The three D's of aging
Driving, depression and devastated all have one thing in common. They are all associated with loss. The situation does not matter if we are single, in a couple, living with family or friends, in our own home or in a structured living setting, at some point we will go through these as we age. Many of us may not think of driving in this manner, however we must remember there are still people who either do not and never have driven or have the slightest idea of how to be responsible for an automobile (including how to put gas into it or check the oil).
The baby boomer generation with all of our back to nature, no additives in food, only cotton material and so forth, are the least widely diagnosed and yet greatest numbers of populations with depression. We all feel as though we can just move on through life, no matter what is thrown at us without having any negative feelings. This, of course, is not true and all of us are exposed to loss. And when we stop to assess our lives we discover we have significant loss. But we are not told how to handle such loss or how to move forward. This lack of knowledge maybe why we hear so much about loss issues and depression.
Has anyone taken a good look at our bodies, even with all the cosmetic surgery we have to offer, our bodies have still met gravity on it’s own grounds and gravity is winning. Isn’t it interesting how until our thirties, we convent looking mature and projecting an air of knowledge and worldliness far beyond our years. While now we spend endless amounts of money, try every exercise plan and diet we can think of to look younger. No more tanning beds, so the spray on tans are the new trend, stay out of the sun we don’t want melanoma or the drying of our skin. We drink vitamin water and soak our bodies in creams and lotions to keep hydrated. But nature is still catching up.
As someone over the age of 60, we need to learn to drive the car, how to put gasoline or plug into electric (even in Oregon). Look more closely for the positive side of the negative and take our age into the great picture and age gracefully. Certainly, we have all seen those people who no matter what, while aging, have this look of grace and maturity that just makes us feel good. They are not necessarily movie stars or millionaires rather they are everyday people who just have the air of class. Each of us can be that person. We just have to go to the mirror and step back for an honest (100% honest) look. Male or female it doesn’t matter, if our hair is mousy, dye it, if our skin is saggy, tone it and if our clothes are five years old, start replacing them, even if they do not need to be replaced. Go for a timelier look and others will think we look great.
The automobile is both a blessing and a hindrance, we start out loving it and it is our status symbol, then it became our salvation for work, soccer, band and now it is our biggest expense. What do we want to do? If our decision is to keep it and drive until our last breath, then it is time to learn about what it does and what is under the hood (or in some cases under the trunk lid). It is surprising how many people do not know where the water well or windshield washer well is, much less how to fill it. For years this machine has been driving us, if something was wrong we took it back to the dealer and ask to fix it. Now it is killing us with $50.00 here and $2000.00 there. We can’t (or don’t want to) afford a new one. It is worth almost nothing due to the changes implemented in the last 10 years. What we do about this dinosaur is our business, but nothing says we absolutely must continue driving. We are the generation that wanted to grow our own food, live in groups to take care of each other, live off the land and free love (remember). So we must decide what each of us wants to do about transportation and take our stand. We will talk about the free love aspect in another article.
Our bodies are aging, we have known, on some level, this would happen. Taking care of bodies is a given, we know this; what we don’t know is there are several ways to work on this without it costing us so much money. There are many exercise plans on our T.V. that cost us nothing or very little. Public Broadcasting Channel frequently has Yoga and Tia Chi to help us and we can exercise within our own home. Some of us just don’t want to share our limitations; this option allows us to keep up our programs without being in a group. The local ‘Y’ whether YMCA or YWCA also offers many options, yes there is a charge, however just like everything in our world we must make the decision about what is important enough to pay for. At the same time, we must remember exercise is not just cosmetic, this means a healthier you and less expensive lifestyle.
Next time: We will be talking about Free Love.