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Don Allen
01-07-2009, 06:58 PM
Iíve been tempted to start a thread about this for a while, but for some reason over the holidays this just hit me like a ton of bricks and I was wondering if Iím going through some irrational fear or is there a basis of legitimate concern. Does anyone else dread inevitable? I donít fear death, but becoming old, becoming irrelevant, becoming a burden, watching as younger people step around and ignore you as if you donít exist.

Iím 49 to be 50 this year and yes I realize that itís a psychological number, but I think more than anything itís the expectation that from now on Iím on the outside looking in as opposed to the inside looking out, am I alone? Does anyone else sense this change coming into their lives?

JLCwrites
01-07-2009, 07:01 PM
Hmm... I don't know. l am not old yet. :tongue

Actually, my fears are more about death and less about getting old. I feel like I have a pretty good chance of fighting the effects of age... death however is a battle I can't win. But I know what you are saying. I hate being ignored by all the high school boys when I am walking by the skate park.

jvc
01-07-2009, 07:02 PM
Holy cow, that's old. I mean, really old. What am I saying? It's Freaking OLD. How are you even still alive? Do people really live that long?

Shadow_Ferret
01-07-2009, 07:06 PM
Don's a big baby.

Actually, I think 30 hit me harder than 50 did.

And I expect 60 (many years off) to hit me pretty hard, too.

Getting old doesn't bother me as long as I'm still active. If I'm infirmed, yes, that would bother me, but if I'm 110 and still active, still drinking kids half my age under the table, then I'll be happy.

veinglory
01-07-2009, 07:10 PM
I think a lot of people have periods of dwelling on this. I am short of forty and it sometimes hits me pretty hard.

James81
01-07-2009, 07:10 PM
I'm not really afraid of getting old. I embrace that and actually don't mind the idea of having white hair or anything like that.

I DO worry about getting decrepit (sp?) though. I would hate to struggle to get around and don't want to deal with all the old people stuff that happens to your body.

Shadow_Ferret
01-07-2009, 07:13 PM
The only thing I wonder about, will my POV change?

Right now when I'm driving and there's a slow driver in front of me I'll scream, "Get out of my way you old bastard!"

When I'm old, will that become, "Get out of my way you same aged bastard!" ??

vixey
01-07-2009, 07:17 PM
My next birthday (just around the corner) takes me away from the mid-forties to the upper forties, inching closer to fifty. Honestly, I love being this age. I wonder if I'll feel the same way when the 5-0 number comes around. But I'm comfortable with who I've become. And I'm pretty active. I think if I couldn't play tennis, take long walks, dance, or laugh at myself, then I'd be depressed as hell. But that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with age.

My favorite grandmother died at 94. I hope to do her at least one year better. :)

Pagey's_Girl
01-07-2009, 07:20 PM
The funny thing is, I feel younger at forty than I did at twenty-one. Lately I've been feeling like "Watch out, world, here I am and I'm just getting started!" Maybe I'm just getting my head together enough after all these years to get started...

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-07-2009, 07:26 PM
I don't think of it as old... I think of it as one year closer to retirement. And now, at 55, I can get my Senior Discount at some forward-thinking establishments.

I kinda hated 40, myself... but when I turned 45, I realized just how darn good 40 looked!

And, um, what makes you feel like you'll be on the outside looking in? We Baby Boomers are the Next Big Thing, baby.

dpaterso
01-07-2009, 07:31 PM
It's just a number, Don, really. I don't feel any different at 51 than I did at 41.

Sensitive types, look away now.

Though I have noticed that my :Ssh: is now shrinking at the rate of one inch per year. I don't know how I'll cope 12 years from now.

-Derek

regdog
01-07-2009, 07:31 PM
I worry about getting old and infirmed. I have an older relative and he has gone mostly blind in his 80's. He hates not being able to do everyday things on his own. 95% of the family has forgotten him and never call (no not me, I call him every week) Other older relatives who are healthy, say one day they feel good and then the next they feel terrible.

I've decided since I'm hitting middle age real soon, it's time I have to do something to try and keep myself healthy as I get older. I've already lost four pounds :) and am trying to be more active. But my progress is slow and I get disheartened easy.

I do fear death as well. It's the not knowing what happens when you die that gets me.

rhymegirl
01-07-2009, 07:34 PM
Don, I hear what you're saying. I've watched my parents grow old, lost my dad two years ago and now my mom is withering away with Alzheimer's. It's a very sad, downhill disease that seems to just go on and on and on. I'd rather just go to sleep and not wake up at that age. If a person has her faculties and reasonably good health, then old age might not be so bad. But when you can't remember anything, can't carry on a conversation, can't really go out and about and go places, and have nothing to look forward to--what's the point?

The other day I said to my husband, "I am not going to get old. I refuse."

So, I guess I've got to go looking for the fountain of youth now.

KTC
01-07-2009, 07:36 PM
I have always felt that 'old' is exactly where I belong. I'm looking forward to getting there as I feel it will be my perfect fit.

Sadly, I've had many visions of my death at 52...so we shall see if I make it to 'old'. If I do, I will embrace it.

MoonWriter
01-07-2009, 07:37 PM
Iíve been tempted to start a thread about this for a while, but for some reason over the holidays this just hit me like a ton of bricks and I was wondering if Iím going through some irrational fear or is there a basis of legitimate concern. Does anyone else dread inevitable? I donít fear death, but becoming old, becoming irrelevant, becoming a burden, watching as younger people step around and ignore you as if you donít exist.

Iím 49 to be 50 this year and yes I realize that itís a psychological number, but I think more than anything itís the expectation that from now on Iím on the outside looking in as opposed to the inside looking out, am I alone? Does anyone else sense this change coming into their lives?

I'm three years behind you, Don. Becoming irrelevant? Can't happen if you love. It's effect changes those around you, and around them, like the ripples formed on still waters when you toss in a stone. We're not all called to build skyscrapers, but we're all called to love. :)

Becoming a burden? That's my fear, too. I'd like to go quickly. My parents wished the same. My father was bed ridden for over a year as he slowly died from cancer. And my mother needed constant care for the ten months she lived after breaking her hip. Were they a burden? At times it was a little stressful, but I'd be happy if I were still taking care of them.

It's good at any age to examine your life - your accomplishments, your failures, and your unrealized goals. At 50, you have time to live, to change, to help others, realize your goals, to love. Volunteer your time to help others, and while you're making an impact on someone else's life, you'll have less time to think about being irrelevant.

Now, if I can remember to come back in four years and read this, I won't make a similar post. :)

vixey
01-07-2009, 07:39 PM
I think it's how you define 'youth' for yourself, as well. I have a friend (59) who does everything imaginable just shy of botox and plastic surgery to maintain a youthful appearance. She's beautiful, but all the make up, hair color, and wrinkle creams have left her looking older, in my opinion.

Embrace the moment. We're all getting a bit saggy or shrinky, as Derek mentioned. So what? Continue to do what you love, love who who are and who you're with (don't correct my grammar!) and enjoy the ride.

Angelinity
01-07-2009, 07:42 PM
Iím 49 to be 50 this year and yes I realize that itís a psychological number, but I think more than anything itís the expectation that from now on Iím on the outside looking in as opposed to the inside looking out, am I alone? Does anyone else sense this change coming into their lives?

age is a state of mind, but yes, it does catch up occasionally... i'm in the same place as you -- the only difference being i've often had to count the years on my fingers (okay, not really!) to figure out how 'old' I am. 50 is a nice round number. does it scare me? sometimes, but mostly i think of it as a small miracle (or sometimes a reality trick), wow, i made it this far! then, sheesh, that's really hilarious! every moment is a privilege, and what (if anything) of value can be found beyond this.... we'll see ;)

Bubastes
01-07-2009, 07:45 PM
I'm afraid of becoming a burden, so I'm taking steps to take better care of my health now. I already have good eating habits, but my exercise routine has fallen off over the years. Not good.

My biggest fear is that I'll die before I've had a chance to reach my own big goals. I've spent most of my life fulfilling other people's expectations, so taking my own dreams seriously feels somewhat new to me. I'm still trying to shake off the (irrational) belief that it's selfish for me to want to write and play music. The fear can get overwhelming sometimes, but the good thing is that it makes me write faster and spend more time practicing. Plus, when the fear is that huge, it drowns out the guilt.

stormie
01-07-2009, 07:46 PM
I want to live life to the fullest that I can, no matter what infirmaties are thrown at me. I want to slide into the grave with a glass of Chardonnay in one hand and a chocolate bar in the other and say about life, "Whoo-hoo! What a ride!"

So, Don, age is just another date on the calendar. I said so. :)

vixey
01-07-2009, 07:50 PM
I don't think Derek is worried about his height. :rolleyes:

Haggis
01-07-2009, 07:51 PM
Iíve been tempted to start a thread about this for a while, but for some reason over the holidays this just hit me like a ton of bricks and I was wondering if Iím going through some irrational fear or is there a basis of legitimate concern. Does anyone else dread inevitable? I donít fear death, but becoming old, becoming irrelevant, becoming a burden, watching as younger people step around and ignore you as if you donít exist.

Iím 49 to be 50 this year and yes I realize that itís a psychological number, but I think more than anything itís the expectation that from now on Iím on the outside looking in as opposed to the inside looking out, am I alone? Does anyone else sense this change coming into their lives?

Hell, Don, that all started when you turned 40. You're just not alert enough anymore to have recognized it.

Seriously, the only age that ever bothered me was 40. The rest of them? Pfft. Every birthday I have I feel like I've stolen another year from the Grim Reaper, and it makes me happy.

stormie
01-07-2009, 07:51 PM
LOL! I just reread that. I gotta edit it.

James81
01-07-2009, 07:54 PM
The only thing I wonder about, will my POV change?

Right now when I'm driving and there's a slow driver in front of me I'll scream, "Get out of my way you old bastard!"

When I'm old, will that become, "Get out of my way you same aged bastard!" ??

NO, that's the blessing of being old. You NEVER have to follow anyone again cause you drive so damn slow, but, instead, you gotta listen to the people behind you call you things like "old bastard" or "get out of the way Grandpa Pete."

MsK
01-07-2009, 07:57 PM
I'm with you, Don. I hate getting old!

The transition of going from a youthful, attractive woman to an older "Oh, I bet you were a looker in your day", woman is not an easy road.
At 44, life is still good for me, but I'm struggling to add more dimension and value to my life that will carry me into the coming years.

I was out with my 79 year old ex mother-in-law the other day, and I found myself wondering how she must feel. How does it feel when people walk right past you? She knows she was someone people would have noticed in her heyday, but now, no one even bothers. How does that feel?

MoonWriter
01-07-2009, 08:16 PM
I was out with my 79 year old ex mother-in-law the other day, and I found myself wondering how she must feel. How does it feel when people walk right past you? She knows she was someone people would have noticed in her heyday, but now, no one even bothers. How does that feel?

Rotten, if her happiness was dependent on her appearance and the opinions of others. It feels good to receive compliments - for our writing, for our looks, for our humor, etc., but I try to remember two things:

1. When we allow others to make us feel good about ourselves, we give them the same power to hurt us.

2. When you never expect anything from others, you'll never be disappointed.

And yes, I'm ugly and middle-aged, but I'm happy! :)

DL Hegel
01-07-2009, 08:23 PM
I don't worry about age--I try to smile everyday--it is not how the world sees me--but how I see the world. Physical beauty and youth a temporary--what counts is what's inside.

Jcomp
01-07-2009, 08:27 PM
I'm counting on science having developed some sort of Benjamin Button... button... that they can install in your back or something allowing you to age in reverse for a predetermined number of years.

Don Allen
01-07-2009, 08:29 PM
Don's a big baby.

Actually, I think 30 hit me harder than 50 did.

And I expect 60 (many years off) to hit me pretty hard, too.

Getting old doesn't bother me as long as I'm still active. If I'm infirmed, yes, that would bother me, but if I'm 110 and still active, still drinking kids half my age under the table, then I'll be happy.

WELL,,,,,,,,, DUH........................................

Don Allen
01-07-2009, 08:34 PM
Hell, Don, that all started when you turned 40. You're just not alert enough anymore to have recognized it.

Seriously, the only age that ever bothered me was 40. The rest of them? Pfft. Every birthday I have I feel like I've stolen another year from the Grim Reaper, and it makes me happy.

Only Haggis can put things in perspective.......lol

stormie
01-07-2009, 08:37 PM
I don't worry about age--I try to smile everyday--it is not how the world sees me--but how I see the world. Physical beauty and youth a temporary--what counts is what's inside.
Smiling is good. People smile back. And even when you're not feeling up to it, it somehow makes you feel better. Of course when I'm home, I'm stormy.

Don Allen
01-07-2009, 08:40 PM
Two things got me thinking over the last couple of weeks, actually the second was yesterday at the doctors office where I'm getting antibiotics for a cold that won't go away. There were two older folks ahead of me anywhere between 75 and 120 years old and they kept harping at each other about how long the doctor was taking. In a way i thought "yeah, at your age you don't want to waste a minute waiting for a doctor" but what struck me was that their conversation centered around getting back home to relax. So, the chair in the doctors office wasn't good enough, or what? Then last week while bringing in the New Year in Key West, I had an epithany as I realized i was the only one my age dancing and hanging out at 2 am with all the kiddies. It was depressing...

Shadow_Ferret
01-07-2009, 08:44 PM
NO, that's the blessing of being old. You NEVER have to follow anyone again cause you drive so damn slow, but, instead, you gotta listen to the people behind you call you things like "old bastard" or "get out of the way Grandpa Pete."
No one will ever yell at me for driving slow. It's not in my makeup. And I can't understand why old people drive slow anyway. Hurry up! You haven't much time left! Drive slow and you might not live long enough to make your destination.

I have no intention to ever die in transit.

Haggis
01-07-2009, 08:47 PM
No one will ever yell at me for driving slow. It's not in my makeup. And I can't understand why old people drive slow anyway. Hurry up! You haven't much time left! Drive slow and you might not live long enough to make your destination.

I have no intention to ever die in transit.

Slow down, you maniac! You goin' to a fire or something?

Inky
01-07-2009, 08:49 PM
It's not so much the getting old, by way of numbers, but the shock of sudden body change. Example: without warning, joints ache, knees require surgery, and mornings are bloody painful.

My mind is decades younger than my body. I've been told THAT will keep me young. Dunno. I think I'd rather have the mind of a fuddy-duddy and the body that cooperates like it did when I was in my twenties.

I look at some of these Hollywood hypes and...well...grrrr! Their bodies are so limber. So unfair. I was a dancer...a gymnist...for cryin' out loud--WHAT HAPPENED???

I literally woke up one morning, in horrific pain, and it's never ended. That was two years ago. Okay, nevermind that I'm stuck in a country where I'm at the complete mercy of horrific military medical...dip shits that have just come out of the classroom and are serving their internship here...

Um...I'm ranting.
Sorry.

Anyhoo...reiterate: it's not the number/age that scares me; it's the betrayal of my body. It's not on the same page as my mind.

And it's making me a wee bit bitter.

*kicks dog*

Oh...sorry, Haggis.

my bad.

Don Allen
01-07-2009, 08:50 PM
You guys are awesome, I'm feeling better already.

vixey
01-07-2009, 08:51 PM
I'm with you on this one Haggis. Does it matter if you get where you going five minutes earlier? I don't like to let things I can't control bother me. **snert** Yeah, right!

DL Hegel
01-07-2009, 08:51 PM
Smiling is good. People smile back. And even when you're not feeling up to it, it somehow makes you feel better. Of course when I'm home, I'm stormy.

Smiles are free--it makes others smile back--true-- but I think it gives us a better attitude about the world. Plus if you smile before you kick them in the noggin--they don't see it coming:D

Don Allen
01-07-2009, 08:55 PM
The hair is going, except for the ears which seems like the hairs there are on steroids, can't see shit without 200 plus cheaters. Can't eat but a few things that don't screw up my stomach. Have a toe nail that looks like it came out of a horror film and no matter how much I cut the damn thing it grows back worse than before. Use to be excited about having sex, now i'm more excited when its over, Don't have a Jewish bone in my body, but have take greatly to Matza Ball soup, Locks and Bagels, and saving money everywhere I can, and seem to be developing a nasty disposition...... Ug....

Inky
01-07-2009, 08:56 PM
Smiles are free--it makes others smile back--true-- but I think it gives us a better attitude about the world. Plus if you smile before you kick them in the noggin--they don't see it coming:D
Weel, in THAT case...

*smiles before kicking Haggis*

Hey.
You're right.
I feeeeel GRRRRREAT!

Uh...someone might wanna catch tha' flyin' dog....just sayin'...

Mela
01-07-2009, 08:56 PM
Becoming irrelevant to whom, Don? People within your own circle, your own career? I think constantly remaining open to new ideas, new trends, etc., will help you to maintain your relevancy, at least I feel it does with me.

And don't you know 50 is the new 30? Get over it.

When I think that I'm the same age as Edith Bunker when All In The Family did the big "menopause" episode 30 some odd years ago, it's astonishing - an eye-opener - to the degree at which the age of 50 has changed in 3 decades, at least for women.

Seriously, I'm heading toward my 49th birthday in 7 days (no hints there). I was married for the first time at 39, returned to school at 35 and succeeded in getting the job I wanted at 42. But I'm a Capricorn - it's said that things get better with age for Caps. I'm hoping to be published before I'm 60 (which would be the new "before I'm 40).

What I really fear is dying alone, decrepid, sick and broke. And I do agree with you - there's a certain melancholy in roughly half of your life being behind you. And it's not easy with young little darlings ruling the world and the Internet. But they've got problems too.

((BIG HUG))

Slap in the face
Snap out of it!

Don Allen
01-07-2009, 08:58 PM
Thank you Mela, I needed that, I think...... and happy Birthday, a few days ahead of schedule...

rhymegirl
01-07-2009, 08:59 PM
Great topic, Don. You've just helped me choose my new blog subject.

DL Hegel
01-07-2009, 08:59 PM
Weel, in THAT case...

*smiles before kicking Haggis*

Hey.
You're right.
I feeeeel GRRRRREAT!

Uh...someone might wanna catch tha' flyin' dog....just sayin'...

Thanks:) I am just glad to spread sunshine and mayhem where I can:D

Shadow_Ferret
01-07-2009, 09:06 PM
Slow down, you maniac! You goin' to a fire or something?As a matter of fact, YES, I am!


It's not so much the getting old, by way of numbers, but the shock of sudden body change. Example: without warning, joints ache, knees require surgery, and mornings are bloody painful.

I know. I pull muscles in my neck just turning my head! WTF? Why does that happen? Ouch! "What happened?" I looked over there, like this. Ouch! Dammit. Where's the Ben Gay.

I'm with you on this one Haggis. Does it matter if you get where you going five minutes earlier? I don't like to let things I can't control bother me. **snert** Yeah, right!
Get the hell out of the way!

Yeshanu
01-07-2009, 09:07 PM
Two things got me thinking over the last couple of weeks, actually the second was yesterday at the doctors office where I'm getting antibiotics for a cold that won't go away. There were two older folks ahead of me anywhere between 75 and 120 years old and they kept harping at each other about how long the doctor was taking. In a way i thought "yeah, at your age you don't want to waste a minute waiting for a doctor" but what struck me was that their conversation centered around getting back home to relax. So, the chair in the doctors office wasn't good enough, or what?

1) What the heck is your doctor doing giving you antibiotics for a cold? Colds are viral, and antibiotics won't cure them. It's things like this that cause the bacteria in our bodies to become superbugs resistant to antibiotics... :Soapbox:

2) That harping about waiting can happen at any age. I've seen that sort of thing just as often from younger adults as older ones, in the line-ups to get movie tickets.


Personally, my age has only become a problem in the last couple of years, because I'm not able to physically do some of the things I used to. But that's more of a weight problem, that's made worse by bad knees (from swimming in my youth) and sore feet (I've always had problems with my fallen arches). I'm hoping that better footwear will help me to increase my activity level, decrease my weight, and get me back to being as active as I used to be.

My parents are in their mid to late seventies, and still active. My brother's bio-mom took up skydiving at the age of 62. Take care of your body, and it will take care of you for a long, long time.

As for my mind Alzheimer's, I think that's probably what I'm most afraid of in the world. I know people who are almost blind who lead active, productive lives, but I'd hate to lose my mental faculties, such as they be. So I'm doing everything I can to decrease my chances of getting it.


But right now, I usually feel like I'm 18 with 30 years experience. :D

Unique
01-07-2009, 09:10 PM
What I really fear is dying alone, decrepid, sick and broke. And I do agree with you - there's a certain melancholy in roughly half of your life being behind you. And it's not easy with young little darlings ruling the world and the Internet. But they've got problems too.

!

Don't feel alone, Don. I'm about the same age as you and it has been on my mind lately. I think especially since I watched my neighbor and friend having a major heart attack right in front of my eyes. (It was pretty awful)

I look at the future and see more of the same as the last few years and I cringe. I know I'm the only one who can change it and I don't know how. I don't even know what I want any more.

Nothing I've tried has ever panned out and the future looks like more of the same. The sense of powerlessness and futility seems overwhelming some days. So all you writers - Get busy! I'm running out of books to read. :p

stormie
01-07-2009, 09:30 PM
Smiles are free--it makes others smile back--true-- but I think it gives us a better attitude about the world. Plus if you smile before you kick them in the noggin--they don't see it coming:D
Okay, here's one: Whenever people honk at me on the road, I smile and wave at them, and not the one-finger salute either. A whole five-finger wave. Throws them off-guard. My sons think it's hysterical.

brad_b
01-07-2009, 10:10 PM
I’ve been tempted to start a thread about this for a while, but for some reason over the holidays this just hit me like a ton of bricks and I was wondering if I’m going through some irrational fear or is there a basis of legitimate concern. Does anyone else dread inevitable? I don’t fear death, but becoming old, becoming irrelevant, becoming a burden, watching as younger people step around and ignore you as if you don’t exist.

I’m 49 to be 50 this year and yes I realize that it’s a psychological number, but I think more than anything it’s the expectation that from now on I’m on the outside looking in as opposed to the inside looking out, am I alone? Does anyone else sense this change coming into their lives?

"Youth is wasted on the young" - I forget who said that but I'm sure someone around here knows. Point is, you're as old as you feel. I'm a little older than you and I still don't feel my age. I suppose it has to do with how you look at life. As for the young dismissing older people, their opinion has no basis for how I feel about myself. They'll grow older, too, it's part of life. Think young and keep a fresh perspective, years are just counters of time and there shouldn't be a reason to use that count to define who you are. We can't stop Time but we can learn to get along with it and not let Time stop us. :)

Kate Thornton
01-07-2009, 10:12 PM
I am a lot older than most of you - I will never see my 50's again (thank the powers that be)and suffered a stroke a few years ago into the bargain.

I was a soldier in the US Army for 22 years, and what has happened to my body has been a terrible shock and a great awful change. But I am alive.

Here's what it feels like to be old: very good and very bad. There are no middle grounds anymore, there's no time for them.

Every day must be savored, but they go by so fast now. I thought I would have more time in my later years, but time is a thief.

I used to be hot-looking. I mean, I had legs up to there, and never bought my own drinks from the time I was old enough to sip one until It Happened. Then Things Changed.

Okay, so now I want what I want - I know I cannot have Youth and Health back, but who needs 'em - I'm alive. I walk. I talk, and I can say any damned thing I want to, because I have been around long enough to have heard a lot, had to bite my tongue a few times, too - but I don't answer to anyone anymore. So when I yell "Get Off My Lawn!" to some yahoo kid in shorts that look like a skirt and a baseball cap on backwards, it's because the little shit is blocking my view - and I am old enough now, finally, to appreciate the view.

I am not afraid of dying - I am afraid of leaving my DH alone. I would miss him so badly if he went first (unlikely - 92 is dying young in his family) and I know he'll miss me.

Life is already painful and difficult and I am already invisible - but I am alive.

For an excellent peek into what it's like to be old, read Stephen King's Insomnia. It's a perfect walk into the world of Old Crocks...

DeleyanLee
01-07-2009, 10:20 PM
When I was 19, I got a job as a teacher's assistant for a ceramics class at the local Senior Center. Minimum age to get into these classes was 55. We had 23 students aged from 55 to 83.

It was a wonderful experience to have at the start of my adult years, honestly. I saw a full range of personalities and health concerns (some students had portable oxygen, some were in wheel chairs, most were "normal") and what was needed to help them complete the various projects every week.

There was one lady there, who was barely 55, slightly overweight, but otherwise in very good health, who couldn't do a blasted thing for herself. Couldn't ask someone to pass her the bottle of glaze just over there--she had to demand someone bring it to her. Couldn't lift this, couldn't sit for too long, couldn't couldn't couldn't. Even her husband (in his early 60's) got fed up with her and stopped bringing her to class.

Then there was the 83 yo gent who was always up on his feet, going around and helping people open jars, get things, keeping the mood light and telling jokes. One day the teacher commented that he could run circles around her (she was in her mid-40's). He just laughed and did just that--he ran around her about seven times and cracked us all up. It was great.

So before I hit 20, I learned that "old age" is what you make of it. You can become old and obsolete at any moment--but it is pretty much up to you when or if that that moment every comes and sticks.

I might not be able to keep my body from aging, but by everything I've seen a young spirit helps with the physical quite a bit.

MsK
01-07-2009, 10:31 PM
I am a lot older than most of you - I will never see my 50's again (thank the powers that be)and suffered a stroke a few years ago into the bargain.

I was a soldier in the US Army for 22 years, and what has happened to my body has been a terrible shock and a great awful change. But I am alive.

Here's what it feels like to be old: very good and very bad. There are no middle grounds anymore, there's no time for them.

Every day must be savored, but they go by so fast now. I thought I would have more time in my later years, but time is a thief.

I used to be hot-looking. I mean, I had legs up to there, and never bought my own drinks from the time I was old enough to sip one until It Happened. Then Things Changed.

Okay, so now I want what I want - I know I cannot have Youth and Health back, but who needs 'em - I'm alive. I walk. I talk, and I can say any damned thing I want to, because I have been around long enough to have heard a lot, had to bite my tongue a few times, too - but I don't answer to anyone anymore. So when I yell "Get Off My Lawn!" to some yahoo kid in shorts that look like a skirt and a baseball cap on backwards, it's because the little shit is blocking my view - and I am old enough now, finally, to appreciate the view.

I am not afraid of dying - I am afraid of leaving my DH alone. I would miss him so badly if he went first (unlikely - 92 is dying young in his family) and I know he'll miss me.

Life is already painful and difficult and I am already invisible - but I am alive.

For an excellent peek into what it's like to be old, read Stephen King's Insomnia. It's a perfect walk into the world of Old Crocks...

:Clap: Excellent post! Thanks, Kate!

James81
01-07-2009, 11:15 PM
No one will ever yell at me for driving slow. It's not in my makeup. And I can't understand why old people drive slow anyway. Hurry up! You haven't much time left! Drive slow and you might not live long enough to make your destination.

I have no intention to ever die in transit.

Good to know. I was about to say that I was going to replace "slow down you old bastard" with "slow down you shadow ferret," but now I can't do that. Good job.

stormie
01-07-2009, 11:16 PM
And I like this one:

When I was 19, I got a job as a teacher's assistant for a ceramics class at the local Senior Center.... We had 23 students aged from 55 to 83.

There was one lady there, who was barely 55, slightly overweight, but otherwise in very good health, who couldn't do a blasted thing for herself.... Couldn't lift this, couldn't sit for too long, couldn't couldn't couldn't. ....
Then there was the 83 yo gent who was always up on his feet, going around and helping people open jars, get things, keeping the mood light and telling jokes....

So before I hit 20, I learned that "old age" is what you make of it. You can become old and obsolete at any moment--but it is pretty much up to you when or if that that moment every comes and sticks. (Bolding mine.)

I might not be able to keep my body from aging, but by everything I've seen a young spirit helps with the physical quite a bit.

Yep.

Williebee
01-07-2009, 11:26 PM
The body gets older. The mind? Well that's up to us, at least in part.

Me? I figure as long as puberty doesn't catch up to me, I'm good to go.

"Old doesn't have to mean up."

rhymegirl
01-07-2009, 11:45 PM
"Youth is wasted on the young" - I forget who said that but I'm sure someone around here knows.

It was boggling my mind trying to remember that line. But I think it was the guy in It's a Wonderful Life who is watching George Bailey and Mary and he has suggested that George kiss Mary. Then he waves his hand in the air and says, "Ah, youth is wasted on the young" and goes into his house.

Susie
01-08-2009, 12:14 AM
I'm over 60, so I must be really old. Mentally, I'm very young. Physically I'm very old, so I kinda average it out. I'm around 30 that way! :D

MattW
01-08-2009, 12:16 AM
If you average my mental age, and my chronological age, I'm still a teenager!

Pagey's_Girl
01-08-2009, 01:01 AM
The only thing I wonder about, will my POV change?

Right now when I'm driving and there's a slow driver in front of me I'll scream, "Get out of my way you old bastard!"

When I'm old, will that become, "Get out of my way you same aged bastard!" ??

I intend to be that little old lady from Pasadena with the seriously hot muscle car in the garage. And maybe a seriously hot musclebound hunk to go along with it. :D

*Hopes the vanity plate GOGRANNYGO isn't taken when the time comes...*

KikiteNeko
01-08-2009, 01:06 AM
I'm 24 and I worry every day that I am getting too old =/

But if I had my way I would be perpetually 15 forever, so....

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-08-2009, 01:21 AM
Oh, lausy! I'd NEVER want to be 15 again! ::shudder::

Broadswordbabe
01-08-2009, 01:25 AM
I dread it. Purely dread it. I wish I could be as optimistic as some of you guys, but I'm currently dealing with an aging parent, as are several friends, and having my face rubbed in the awareness that I am very unlikely to have anyone to do the same for me, or any money to cushion things.

Someone once asked, I think Yehudi Menuhin, how he felt about being 95, and he said, "Pretty good, when you consider the alternative." But most days, frankly, the alternative looks a lot more palatable to me.

robeiae
01-08-2009, 01:31 AM
I donít fear death, but becoming old, becoming irrelevant, becoming a burden, watching as younger people step around and ignore you as if you donít exist.
Too late.















;)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-08-2009, 01:32 AM
We're joking a lot here... and being serious, too. I really don't mind getting older. Would I like to look like I looked in my 20s? Yeah, sure. I didn't know what a babe I was. But there's certainly some comfort here in my 'old age'... I've done everything I wanted to do. I've found and loved a good man and he's loved me back for over 30 years now. I've had freedom and privilege of which other women - currently and in the past - have only dreamed. I love my job now. I have a good life... and if I die on the way home today (knock wood for me, everyone), I won't have even one regret. I accept my limitations and I wish some relationships had been better... but yeah, I'm comfortable. Growing older isn't ALL bad.

cray
01-08-2009, 01:40 AM
i don't like the smell of moth balls.

Don Allen
01-08-2009, 01:40 AM
1) What the heck is your doctor doing giving you antibiotics for a cold? Colds are viral, and antibiotics won't cure them. It's things like this that cause the bacteria in our bodies to become superbugs resistant to antibiotics... :Soapbox:

2) That harping about waiting can happen at any age. I've seen that sort of thing just as often from younger adults as older ones, in the line-ups to get movie tickets.


Personally, my age has only become a problem in the last couple of years, because I'm not able to physically do some of the things I used to. But that's more of a weight problem, that's made worse by bad knees (from swimming in my youth) and sore feet (I've always had problems with my fallen arches). I'm hoping that better footwear will help me to increase my activity level, decrease my weight, and get me back to being as active as I used to be.

My parents are in their mid to late seventies, and still active. My brother's bio-mom took up skydiving at the age of 62. Take care of your body, and it will take care of you for a long, long time.

As for my mind Alzheimer's, I think that's probably what I'm most afraid of in the world. I know people who are almost blind who lead active, productive lives, but I'd hate to lose my mental faculties, such as they be. So I'm doing everything I can to decrease my chances of getting it.


But right now, I usually feel like I'm 18 with 30 years experience. :D

Man!!! You guys catch it all. Sinus infection, bacterial, Wow! Good catch though.

Don Allen
01-08-2009, 01:45 AM
I am a lot older than most of you - I will never see my 50's again (thank the powers that be)and suffered a stroke a few years ago into the bargain.

I was a soldier in the US Army for 22 years, and what has happened to my body has been a terrible shock and a great awful change. But I am alive.

Here's what it feels like to be old: very good and very bad. There are no middle grounds anymore, there's no time for them.

Every day must be savored, but they go by so fast now. I thought I would have more time in my later years, but time is a thief.

I used to be hot-looking. I mean, I had legs up to there, and never bought my own drinks from the time I was old enough to sip one until It Happened. Then Things Changed.

Okay, so now I want what I want - I know I cannot have Youth and Health back, but who needs 'em - I'm alive. I walk. I talk, and I can say any damned thing I want to, because I have been around long enough to have heard a lot, had to bite my tongue a few times, too - but I don't answer to anyone anymore. So when I yell "Get Off My Lawn!" to some yahoo kid in shorts that look like a skirt and a baseball cap on backwards, it's because the little shit is blocking my view - and I am old enough now, finally, to appreciate the view.

I am not afraid of dying - I am afraid of leaving my DH alone. I would miss him so badly if he went first (unlikely - 92 is dying young in his family) and I know he'll miss me.

Life is already painful and difficult and I am already invisible - but I am alive.

For an excellent peek into what it's like to be old, read Stephen King's Insomnia. It's a perfect walk into the world of Old Crocks...

First off, I'l bet you still have great legs, second let me say that this is one of the most insightful and thought provoking posts I've ever seen, thank you.

Don Allen
01-08-2009, 01:59 AM
We're joking a lot here... and being serious, too. I really don't mind getting older. Would I like to look like I looked in my 20s? Yeah, sure. I didn't know what a babe I was. But there's certainly some comfort here in my 'old age'... I've done everything I wanted to do. I've found and loved a good man and he's loved me back for over 30 years now. I've had freedom and privilege of which other women - currently and in the past - have only dreamed. I love my job now. I have a good life... and if I die on the way home today (knock wood for me, everyone), I won't have even one regret. I accept my limitations and I wish some relationships had been better... but yeah, I'm comfortable. Growing older isn't ALL bad.

Not all bad, discounts on coffee are a plus, but I think for me, it's the realization that youth is now and forever a thing of the past. Like many of you have said, you feel the aches and pains, you see things differently, you learn that true love is from the heart and not about the way someone looks. BUT - what I don't want, is to become the old grouch, the uncle, (much like Haggis, lol) that people dread when Christmas comes around.
It's a scary realization to know that your strength of life and thoughts of wisdom will now begin to diminish in the eyes of others as much as through the aging process.

Susie
01-08-2009, 02:28 AM
i don't like the smell of moth balls.


Us 'old' peeps don't either. :D

benbradley
01-08-2009, 03:09 AM
The only thing I wonder about, will my POV change?

Right now when I'm driving and there's a slow driver in front of me I'll scream, "Get out of my way you old bastard!"

When I'm old, will that become, "Get out of my way you same aged bastard!" ??
I know an 80 year old who drives a Nissan 350Z.

I'm counting on science having developed some sort of Benjamin Button... button... that they can install in your back or something allowing you to age in reverse for a predetermined number of years.
There was a similar thread on Slashdot, here's my comment:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1039083&cid=25867643
I'm reading "The Singularity Is Near" and and Kurzweil is already involved with companies now reversing many previously untreatable conditions. If you're young and healthy enough, it's a great time to grow old. :)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-08-2009, 03:17 AM
It's a scary realization to know that your strength of life and thoughts of wisdom will now begin to diminish in the eyes of others as much as through the aging process.


You know what? I'll be glad when my wisdom begins to diminish the eyes of others! I've been the 'go to' person in the family since I was in college. I'm damned tired. I wish they'd go to someone else for a change... or, gods forbid, rely on themselves a little! :)

Kate Thornton
01-08-2009, 03:26 AM
A few more words...

tomothecat said "I'm 24 and I worry every day that I am getting too old =/" Well, too old for what? I am so glad not to be 24. Youth can be a time of unbelievable callowness and stupidity. Enjoy the vibrance of it, the sparks of sexuality and the whirl of it - but don't mistake youth for life itself - there's so much more.

I think lots of folks are more worried about the horrors of aging without friends, family and a comfortable & secure retirement than the things you cannot do anything about. So I recommend that you do something about it. Now.

Start saving for retirement - or better, embark upon a career you absolutely can love for the rest of your life.

Develop interests and hobbies, especially the kind that have the extra kicker reward of helping others. You will never be alone if you are interesting and helpful. You need not fear loneliness if you are able to find friends in all situations - by being a good friend yourself. Develop those skills while you are young and save yourself the trouble later.

Take care of yourself now. Your body - and sadly for some, your mind - will deteriorate as part of the aging process. Make a stand now to do what you can to make the process easier, slower and less painful. Eat right, exercise and drop your debilitating vices. Keep your brain sharp with mental exercise and your face wrinkles pretty with laughter.

Don, you said, "I don’t fear death, but becoming old, becoming irrelevant, becoming a burden, watching as younger people step around and ignore you as if you don’t exist."

Do not fear becomming a burden. Prepare yourself for a comfortable old age.

Do not become irrelevant. Keep yourself current, interested and alive.

If young people ignore me, it is to my great relief. If they know me - know me as a writer, a painter, a federal agent, a soldier, or any of the other dozens of things I am and have been - they do not ignore me. But I don't need the attentions of every tiresome, inexperienced, irritating youth I see, only the ones I find interesting, and these I seek out.

And thank you, Don, for the confidence in my legs - I have one nice one, anyway! I am fortunate that I am no longer expected to be sexually attractive as it frees me to be so much more. I do take care of my appearance as best I can, but it is no longer that which defines me.

Do not be afraid of aging - yes, it beats the alternative, but there is also a joyous freedom in it. You will only be the old grouch if you want to - if you allow it as a lazy alternative to being a pleasant person.

Only you - each of you individually - can become the person you want to be in your life, no matter what stage of the journey you are in.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now - and you! You with baseball cap! Get off my lawn!

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-08-2009, 03:30 AM
Kate... you're my new hero. You said everything I was bumbling around, trying to say, and failing. Well done.

Carole
01-08-2009, 04:14 AM
I’ve been tempted to start a thread about this for a while, but for some reason over the holidays this just hit me like a ton of bricks and I was wondering if I’m going through some irrational fear or is there a basis of legitimate concern. Does anyone else dread inevitable? I don’t fear death, but becoming old, becoming irrelevant, becoming a burden, watching as younger people step around and ignore you as if you don’t exist.

I’m 49 to be 50 this year and yes I realize that it’s a psychological number, but I think more than anything it’s the expectation that from now on I’m on the outside looking in as opposed to the inside looking out, am I alone? Does anyone else sense this change coming into their lives?

I'm weird. I look forward to being old, but I'm scared of getting old. Also, I'm sick of hearing people say, "But you're YOUNG!" when I tell them I am forty. I'm forty--not twenty. I'm not young. I might be younger than some, but I am older than I have ever been in my life (haha) and I don't like it even a little bit. I don't like the little lines I'm starting to see around my eyes, I don't like the little strands of gray that seem to pop up out of nowhere and I HATE having my right index finger tell me constantly that it hurts in the joint. I don't like that I need more sleep now than I ever have before, and I don't like that I can only tolerate one cup of coffee or possibly one and a half a day.

But I said that I look forward to being old, right? Well, that's because all of the old people I know seem to have this confidence about themselves and they are perfectly fine being old. I look forward to one day finally being comfortable within my own skin. I look forward to not being annoyed by seeing sixteen year old girls advertising wrinkle creams and I also look forward to not caring about how unrealistic women and girls are shown by advertisers as the ideal while normal women are deemed as needing to be fixed in some way or else giving up the fight to the younger generation altogether for the inability to compete.

I just look forward to becoming a person who is so comfortable in my own skin that I don't care who likes me, who doesn't, who likes looking at me, who doesn't and a time when the most important thing in the world is how I feel about myself.

stormie
01-08-2009, 05:20 AM
I know of a twenty-three year old who's body is betraying him. He can't drive a car, nor even ride a bike. He was an outdoors person who kept going from sunrise to sunset and beyond. Now he barely can get out of bed. Yet my mother was in her 80s and still driving and climbing metal ladders to clean the gutters. My father worked until he was 82 and learned how to use a computer. He had an artificial leg from WWII. So don't let that word "age" get to you.

Haggis
01-08-2009, 06:01 AM
There's much about being old I don't like. Still, like OFG says, to be fifteen again? You've got to be kidding. I wouldn't go through that again if you paid me. Well, maybe I would for a week if that little blonde haired girl I had a crush on but was was afraid to talk to happened to be around.

Don, simply find some like-minded, older friends and you'll be fine. You can all sit around and talk about your colonoscopies, your cataract surgery and your IBS. Who gives a damn what the kids think or say? Who cares whether they think you're irrelevant or not?

It always helps me to remember this: all those kids who think I'm irrelevant will be the ones who's payroll deductions will provide me with Social Security and Medicare.

Thanks, kids. :D

Oh. And get the hell off my lawn.

Silver King
01-08-2009, 06:32 AM
To me, growing older is a blessing, as I no longer have to deal with what now amounts to the petty crap from my youth. What's important to me now has more meaning and doesn't involve only myself as the central character, so I care a great deal more about others in general than myself specifically. In a way it's liberating and expands my reach to touch the lives of people I didn't give a damn about when I was younger. Like pretty much everyone else besides my immediate family.

At this point, I know for sure that most of my life is behind me. But like any trip, all you can to is continue to travel until you reach the end of your destination. And when your final ticket is punched, look Saint Peter in the eye and say, "So how do I look? Not bad, eh? Now get out of my way and let me talk to the Boss."

Haggis
01-08-2009, 07:10 AM
To me, growing older is a blessing, as I no longer have to deal with what now amounts to the petty crap from my youth. What's important to me now has more meaning and doesn't involve only myself as the central character, so I care a great deal more about others in general than myself specifically. In a way it's liberating and expands my reach to touch the lives of people I didn't give a damn about when I was younger. Like pretty much everyone else besides my immediate family.

At this point, I know for sure that most of my life is behind me. But like any trip, all you can to is continue to travel until you reach the end of your destination. And when your final ticket is punched, look Saint Peter in the eye and say, "So how do I look? Not bad, eh? Now get out of my way and let me talk to the Boss."

Sweet Jesus. I'll need a lawyer.

Silver King
01-08-2009, 07:26 AM
Sweet Jesus. I'll need a lawyer.
You rang? Get out your checkbook and let's start talkin'. ;)

Death Wizard
01-08-2009, 07:32 AM
I don't mind the old part. I've always been young looking for my age. I'm 51 and still get carded on occasion, as absurd as that is.

It's the dying part that gets me. About 3 in the morning every month or so, it'll roar over me like a black cloud. For a few minutes, I'll be terrified. "I really am going to die some day, no matter what." Then it goes away and I'm okay again.

cray
01-08-2009, 05:49 PM
http://i495.photobucket.com/albums/rr317/cray_photos/image011.jpg