Growing old with Grace: or Tom, or Joan, or whoever
Growing old begins the minute we are born, however, our concept of growing old leans more towards the latter years of our life.Sometimes I feel like I was born old and other times I feel like I haven’t gotten there yet. My favorite saying has always been, “I have to grow old but I don’t have to grow up!” My children can attest to my living this quote! The funniest thing, is though I sought out funny sayings and jokes, someone else had already done the same. I may have copied a saying or two but I believe how we age is up to us no matter what we read or write!
Growing old with Grace, or Tom, or Joan,or whoever is my reference to trying to grow old without making a total fool of yourself and doing it with your spouse or life partner. It is often hard to realize we are actually growing old and we hold on to the things of our youth. For example, a woman of 60 wearing miniskirts may or may not be a good thing. If she's got great legs and she's in great shape it's okay but many women at sixty are beginning to show their varicose veins and it tends to look a little inappropriate when you see that miniskirt on top of bulging purple veins. Of course her 'Tom' might disagree.
While it is a good thing to remain young at heart and keep active and alive, there are some things that older folk just can't do without looking downright silly. As I said in the paragraph above, certain clothing just doesn't go with age. Actions are another thing. It really isn't appropriate to act like a 20 year old when you're 50 - except of course in your head. Each decade of our life brings change and we need to adapt to it the best we can. It's far from time to curl up in a ball and toss in the towel but we need to look at our time of life and gracefully adapt. I mean after all there are many people at 50 who actually look better than they did at 20. A certain maturity and wisdom accompanies the aging process. Now you know you're an adult and have the ability to act like one. If you haven't been physically active you might start to notice it by now as body parts begin to sag.
How does the age progression sneak up on us?
Humor in being a senior citizen
Everyone tries to find the humor in growing old as we progress towards being a senior citizen.There is often sadness and illness but if we can remember to keep the humor it makes it easier to deal with.I have a friend who once told me growing old isn’t for sissies.Of course she’s right. We meet lots of new doctors with all of our new ailments and spend more time in the bathroom than ever before. It seems all of our 'dates' are doctors' appointments or blood work or some other wonderfully medically related trip to somewhere. We look at the same things in different ways and know so much more than we did when we were younger, but how do you grow old with grace? As I said earlier we start to age from the moment we are born.As we age everything around us changes together with the way people treat us.When you are an infant, no matter what you actually look like you’re adorable. Everyone loves you and does everything for you.Then you become a toddler and all of a sudden this “no” word starts appearing, but you survive that too.You move on, after learning lots of new things like feeding yourself and using a potty, walking, talking, running and using the “no” word yourself.That first two or three years hold a phenomenal amount of learning, or so you think, everything is new.Just when you’re getting comfortable with things along comes SCHOOL.Now you really start learning new things, whether you want to or not.This time, Mom’s not there to show you the way, it’s a stranger, a teacher!All usually turns out okay though, the teacher’s not a bad thing and they’re usually pretty smart.Through Kindergarten to Eighth Grade you continue to learn and grow.Then you become super smart, you enter high school and become a teenager. Everyone knows teenagers know everything, just ask one!They don’t need any help and have all the answers about everything and now they have texting to keep them in constant touch with their choice of friends who can give them answers to questions they haven’t even thought to ask. They have instant contact with the Internet so they hold the world at their fingertips - there's an app for that. Life couldn’t be better, but, high school is only four years and college looms.College can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your personality.Many kids go away to college and discover a freedom and responsibility they never knew existed.The learning process continues, along with the partying and dating and those four years go very fast.
Now you’re 21!Grown up and in the prime of your life, or so you think.The world is your oyster and all those other sayings that depict a great life.You find a job and become more independent.Sometime between 21 and 30 you might even find a mate, get married, and start having children of your own.What a culture shock!These little beings are adorable but they’re also your responsibility.All the independent fun days disappear as you become a Mommy or a Daddy.Even though you sacrifice for the children you enjoy what you’re doing and watching them grow. You plan fun activities but now it's always with your children. Oh, and now you use the “no” word. Of course there are times you’d like to hang them (your children) on the line to dry but then you remember what you were like and how it was to be growing up.You also remember as they are growing up you are growing older.
Forties, Fifties and Up
Somehow you’re in your forties and you have teenage children.No one ever told you what this would be like, well, actually they did tell you, you just didn’t listen.Then you realize you’re the same age as your parents were when you became aware of them as parents and grown ups!You are a grown up.Not only are you a grown up but you are considered to be in the prime of your life.You really do enjoy things and appreciate what you have.You might notice a little difficulty doing some of the things you did ten years ago.You can still do them, it’s just a little more difficult and sometimes you get a backache or a sore limb.Now that’s definitely something new, you never had aches and pains before.The good news is they’re minor and they go away, after all, you’re in your prime.This is the best time of your life, isn’t it?Forty!You never thought this would happen.You never really wanted to be 40, after all, you can’t trust anyone over 30…does that mean you can’t trust yourself? You learn to cope with this new found age because along with it comes a wisdom and wit you didn't have before. It really isn’t the end of the world and you survive your forties and your children grow up.
Now you’re in your fifties!Say what?When did that happen?Now you’re becoming sensible and enjoying your home life.Scary isn’t it?Now you find your arms aren’t long enough to hold what you’re reading so you have to get reading glasses.You are very aware of your physical state and new limitations.Seems each decade brings new challenges.You can still ride a bike, just not as fast as you used to.You still go to the movies but a late movie isn’t a good idea because you fall asleep before the end, after all, you’ve had a busy day.You notice little changes in your appearance.There are laugh lines around your eyes and a gray hair or two near your temple.You know now’s the time to really start eating better and getting more exercise because your clothes seem to be getting smaller.Fun and fifty can go hand in hand.You can start getting more comfortable with who and what you are.I read a blog where a woman said she loved being fifty because kidnappers are no longer interested in you, no one expects you to run – anywhere, there is nothing left to learn the hard way, you no longer think of speed limits as a challenge… Some of your inhibitions start to disappear and you become more honest with yourself and others.Just as you’re getting used to your fifties, 60 appears!
Now it starts getting a little scary and really interesting.Remember when 60 was really old?It’s not anymore.Well, are you your grandmother?That’s how old she was.Hopefully everything’s still working, your children are grown and have left the nest, you are a grandmother (or grandfather.)The best part is you’re not as old at 60 as your parents were.Now is really the time of your life.If you aren’t already retired you can start looking forward to retirement.You don’t have to have a lot of money or a fancy house to enjoy time on your own terms.Granted, you may be starting to look your age, but so what, you earned it, after all it took you sixty years to get here!Maxine says, “Age doesn’t make you forgetful.Having too many stupid things to remember makes you forgetful.” If you can’t remember that, write it down. You become more comfortable in your own skin and stop worrying about what other people think so you can dress the way you like and do the things you want to do. Now is the time to begin growing old gracefully.In your sixties you are considered a senior citizen.While this may be a bit of a shock it does have its benefits.You can get discounts on store purchases, admissions, even services like your garbage collection!Now is the time to stop and smell the roses.Take advantage of your ability to appreciate life and all that you have and the fact that 60 looks better now than it did 30 years ago thanks to better nutrition, exercise, and the will to look better period.Being baby boomers we are the new 60 and can blaze the way for generations to come.
I end this with the sixties since that's as far as I've come...this is the oldest I've ever been. My hope for you is that you will age gracefully and enjoy your life through every decade.