Instead of aging gracefully and surrendering the things of youth – like shoelaces – they refuse to let go of a house and yard that are two sizes too big for them to maintain.  Except for their family room, kitchen, and bedroom,  the rooms in their two-story Colonial sit idle, collecting dust.

For 15 years, we have encouraged them to find someplace smaller ~ fewer rooms to heat and cool, fewer stairs to climb, and less to maintain. While they agree that it would be better to live in a retirement community with everything on one floor, no exterior or interior maintenance, and lots of planned activities, they are  dragging their feet . . . and sometimes tripping over them.

During my dad’s last hospitalization, following a fall, mom felt lost and alone:

“Mom, let’s look around at retirement communities.  While dad’s re-learning how to walk, we can find you a place on one level . . . with neighbors right down the hall.”

“Well, I don’t know if this is a good time to talk about this.”

“This is Dad’s fourth hospitalization this year.  When is it going to be the right time?”

“Well, we just have so many memories tied up in this house.”

“Mom, it’s a house, not a photo album!  Take the memories, leave the house.”

“No, I can’t think about this right now.  I want your father to be involved in the discussion.”

“Dad’s been involved in the discussions for the past fifteen years.”

“Well, I don’t want to talk about this right now.  Let’s wait until your father comes home and then see where we are.”

Meanwhile . . . time marches on.

Quote:  What I wouldn’t give to be 70 again. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (at age 92)

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  What are your biggest concerns about aging?  Mental deterioration?  Physical deterioration?  Death?  Dying?

Or being Home Alone?

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Inspired by The Daily Post Prompt:  What Gets Better With Age?