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Aging or Ageing Gracefully?
Who came up with that 'bunk'. As far as I can see there doesn't seem to be much gracefulness about aging.....
First of all there has never been anything 'graceful' about me my whole life, so what would make me 'graceful' now? Now that at times I walk as stiff as a board because my bones are aching so bad with arthritis. There is nothing 'graceful' about flat soled shoes in my opinion either. I guess I could say I 'gracefully' stumble over boulders that because of my failing eyesight look like tiny little pebbles.
Definitely an 'oxymoronic' statement, if I ever heard one. (Is oxymoronic a word?) Well,
let's dissect the word 'graceful': the thesaurus defines graceful : 1 elegant, easy, smooth, flowing, fluid, supple, nimble, agile, deft, lithe, natural 2 refined, cultured, cultivated, tasteful, polished, suave, becoming, charming, appealing, pleasing, attractive, lovely beautiful, comely, fine, slender
It's been a long, long time since my body felt 'flowing, fluid, lithe let alone nimble and agile. I also wonder when it was the last time that I could think of my 'in his upper sixties' neighbor as polished, suave or charming... more like cantankerous, crabby, crotchety, surly, and definitely irritable, ill-tempered and rude.
How can it be graceful when a simple (under normal circumstances) road trip becomes an assessment test for how many Pit-stops there are from point A to point B. (You can contact me and I will be able to give lists of where the cleanest bathrooms can be found) And further-more it definitely would not fit under the 'graceful' title when I get out of the car at the aforementioned roadside restaurants and I can't just casually stroll over to the bathrooms but have to run and heaven help anyone who happens to be in my path... watch out, bulldozer coming through.
So why feed us all this utter rubbish about aging? So far my aging, the actual aging process doesn't seem to be so much fun. Cleaning out the chicken coop was in the past a 11/2-2 hour chore done first thing in the morning with the rest of the day still open for all kinds of other activities. Now, "Sorry Janey, can't go shopping today because I've gotta clean out the chicken coop" is becoming the norm.
Gravity has become enemy number one. Where was I when I become blessed with my x-mother-in-laws double chins? And what about that one lonely facial hair of the past, it has laid roots and now it's not just one quick pluck... no, now it's fast becoming a harvest's worth. I seem to have more acne now than I had when I was thirteen. I swear, well I'm almost sure that my eyes are there somewhere between my laugh-lines.... It's getting tricky trying to remember which handful of pills need to be taken before eating and which bunch with food. Yap, the time is fast approaching when I'll need to buy those pill organizers, you know the morning, noon, and night type of containers? The memory is not what it used to..... oh look butterflies.... Now what was I saying?
Now even going to a wedding reception or a fancy 'do is getting more complicated. The time tolerated in high heels is getting shorter and shorter and it seems I'll also need to match a spare pair of flats to go with my outfit. How soon will I give up on the heels all-together? My black future of (graceful...ha not in a million years) sensible shoes is not just creeping around the corner, no it seems to be gathering speed at an alarming rate.
I've decided long ago (when my first gray hair appeared) to show pride in every last one of those gray hairs. All that great fertilizer I have in my head makes my hair grow way too fast. I spite you, Mother Nature. Ha so there, I've earned each one of them and I'll be darned if I'm going to try to cover them up by dying my hair weekly.
The 10 Step plan to longevity!
- Reasons for getting up in the morning: Make plans for the day ahead of time... this gives you something to look forward to. Set reasonable goals to accomplish those things you never had time for. (Example: Order those 4 ready to lay pullets at your local farmers Co-Op. This will give you time to build that small chicken tractor to house them. Once you bring your chickens home you'll go outside to feed them water them and best of all bring in your loot of fresh eggs everyday... then you can figure out how to cook those fabulous fresh eggs for your breakfast, lunch, or dinner)
- Share your know-how and talents: It has taken years to accumulate all that's in the 'old noggin' let it not go to waste... Share and spread it around. --- Volunteer at community centers or organize some classes. There are millions and millions of families that really cannot afford to send their children for extra curricular activities. (Example: Home-ec is not taught in too many schools anymore... organize how to knit, crochet, quilting classes or whatever your special skill might be. It doesn't matter what, even how to 'walk a dog' with your yo-yo might be of interest to someone.)
- Get rid of stress: For the past so many decades you had the stress of how to house and feed the family, or you stressed about the parts getting ready so that they could be shipped out to the customer on time. Now it's high time to quit stressing. (Example: learn how to meditate, it's really easy or take that Thai Chi class taught by the 'lady-next-door' at the community center)
- Plant-based diet: Oops not DIET... menu or regime or food-stuffs-list or provisions or rations or ...? (The word diet alone gives me stress) Switch the 'food-stuffs-list' to incorporate a higher fruit and vegetable line-up and only eat a small portion of meat every other day. (Example: Many vegetarian or vegan recipes are delicious, protein filled and best of all easy to prepare)
- Exercise: Yup, this word seems to go hand in hand with with the dreaded 'diet' word... (we're gonna get rid of this word just as fast as we got rid of that one) Keep fit, or move, or workout, [nope strike that one out, sounds too much like work] or practice, or limber up. Walking is said to be the best way to 'keep fit'. That doesn't mean you have to join a Mall walking group. Mind you that does have it's merits too. You're getting out, you're joining with like minded folk, you're warm, out of the elements therefor a year round opportunity etc (Examples: Gardening, cutting the lawn (preferably not with the riding mower), keeping your 4 chickens happy and clean, swimming at the Y, coaching soccer-football-basketball, etc)
- Wine/Beer with dinner: Doctors agree that two glasses of wine or two beer daily can be a healthy choice ... (either/or, not both, so no cheating, --- nothings nicer than finishing off that vegetarian/vegan dinner with a glass of Riesling or an ice cold Bud-Light)
- Family: Spending time with the grand-kids is almost more fun than it was spending time with the kids when they were young (more fun because the stress of housing, clothing etc mainly falls onto their parents) you, the grandparent can now spend time spoiling them with time and things etc. Having spent lots of good times with the grand kids and/or nephews and nieces will also ensure that they have great memories of us the old folks once we leave for grander pastures. (Example: Joining the local Zoo with a yearly membership will not just give the little munchkins many fun filled visits but will also help the Zoo with their animal upkeep)
- Friends: Surround yourself with healthy-minded happy people, the more the better. Remember the gloomy pusses will bring you down too, so try to cheer them up too. (If that does not work, sorry, keep the time spent with them to a minimum, it's your health and longevity that we're talking about here)
- Buckets: To write up a 'Bucket-list' has to be a pre-requisite to joining this elite group of 'graceful-age-rs'. While raising the family and/or working at getting the parts ready so that they can be shipped in a timely fashion we had to say NO to sooo many of our wishes. Now is the time to travel, or learn the things, hobbies, skills that there just never was enough time for before.
- Belief--Faith: By no mean should this point be number ten. Doctors world wide are in agreement that having faith will grant extra years of living. The instant that it's accepted that there is more to life than the stresses of the past and we let 'Faith' become a part of us, let it take deep roots within, we'll find peace that will let us age gracefully.
Here is a million dollar question that needs to be contemplated:
What's the alternative to ageing gracefully ??????