LIFE CONTINUES WHEN YOUTH HAS FLED

I keep hearing that “age is just a number.” If that’s true, then youth is also just a number.

The whole “number” part of aging applies only to the years you’ve (so far) survived. The remainder of the equation has to do with how your body is doing. Whether you still have mostly original equipment or have had to install after-market replacements. Those whose DNA or good luck have allowed them to feel young tend to ascribe their well-being to a positive attitude. It’s easy to believe that when all the parts are in good working order.

After that, life isn’t about your attitude. It’s about what works, what doesn’t. And what you do about it.

96-Me Young in MaineI had a great attitude when I discovered I had cancer in both breasts. A positive approach was not going to make the cancer vanish. I figured it would be pretty clear sailing after that, but much to my surprised (dismayed) chagrin, a few years later I discovered I had a failing heart. Which I’d dismissed as “something else.” Maybe psychological.

Reality crashed in and I had to face it or I would die. A positive attitude wasn’t nearly enough. I wanted so badly for it to be untrue. A medical error. How could I be that sick?

I learned a positive attitude works best in conjunction with good doctors, appropriate care, and commonsense. Sometimes, you have to let your body take the lead. If you want to live, that is.

Mind-over-matter and “age is just a number” are overused platitudes. Being cheerful won’t fix a non-working heart valve, remove cancer, or replace your knees or hips. People who believe a bright smile and a positive attitude are the same as youth and good health are in for a rude awakening. Sooner or later, it comes to all.

Marilyn and Garry by Bette Stevens

Marilyn and Garry by Bette Stevens

On the day when reality crashes in, that is when you need to be positive. Life doesn’t begin and end with youth. Accepting the real limitations life imposes requires guts, determination, and an ability to roll with the punches. Courage is accepting that you can’t do all the stuff you used to do while finding stuff to do you never considered. Or figure out how to do old things in a new way.

72-SAVE YOUR SOUL-080416_007

It doesn’t take much courage to face the day if you feel great and your body works. If fate decrees otherwise, you need plan B. That’s when you find out what you’re made of.

Unless you die early, youth ends. For everyone. During most of life, we aren’t young. That’s okay. If youth were the only thing worth having, we’d all be dead before 30.

There is life after youth. I think that’s when the real fun begins.

THE DAILY POST | YOUTH



Categories: #Health, Getting old, Humor

Tags: , , , , ,

37 replies

  1. I think the idea that the number attached to your age doesn’t matter was floated by the same person who created the idea of the golden years. 🙂 Here’s to you and Garry having many more positive years. 🙂

    Like

    • And back at you. I think the worst part of getting old is that people think there’s something pitiful about it. I keep thinking that one day, they will look back and feel REALLY stupid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amen! If I’m remembering correctly, when I was a young child, older members of the family and community were considered wise and you wanted to know what their ideas were about things. Now, if you have gray hair just get the heck out of the way. It sure takes some adjustment, and you feel the need to talk with those of a similar age because they will look you in the eye and you can actually have an exchange of ideas. I’ve got to stop here, my age is showing. 🙂

        Like

        • I treasure our same-age friends. We don’t have to explain our references. Also, WE still know how to have conversations. They youngsters seem to have missed learning conversational skills. They also don’t make telephone calls.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup, just another number and still counting. Glad to know we’re all in this together! 🙂

    Like

  3. A positive attitude will never substitute for good old fashioned medical care. Not if the hospitals, insurance companies and pharmaceutical industry can’t find a way to make a buck off of it, anyway. Laughter still has a zero co-pay too, and isn’t even FDA approved….

    Like

  4. Such a great photo of you and Garry. You said it all so well here. In our youth as you said, we longed to be grown up and then poof is right!

    Like

    • I don’t mind aging per se. I don’t think anyone minds getting older. We mind getting arthritic, having heart problems. We mind having our bodies break down. It doesn’t stop us from living. It just makes it all so much more difficult.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for writing this post, Marilyn. I like the photo of you two in these lovable shirts 🙂

    Like

  6. A positive attitude hasn’t got me to 73 with all my original bits. In fact getting here has sometimes been a question of matter over mind – my stubborn genes hanging in when my mind said ‘what for?’ I’d have been happy to pop my clogs at 16, when I should have been full of the joy of youth. None of the cliches about youth and old age can stand the light of day…after day…

    Like

    • Life is challenging. I’ve had health issues since I was a teen. Each time I survive, I figure “OK. NOW it gets easier.” It doesn’t get easier, but I try not to obsess over the negative crap because there will always be a lot of negative crap. There has ALWAYS been a lot of it in my life, even when I was a little kid. Maybe, in a weird way, having such a horribly dysfunctional family life made me better able to deal with the rest of the shit that has followed over the years. Regardless, there’s not much point in brooding on the injustice, pain, and misery. It won’t go away. So, I distract myself with other stuff.

      A friend from long, long ago called yesterday. Haven’t spoken to her in over a year, though we do email a bit. She had a recent knee replacement and is in acute pain. We talked about it. I made her laugh. Her husband is slowly dying. We even laughed about that. And, for a little while, she forgot how much she hurt. That really is as good as we can do for each other. Dwelling in pain doesn’t make anything better. If it did, I’d be JUST FINE.

      Like

  7. I think life begins at 60. If I survive for another ten years I’ll probably decide that it begins at 70.

    Like

  8. Great post, Marilyn! 🙂

    Like

  9. Very well put….. Life starts after youth! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • The interesting stuff really gets going around age 40 and some. I wouldn’t have believed it if you had told me that as a kid, but it was true. Now, because traveling is harder and so many people are gone, the world is moving rather slower — mostly — but it’s still a really interesting place and I’m very glad to be here.

      Like

  10. Excellent response to the prompt! Your opening made me chuckle. Yes, youth is fleeting. It is a very short period of our lives. Well said.

    Like

    • I suppose it seems very long at the time because it’s the only thing we have experienced. I remember wanting to be “grown up.” Then, I was. Then I was middle-aged. Now, I’m a senior citizen. Poof.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. “Unless you die early” – too late for that, Marilyn. We’re working on plan “B” here.
    Leslie

    Like

  12. It’s all looking forward really, we do not know what is around the corner, so take it as it comes. Sometimes it comes harder than we expected. I learned a lot from my dad, who managed to reach 100 years and 7 months and was still “clear in the head”. His approach was always “when my time comes” which he began to say at least 10 years ago. His time came and there was no going back. I got diagnosed with MS, no big deal, lots of people have MS. I told the doctor before he told me and added “today it is not fatal”, of course he agreed, and so I am not going to make a bucket list, just take it as it comes. I have a cane, ordered the most snazzy cane I could find, making the most of it. Is there a plan “C”?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Life and age are just a number and it’s “42”

    Liked by 1 person

%d bloggers like this: