BETTER THAN DEAD

I hear a lot of complaining about aging. Some of it is coming from me, so I admit in advance, I sometimes forget to be grateful I’m alive. Getting old ain’t fun, but not getting old is less fun.

Ghoulie at Gettysburg

Age brings financial limitations, aches, pains, and indigestion. On the plus side, it brings an end to commuting, doing whatever your boss tells you because you need the paycheck, and never having time for yourself. Being alive offers significant advantages over being dead. Which, to the best of my knowledge, is the only alternative to growing old.

dark cemetary

I think we are most afraid of age when we aren’t old yet, but see it coming. Most of the bewailing and bewhining about getting old doesn’t come from old people. It comes from middle-aged folks who feel they are quite old enough, thank you, and could we please just stop this aging nonsense? Can’t things stay put?

Not really.

The good news is the fear of getting old is much worse than being old. When you get to whatever age you have defined as officially “old,” probably when you retire or sign up for whatever your country gives to those who no longer work, old turns out to be life, minus going to work.

Just a continuation of life. There’s no sign saying “WELCOME TO OLD, A REALLY BIG TOWN.”

Old House in Hadley

Many of friends and family members died younger than I am now. A lot younger. There’s little point in agonizing about what might happen. Worry doesn’t change anything, but it sure sucks the joy out of now. The worst part of all the stressing over possible future disasters is we worry about the wrong stuff. Inevitably, what actually happens isn’t what we worried about. It’s something we never expected, for which we are utterly unprepared.

Someone quotable said that in this secular age, worry has taken the place of prayer. I don’t know whether or not prayer was ever effective at preventing bad stuff from happening, but I’m sure worry isn’t.

In the long haul — if you’re lucky enough to have a long haul — there will be sufficient real problems to keep you busy. You don’t need to worry about stuff that may never happen. Figure out what to do about the crisis when and if it happens. Otherwise, enjoy what you can.

75-UUSteeple1-HP

I gave up worrying sometime around the time I got the second cancer diagnosis. Clearly, the whole worry thing had failed. It was time to try a different approach.

I recommend living in the moment. Try it. You’ll see.

I don’t mind getting old. I resent being sick and hate being poor. On the positive side, I’m alive to complain about it. A lot of folks I used to know cannot say the same. They can’t say anything. That’s the down side of being dead.

Getting old, with all its hazards, will always beat getting dead.



Categories: Getting old, Humor, Life, Personal

Tags: , , , , , ,

45 replies

  1. Great article! It used to be tough reaching age milestones. Now, I just say “Screw it!” I’m trying to enjoy each day as it comes. As REO Speedwagon says: “Live every moment / love every day / ’cause before you know it your precious time slips away”

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    • Hard to argue with that. At any age!

      Like

      • There’s also a freedom, a “screw the neighbors” feel to aging. We can say more (isn’t she peppery!), get away with more– wear pretty much what we want even if it is that ratty old yellow sweater, I am not longer ‘afraid’ of doctors, cops, salesgirls or lawyers. Im usually older than any of them, and while I show respect, Im not shy of them any longer. And when you DO do something usually reserved (at least in other people’s eyes) for younger people, it’s extra points in the cool department.
        I wouldnt go back to 60 even for serious money.

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        • I don’t know what I would do if I could be younger. But since it isn’t a choice and I am what I am, I enjoy any advantage age grants. For me, that I really don’t care what someone thinks of me is the big one. And, as you say, not being afraid of “important” (read: self-important) people.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I always say we are one day closer to death every day.

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  3. I’m with you, Marilyn! Loved the post… and glad to announce I’m happy to be “Better than Dead”! 🙂

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  4. I can take it in my stride, not really a big choice. Things happen that you do not expect, but I think the thing that bothers most of all is “What comes next?”. there is no next. You have grown up, done all the things you were supposed to, perhaps worked and then come the moment when you are a senior citizen. And now – nothing really is there so let’s write a blog or knit or read a book or ….. I don’t know, but that’s that I suppose.

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    • Oh, I agree. And I don’t think it’s such a bad deal. We did a lot of stuff. We lived. We traveled. We raised families. We worked. Now, finally, we retired. Aside from wishing my body would behave better, life is — for the most part — pretty good. Quiet, but it can be and has been a lot worse! I sure wouldn’t want to be a crazy kid again, that is for sure 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • A lot of stuff recently about being old. Includes piece I wrote — laughing at myself — for being “Just fine” after my last medical checkup. Talking about being old can be like chatting about the current Red Sox pitching staff. It is what it is. How about this? It’s a wonderful spring day out there today, sunny and warm. After our winter of discontent, life is good!!

        Like

  5. And the longer you stay alive, the better the chance of being around when they finally invent that fountain of youth….

    Like

  6. I enjoy aging, don’t fight it but like you, don’t care about the side effects like pain and restrictions. I think every decade of our lives has something to offer, it might not always be what we expected…but there is always something new to discover. You are right, it’s better than the alternative.

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  7. Bravo, Marilyn! Aging isn’t fun but it beats the alternative, as you say. I’m curious as to what is going to happen next.
    Leslie

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  8. I try not to look too far into the future. Maybe that’s why I teach about the past.

    Like

    • I always think of time travel as a way to go back. I can’t imagine wanting to look at the future. That really IS scary. In all my favorite Time Travel books, historians are the heroes who travel back to see what really happened. Maybe you’ll get your chance!

      Like

  9. As the saying goes, getting older may be hard, but it’s better than the alternative! And as for worrying they say it works. About 90% of the things we worry about never happen!

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  10. Being old has its downside, but you’re far more philosophical as get older – as you’ve just proved. I wouldn’t be young again for quids. It’s so PAINFUL!

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  11. Great post. Why waste our time being worried, when we can choose to stay happy 😉

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  12. I understand your wisdom. But being dead is definitely not worse, if one is cognizant of the Other Side. Have a great day!

    Like

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