Wednesday, May 20, 2015
old age issues-- or not
Every now and again I have said I'd write about aging. It's a logical topic for a general issue blog like this one-- especially where I am old woman who will be 72 in the fall. The truth is though-- I rarely think about my age. I don't 'not' think about it but it's not something that involves me much. It takes someone bringing it up for me to think-- well, how do I feel about that?
Of course, I am very aware of my bodily changes, the fact that I am definitely in old age territory, but most of what I do has nothing to do with my age-- other than the benefits I receive from my experiences.
I know those my age who claim they are still girls (it seems to be mostly women who say that as how many men want to be boys) at heart. I have to admit. I never thought of myself as a girl at heart when I was one. I have always more or less thought of myself as just me. I do relate to activity related aspects to an age. For instance, when I was a girl, I couldn't drive; then I could. I couldn't vote; then I could. Activities defined me more than a number. High school. College. Wife. Mother. Grandmother. Rancher. Writer. Things I was doing (or others did) mattered more than whether I was 45 or 60.
There are a few bloggers who center their writing on old age issues. Some are concerned about ageism or that the old don't have enough benefits. They want the world to look at them as it did when they were young or they want benefits that they now need because they are old-- issues that seem contradictory to me.
I read some old age blogs, but mostly I don't share their concerns. Yes, I like having SS and Medicare. Those are benefits that help all elderly. I particularly want to see SS stay meaningful for future generations, as it's why most old don't have to live with their children these days. As for Medicare, I like having insurance and wish the country had gone for Medicare for all. It's not just the old who have health problems.
More or less, my cultural concerns don't relate to my age. What worries me are things like making college more affordable for American youths. How about jobs for them when they are ready? Will the climate change make the world very different than we have known? Why aren't we more concerned with infrastructure, and heavens, please don't start another war right when my grandchildren are the age to be impacted by it. My issues are not those of an old woman but of a grandparent or citizen of a nation where I worry as to which way it's going.
Soon, I'll be caring who runs for president and will one of them be better for the long-term health of the country? Will they disappoint me as has happened so often-- even if they sound good when they run. I am looking ahead for where is this nation going. I worry about that. I had my life. It was a good one, and I was born during a very good time to be a woman in this country. Have we got a ways to go for women-- definitely it seems when a Congressman can say that rape can be good when it gives a woman a baby. Say what!!!!
One old age blog recently asked if readers (most are old) felt they had missed their chance? I didn't go back to read all the comments; but for me, I don't think that way. I did what I felt was right to do at the age I did it. Certainly I missed opportunities. There are times I wish I'd been kinder or more caring. Would my life be different today if I had done this or that differently? Maybe, but I am pretty satisfied with where I am. My life is not perfect, but it's definitely satisfying. I can still do much of what I want to do-- if I want to do it enough. I admit though I am lucky to want to do something like writing novels, which isn't more difficult for being old.
At my age, to be living the life I want to live, to live on the land, have room for a big garden, raise livestock, and be able to write the kind of complex, romantic stories that are in my heart, I know how lucky I am. I love that I can put those books out and nobody else can dictate to me what they must be about. This is a rare time for a writer to have that kind of choice. However, I also know life can end very abruptly, things can change fast. So I live in this moment and totally know it's the life I am very happy to be living.
Personally, my biggest concern is how I've let my weight get out of hand-- worsened by getting out of the habit of regular exercise. I could change that. But, both those things go back to the thing I do, which is most satisfying-- writing romantic fiction. Spend a lot of hours writing and guess what happens. Sure, I could get up and walk away from this computer for a hike. I do go for walks but not as often as I should. I admit-- writing is a passion and can be an obsession. I get into a story, and I just don't want to quit. I don't want a break.
Then the story is finished, and I come up for air and look around wondering-- where'd the world go and uh... who is that fat woman in the mirror? *s*