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Ageing Disgracefully

Updated on March 12, 2013

'As Old as Methuselah'

Meth-who-sela?

This is the name of the Grandfather of Noah, the man in the Hebrew Bible, reputed to have been 969 years 'old' at his death. Much speculation and few satisfactory conclusions have been found to explain this phenomenon - so we won't go there either.

The thing we can all agree upon and accept, is that it's a great saying - a truly appropriate description (even sometimes when we're not actually old - but maybe just 'bone-weary').

Most of us will probably be unlikely to reach even one-tenth of Methuselah's longevity - and to think, Rip Van Winkle thought he had problems when he slept for a mere 100 years! Well-ll-ll.

But Seriously

Ageing is such an overwhelming human preoccupation - causing much angst, fear, worry, apprehension, denial and pain - just to mention a few of the emotions experienced. Incredible actions are taken to delay or offset or negate the maturation process, usually at formidable costs - monetarily, emotionally and physically. Why is it so?

Have you ever read 'Desiderata'? I have a wall hanging copy of this poem and the words most particularly appropriate to this line of thinking are:-

'Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.'

YES! Beautiful!

(And if you wish to read its 'confused' history - AND the whole poem itself - have a look at this site -

All About Desiderata

On a last, serious and biblical note (before the frivolity commences) - the 90th Psalm states -

'...For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past...'

Thought-provoking - yes?

Something to Sing About

A couple of years ago, the famous singer and actress, Julie Andrews (now 70ish) performed a new/old version of her famous song 'My Favourite Things' from the much-loved, evergreen film - 'The Sound of Music'. Just to refresh your memory of how the music and the original lyrics go -

Enjoy!

And Keep Singing About

...All The Days of Our Lives!

The 'Mature' Version - (just in case you haven't seen/heard them, the 'new' lyrics go like this - and please don't forget to hum the tune, even in your mind, as you read them.) -

Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting,

Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,

Bundles of magazines tied up in string,

These are a few of my favourite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,

Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,

Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,

These are a few of my favourite things.

When the pipes leak, when the bones creak,

When the knees go bad,

I simply remember my favourite things,

And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,

No Spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,

Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,

These are a few of my favourite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin',

Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',

And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,

When we remember our favourite things.

When the joints ache, when the hips break,

When the eyes grow dim,

Then I remember the great life I've had,

And then I don't feel so bad.

Don't you just love the positive thinking of those last two lines? They can lift your spirits high, even from your deepest 'low'.

Do you have a Game Plan? - ...for Ageing, that is.

'Disgraceful' Angel
'Disgraceful' Angel

We ALL have choices - it's just that some of us have more time to deliberate this question than others!

Will you Age Disgracefully?

See results

Regrets? - ...Well, Just a Few.

Some more well-known and often quoted words of wisdom - this time attributed to the late Nadine Stair of Louisville, Kentucky, when she was 85 years old, and had been asked what she would do differently if she had her time again.

I'd Pick More Daisies

If I had my life to live over, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I know of very few things I would take seriously. I would be less hygienic. I would take more chances. I would make more trips. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers and watch more sunsets. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see, I am one of those people who live prophylactically and sanely and sensibly, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I have had my moments and, if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead each day. I have been one of these people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it over again, I would go places and do things and travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live my life over, I would start barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would play hooky more. I wouldn't make such good grades, except by accident. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I'd pick more daisies.

And then there's the C-Nile Virus

...just when you thought it safe to venture out from wherever you've been hiding!

Did I send this email to you already? I can't remember.

Warning! Warning! Red Alert, etc.etc.! - New Virus - Just got this in from a reliable source.

It seems there is a new virus called the 'C-Nile Virus' that even the most advanced programs of Norton and McAfee cannot take care of it, so be warned. The virus appears to affect those of us who were born before 1960.

Symptoms of the 'C-Nile Virus':

1) Cause you to send the same email twice,

2) Causes you to send a blank email,

3) Causes you to send an email to the wrong person,

4) Causes you to send an email back to the person who sent it to you,

5) Causes you to forget to attach attachments,

6) Causes you to hit 'SEND' before you finish the email

Remember ?????????????????????????

I don't remember if I sent this one out..............

I don't think I did...or did you send it to me???

Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded!!!

Now, I think you're supposed to send this to 5 or 6, maybe 8, maybe 10, oh, heck, just send it to a bunch of your friends if you can remember who they are. Then something is supposed to happen..I think. Maybe you get your memory back or something! I think...

It Could Be Worse

...Warning! Don't Clean Your Glasses Too Good!

Many years ago I was a Community Careworker, helping frail and elderly people to stay in their own homes for just a little longer. This involved varied assistance - from showering and dressing, to shopping and cooking, and transporting to medical and other appointments. So, one of my 'regulars' was a tiny Scottish-born lady in her 80's, wrinkled like a little walnut. One day I arrived to take her shopping, only to find her in a near 'panic attack'. She had cleaned her 'specs' REALLY well, taken a good look in the mirror - and discovered -

"I'm OLD, Christine. Look! I got all wrinkled! And look at my neck - it's OLD!

Quickly - we have to go to the Chemist and get some of that anti-wrinkle cream and 'vanish' them all away."

To this day, I don't know how I kept my face serious - inside I was having a near-hysterical meltdown from muffled mirth.

And the situation didn't improve at the Chemist shop. I had never seen my lady move so fast on her one real and one prosthetic leg, assisted by her walking frame - to get to the counter and tell the 'oh so young' assistant of her horrific discovery. This girl took one look at me, standing well back from the drama, and our eyes never met again until my little lady turned away, searching the shelves desperately for an 'instant' cure to the disease - Old Age - that she had apparently succumbed to overnight!

Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age.

Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.

~Tom Wilson

Amazon finds Ageing Amazing - ...just look at a few of the choices.

And in an Earlier Time and Place

...no Dear, This DID Happen AFTER Prehistoric Times!

And so it came to pass that an eccentric little old lady came tottering into the Haberdashery Department of a large Adelaide store, called Myers. (And I can verify the truth of this story - at the time, my older sister was apprenticed in the Floral Department, right alongside the handkerchief showcase, and she witnessed the proceedings.

So this little old lady short-sightedly looked at many of the myriad things on display this day - but her attention was fully captured by the 'hankie' counter, in particular. In those days, the top of this large display counter was made of countless open glass sided 'boxes' - each containing different stacks - from plain, to delicately pastel-coloured - to exquisite, lace decorated and exorbitantly expensive varieties. Our little lady perused these 'treasures' at great length, picking up some and peering intently at them.

Due to her slightly impoverished and much less than 'squeaky clean' appearance, a careful eye was unobtrusively kept on her, to ensure no stock 'disappeared' whilst she hovered. Nobody needed to have worried about theft...that was the last thing on her mind. What she actually did, was to pick up a particularly beautiful 'hankie', take a deep breath, and BLOW her nose - HARD - into its delicate depths. And then she put it back in its exact compartment - and walked away!! After a collective GASP by all who had witnessed the event - It was said you could have heard a pin drop

How disgracefully was she ageing??

At the End of the Day

...and the bottom of the page...

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet.

He also ate very little, which made him rather frail, and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath.

This made him (Oh...really, this is so bad, it's good) .....

A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

I can't tell you how much I wish I could claim 'authorship' of this pearl of wisdom (or something?) - but alas - it came to me as part of a joke attachment to an email...but I loved it too much to let it just wither and die on my computer records.

As I personally am now closer to Gandhi's end of Life's scale than the other 'beginning' end, I have strong opinions on how I hope to handle the rest of my most mature years. I am 'gracefully greying', wonderfully wrinkling with upwardly mobile type wrinkles from much laughing - mostly at myself! I am seriously sagging (sometimes and some places more than others), and hopefully will be delightfully dementing MANY years down the track. And, I might add, I'm encouraged in this thought after having helped to celebrate the 85th birthdays of two 'old' friends recently. Made me feel quite juvenile, actually.

The sentiment of a phrase from today's language - 'Bring It On' - has great appeal, however I find myself inexorably drawn to the deeply philosophical meaning behind the statement -

"Here's Spitting in Your Eye, Old Age!"

Sometimes, disgracefully or not ...

you just feel blessed to be alive,

... and sometimes,

it's because an angel hovered over you long enough

to sprinkle some angel dust.

Speaking of Angels,

... just can't resist sharing one more joke.

A very old man arrives at the Pearly Gates of Heaven, and finds Jesus in charge, whilst St. Peter is having his morning tea break.

Jesus says, "Welcome, old man. You look like you have worked long and hard on Earth. What did you do?"

"I was a Carpenter," the old man replied.

"And what do you plan to do first, here in Heaven, my friend?" asked Jesus.

"I'm going to find my son".

"Hmm, that could be a bit hard. There are a lot of souls up here - so how will you know him?" Jesus felt concerned.

"Oh, that's easy," said the old man, smiling broadly. "He has holes in both of his hands and his feet."

Jesus looked incredulous - almost a little fearful, as he said,

"Dad??"

And the old man replied,

"Pinocchio?"

(Muffled chuckling is heard in the background!)

Growing old is mandatory;

growing up is optional.

~Chili Davis

Are YOU Ready for Old Age? - ....or maybe 'Magnificent Maturity?

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    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 

      6 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I will be forty on my next birthday, so life is just beginning apparently! Let it begin! I am not ready to grow old just yet!

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 

      6 years ago

      NOOOO! I hate it! I guess I could be cheerful about it and say oh it's ok and tell of all the things I've learned along the way.. NOT. ..LOL. Anyway.. Angel blessed cause no matter how I feel about it, it is still happening. LOL for sure.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      This was really well thought out, I found it really amusing and I am totally going to age disgracefully, I love my life and I even like the age that I am now.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      This was really well thought out, I found it really amusing and I am totally going to age disgracefully, I love my life and I even like the age that I am now.

    • profile image

      sherioz 

      6 years ago

      Loved the irreverent Gandhi joke. Good stuff here for contemplation.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 

      6 years ago

      I am not aging gracefully, and I will get every senior citizen perk I can find! Great lens. I love your Gandhi joke, and yes, I sang the song so I probably will be singing it for days. Thanks!

    • GypsyPirate LM profile image

      GypsyPirate LM 

      7 years ago

      Ah well - a favorite poem of mine is "When I am An Old Woman I shall Wear Purple". So, I think that counts as disgraceful aging.

    • NightMagic profile image

      NightMagic 

      7 years ago

      Great Lens Christine. I loved your poem & yes, I did sing it as I was reading it. I can definitely relate to the part about back pain, thin bones & fractures. Also, that's a good video you have. It jmakes a person feel good when you hear a song like that.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Love your writing Christine. About Meth-who-sela, you may find a clue in my 'Kali Yuga and the Rapture' lens. No passwords required there. :)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 

      7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I LOVED this story -- and, Yes, I can certainly relate, having reached an "age" much closer to 'Old' than the 'younger generation out there'. :-). I've been attacked by the C-Nile Virus, especially #s 3, 5 & 6! As susannaduffy said below, I 'see' my 'grandmother's' face in the mirror these days! Don't know when that happened! Overnight, possibly..... LOL. I wasn't nearly this old yesterday, that I remember.... but then, remembering is sometimes doubtful too. I'll work on the "Magnificent Maturity" label. Sounds better than 'Old Age'. :-) Happy to see you again, Christine.

    • profile image

      susanmcalexander 

      7 years ago

      I am now 43 years old learning things that it's very difficult when you are at our age. But I feel lucky for all the blessings received everyday. Together with me is my grand'daughters and son with their loving parents. I keep on smiling when they are all around, chasing and playing. but recently i was pissed of regarding of fixodent cream. I file a fixodent lawsuit, regarding with this faulty cream. I experience gum problems, and worst is zinc poisoning.

      Hope i can get back my normal life.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Well crafted :)

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 

      7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I certainly am getting there.Things don't look or feel the same any more but have a few years under my belt still,so I am going learn 'to stop and smell the roses.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I'm very happy with my age. After all, I have no choice. No point in getting angry but. oh, how I hate my stiff joints in the mornings, my cranky hip and the horror of looking in the mirror and seeing my grandmother's face! And yes, worse things happen at sea

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