Getting older, well old, is inevitable. The only way to
avoid getting older is to die and getting old is much the
But if indeed it is inevitable, then why is it always such a
surprise to find yourself in the old category. Everyone has
seen the TV ads that claim to stop the wrinkles that are the
first sign of aging.
Yes those wrinkles do show up but really it is that one day
when you look in the mirror and see your mother or father. The
shock stays with you for weeks. At that point you begin to fret
over the memory lapses and the twinges of pain in joints and
If it is any help - I read that we older people take longer
to come to a conclusion because we have so much more
information in our brains than the younger people do.
I like Linda's approach to getting older.
I Think I'm Getting Old!
This is the year of the fifty-fifth birthday! When I was a
child I thought that was ancient! (But in those days I was the
young one and besides the life expectancy was much lower).
I'm finding that it's a little harder to climb stairs
without some body part protesting and keeping my weight within
a healthy range is almost impossible. My doctor wants me to
lower my cholesterol and politely explains why this is
important every time that I visit him. I don't know if he
thinks I have forgotten what he told me or if he's just trying
to be polite because the numbers aren't going down.
Waking up in the night to go to the bathroom is not unusual
- it's now a regular occurrence. And when it happens I
sometimes find that I am wide awake and ready for activity -
even if it is only 3 a.m.
I'm long past pretending that I remember everything or where
I have put things. In fact, I find that my children and
grandchildren just roll their eyes and silently follow me
carrying my purse or the necessary event tickets that I have
inadvertently left on the counter.
My friends realize that if I am late for our scheduled
"date" they are to order their meal without waiting. They carry
a book with them and know that I have likely just gotten
enthralled by a lively conversation with someone and lost track
of the time - or ended up at the wrong restaurant!
I've had to enter not only the birthdays for family and
friends into my computer but also the years when each was born.
That way I can figure out how old they are without having to
hold that information in my memory bank from year to year.
I find myself saying "A couple of months ago..." and then am
surprised to hear that this should have been "A couple of years
Yes, I'm getting old! But the good news is that it doesn't
In fact, there is a freedom in knowing that you don't have
to remember everything. I'm thankful that my career has
progressed to the point that I have a wonderful assistant who
remembers things for me! She makes me "look good" by handing me
the appropriate file as I approach my client and invoicing
companies for services provided and paying my telephone bill so
I can still call people.
I realize that getting old means you can have a nap -
without guilt - and read wonderful books in the night when you
can't sleep. It means having grandchildren who think that you
are amazing because they only see you at your "best". It means
having people open doors and carry items for you and ask you
questions about the "olden days before television" while
waiting for the answer with expectation that a wonderful story
It means you can bring out clothing and hats from decades
ago and be in style or see the activities that you have enjoyed
for years, like gardening and homemaking, come back into
Getting old offers the promise of seniors' discounts and
retirement and the opportunity to develop a legacy for those
Most of all, however, getting old means that you are viewed
as being "wise".
You see I have been around long enough to know someone with
every disease imaginable so I know the symptoms and cures. I
have lived through economic cycles of want and plenty so I
understand survival as well as investment principles. Over the
years, I have had opportunity to watch friends face
difficulties and know what worked or what didn't work in
resolving them which helped me learn how to make good choices
in my own life.
The Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines "wise" as: "To
understand and assess something only after its implications
have become obvious". Well, if that's the case, I guess you
could say I am wise and will increase in this as the years
Life is choices. You choose what your attitude will be about
Some people dread it and others try to "escape" it through
plastic surgery and denial.
I've decided to embrace it!
Now...what was I doing before I got off on this tangent?
Dr. Linda Hancock is a Registered Psychologist and
Registered Social Worker who has a private practice in Medicine
Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email
You are also invited to visit http://www.LindaHancockSpeaks.com
to receive a complimentary copy of "10 Steps to Making Your
Life an Adventure".
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