THE MAZE OF AGE

Growing up and getting old are not the same thing. You’ve probably noticed.

We went to the eye doctor yesterday. Eye exams for both of us and amazingly, neither of us needed new glasses. What a relief! I did need new computer glasses and Lenscrafters was having a fabulous sale — a complete pair in an hour for $99. The ones I’ve been wearing have gotten scratched, which after three years was probably inevitable.

While I was talking about eyes and glasses, the eye doctor wanted to know what Garry does to stay so young. He was very impressed. “Does he have a workout routine or something,” he asked.

“He was a Marine,” I said, “And he has always taken good care of his body. Better these days now that he doesn’t drink or eat junk food.”

“Well, I get a lot of people his age in here and they are old. He looks great.”

Garry does look great, even if he doesn’t always feel as good as he looks. This weather is hard on his arthritis, as it is on mine. Garry told me he doesn’t feel old. Yes, of course, he complains about aches and pains, but he doesn’t “feel old.” Whatever that means. I said neither do I. My body has its own agenda and I have to deal with it, but it’s not something I’d choose. The body is separate and it has issues, but my mind isn’t old. A little forgetful, but otherwise, pretty good. Mostly.

What does “old” feel like? Not whether or not you get Social Security or have grand children. How does it feel? How do you know you’ve made it? I was first told it would be when I had children, but my son is heading towards his own lack of maturity. Does this stuff run in families?

Thus we got to talking about the people we know. Who is “old.” Who isn’t.

In our age group, we know some old people, including a few who seem to have been caught in a generational time warp. They aren’t old exactly, but they aren’t living in today’s world, either and no it isn’t dementia. They just loved the sixties so much, they never emerged. I sometimes think I should have done the same, but I digress.

Other people we know have always been old. They were born with an “old” gene. And the rest of us don’t feel like we’ve made it into adulthood. Are “adulthood” and “adultery” variations on one bizarre word?

Personally, I was sure by the time my granddaughter was breaching 21 and Garry and I were getting Social Security, this was as mature as we will get — and I suspect I was right. Apparently feeling grown up is not a “calendar” factor. More like a maze in which you wander twisting hallways. Some roam down “old” halls, others not.

It is interesting, this “getting old” thing. Your body goes its own way. Your mind travels differently. Even when my physical self feels like road kill, my brain is ready to go. That my body won’t do what I want presents me with a conflict I cannot resolve. I’m sure this is something every one of every age deals with if they are disabled. You deal with it. Learn to recognize what you can and cannot do, but you never get used to it.

I have rebellious days, even now, though fewer as time goes on. Is that maturity? Thank God for computers! At least here, I can fly.

35 thoughts on “THE MAZE OF AGE

  1. Waiting for another set of x-rays, I was literally just thinking about this. I don’t ‘feel’ old either, though the more frequent, more prolonged mechanical breakdowns are getting to be a bit of a pain. Otherwise, I’m quite enjoying this whole maturity thing… it gives me a much better place fom which to rebel 😉

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    • I think the longer we live, the bigger the breach between bodies and minds gets. When I was younger, I was sure i could just “push through,” no matter what. But time had its way. Pushing through takes more strength than I can manage. Lots of difficult, pragmatic decisions. How much of us goes to battling an aging body … and how much do we save for all the mental stuff,

      There was some giving up involved, like it or not. At least I stopped beating myself up for not being the “me” I used to be. It made things a little less fraught.

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        • I wish I had more choices in how my body behaves. It isn’t always a choice. There are things we can do, things we can’t. In my case, if I don’t do what I know I shouldn’t, I’m more likely to be able to do the rest of life. You do the best you can with what you have to work with. But today I found I could walk UP the stairs like a regular person. That’s the first time in a while. Yay me. Down is harder.

          Liked by 2 people

            • I always thought down would be easier what with gravity doing the work, but I’ve got a dodgy knee and going down, it’s more likely to go out of joint and I have strong negative feelings about falling downstairs. On the other hand, I rarely fall UPstairs.

              Yes, it would be good if we got a choice about what life would bring us. I would have chosen the “nothing” option. Nothing is going to happen and I am not going to have anything except the odd ache or pain to manage. If that were possible, I am betting everyone would choose “nothing.” Well, maybe not. There are people who are enthusiastic about crisis.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. The cool thing about getting older is that when you say what you think it’s no longer a faux pas, it’s either the wisdom of the ages or ‘isn’t she ADORable”. You’re allowed a bit more leeway in what you say. what once was considered rude is now considered persnickety and cute. I can live with that.

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  3. I have been told I’m old because I have a flip phone, and only the elderly would have a flip phone in this age where everyone and their second cousin has one of those genius phones. Maybe they’re right since it’s quite obvious the phone was designed to be used by someone who might have to hold it up to their nose to see anything. I can see the numbers on it from across the room….. and I am nearsighted!

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    • I MISS the flip phones. Not only could you read the numbers, you could also (gasp) HEAR it. What a set of concepts! See it! Hear it!

      I have a smart phone but I haven’t figured out exactly what it’s smart about. Seems as dumb as any phone I’ve ever had.

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  4. Ha Ha, having a fancy new phone isn’t worth it, we can’t do all the things available on these “smart” phones, for example, just texting is a pain in butt, I can’t see letters, or they’re too close together, make mistakes endlessly, takes longer to correct, I can speak it faster, just call. My younger friends, and my niece’s text me, if its quick, fine, otherwise, they know, call me. I don’t want my e-mail on my phone, too small, and why have it two places, nothing is so important on e-mail.
    I feel young yet, and I am told I look younger than my age, 40’s-50’s, I certainly do act younger, and I have several younger friends, from 20’s to my age, and some older, 70’s + as well, they are “young” at heart, and always fun to be with. My husband also has several young friends.
    We keep busy, we’re always complaining about aches, and pains though, and we can’t see without our glasses. John is hard of hearing from working as construction laborer. It is annoying constantly repeating myself, and then he says, I am yelling at him.
    I don’t think of my circle of friends as “old”, but I do see/hear some “old people” behaviors, and conversations from a few, I don’t really want to hang around with, or talk on phone with those constant complainers, and hear their stories of woe. I think it is because I am a nurse, and I listen to that type of stuff all day; and my attitude about illnesses, and disease is different than those who don’t work in health care I think. If you tell me someone has cancer, or another debilitating disease, I am more factual than emotional about it, and “It is what it is”. I have to get away from the negative stuff when I am out of work, and not talk about medical/nursing stuff, as soon as someone knows you’re a nurse….you’re questioned about all types of illnesses, symptoms…..life is more than my profession/work.
    That is why I enjoy fashion and style, it is a fun, happy topic for me, and there is always someone else (usually another woman) that enjoys it as well. I love my fashionista buddies, and if they aren’t I can teach/educate them, and even go shopping together, great bonding time.
    I don’t know how to add pictures to our posts…..or I would. Nice to get to know you all.

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    • I’m not sure that “old” and “complaining” are the same. There are people who SEE themselves as mature. They see themselves as fatherly and adult. I’m pretty sure my parents never thought of themselves as kids once they were grown up. I suspect this is part of our generation and was not part of theirs. Some of them were never really kids at any point. Others have taken the responsibility cloak as a lifestyle.

      I also know a lot of people from very young to very old who complain all the time and it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t healthy. Some people just love to complain. It’s a thing. If you can get past it …

      Nice to know you, too!

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  5. My grandmother told me that you always feel “young” inside. And that as you get older, the person you see in the mirror becomes less and less familiar to you. I thin if you have a lot of physical issues, it’s easier to believe that ge is catching up with you. But somewhere inside us we’re always at least “youthful”.

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    • That’s true. And then there’s the family resemblance thing. Today, I look in the mirror and there’s my mother. I don’t recognize myself. Mentally, I think many of us remain young, though I don’t think it’s everyone. We know people who really ARE old, though they seemed that way even when they weren’t. Jeff was like that — old when he was young.

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  6. I felt old yesterday but not today. And last week, I was downright YOUTHFUL! I do need to admit here though that the youthful spurt came after cranking up a Pink Floyd song and dancing around my kitchen…oh wait, maybe it came before I cranked it up. I don’t remember.

    Go figure.

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  7. I have computer glasses. The alternative was trifocals and I choose not to go there. When I see classmates of the same age I notice some have gotten quite old, others remain very young. Recently, I feel much older. I ache a lot in ways I never have before. I chose to be more in the present now, I can not stay in the 60s or 70s.

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  8. In my mind i’m still in my 20’s or 30’s, physically i’m borderline 60: sometimes i act like a pre-teen and sometimes like a great grandfather. Averaging it all out i reckon i’m 40 something but some bits are starting to show their age! 😉

    You’re only as old as the woman (man) you feel!

    love.

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  9. I worked outside the majority of the day resulting in 10,000+ steps and a lot of gardening. I’m now sitting with a heating pad and definitely feel like road kill. 🙂 What I love about this age is that marketing term they use – the golden years. We’re all on fixed incomes and our bodies are as stiff as if we were encased in a gold ‘like’ substance. 🙂 One thing we have to keep is our sense of humor.

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    • We didn’t do anything and we feel like that. All the dampness and cold has stiffened us to a ridiculous degree. I do a little of this, a little of this and I’m tired before i start, exhausted when I’m done. We ARE encased. Calcified.

      Liked by 1 person

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