After last week on changes, I thought discussing aging would be good. I don't spend a lot of time being introspective. I did more of that in younger years. Still, it's good to stop and think where I am in life. The blog is a good place to ponder that.
Old age is about change. Obviously, changes happen throughout life but more in youth and old age. Even what some consider to be old actually isn't that big a deal for us all. My sixties were more like my fifties or forties.
Now, midway into my seventies, I see more differences in appearance and physical abilities. Some want to deny they are old-- I'm a child inside, they argue. Words have meaning or need to. If we deny old has meaning, then does young?
When we are children, changes come all the time. Those hormones kick in and the changes became massive. For most of us, it establishes us as as a gender more than childhood even. When I see my grandchildren, who are mostly still in puberty with one out the other side barely and the youngest just getting into it, they change all the time. Deeper voices, bodies shifting into what they will be as adults. It's an exciting time.
On the other hand, when in old age, there are also changes that are a factor of parts wearing out but also hormones. There is more pain in joints as most of us will get arthritis to one level or another. It takes more to get in shape if we get out of it. Looks change with thinner skin and sags where it never had. This makes us look different than our middle years. Little by little, men and women resemble each other more than in those mid-years. Little old ladies and little old men acquire more similar bodies-- for those who get old enough.
Thinking about death is necessary with our elder years. To be responsible, we should prepare for our inabilities and especially for our demise. What do we want done with this body we have occupied for so many years but eventually will not be able to continue to use? I am choosing cremation but not sure where I want the ashes put.
We will have more friends who die and the older we get, the more that will be true. We don't have to be depressed about it but it's obvious at 75 that there are less years ahead than behind-- and those years will be ones of deterioration and loss. For anyone who lives into deep old age, the body begins to shut down. Disease takes many of us ahead of that.
For those of us who have inherited physical problems, those can worsen with old age. My familial tremors have become more of a disability in my 70s than they had been although they've long been with me. i knew to expect that as I'd seen it in the family. Reality but we don't have to be thrilled by it.
Old age and what it brings with it is a reality. Accept reality and live it fully-- where it is, that's what I consider to be fully living. I don't tend to think back over what was unless I have to. I know I had better years than others but why dwell on either. Be where you are is my philosophy; and although it's not particularly joyful to realize I actually look old lol, it's reality and where I am. Everybody gets there if they live long enough. I know some think they fool it by plastic surgery. I think they just look plastic especially if they take it too far. We have to release what was to fully be who we are and where we are.
For those of you, who are younger, this will be a reality but not for you now. My advice, from where I sit, is do what I did, when I was younger, figure out what things you want to do, what you are still capable of doing, and do them. If that means changes, calculate the cost.
The book I recommended in the last blog is a good one for mid years-- In the Meantime. It moves you toward living where you want to be, not putting up with what isn't giving you that life. Change isn't always a bad thing. It is always a reality.
At my age, especially as a writer, but as an old woman, I do a lot of observing of life. The photos here are from our Tucson home. I believe the simple and small things are often the best.