How to Cope with the Aging Process
Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
No matter our age, we are all getting older no matter what we want to tell ourselves. Age inches-up on us with unplanned physical, perceptual, and cognitive changes. We spent decades getting smarter, then, ironically, Father Time gifts us with forgetfulness. Where are my teeth? Unfortunately, we realize too late that the only people who care about our wellbeing are our grown kids who are too busy living their own history.
Loners find playing is no fun without playmates. If we are lucky, we have discovered the internet. Many of us are still young at heart even though we are old everywhere else. We selectively speak and hear, depending on our moods. Lastly, but not least, we all lose a ton of relationships over the years. We either outgrow them, or they outgrow us, leaving us feeling heartbroken and exposed.
We can be spotted filling up our shopping carts at the local pharmacy and walking around the Dollar store for physical exercise in our spare time. How do we get rid of fine lines, wrinkles, and indents that tell our age? The denting may be genetic, but we can fill the wicked wrinkles with daily trips to the refrigerator.
Regrettably, I admit to losing my vim and vigor to step out at about 60. Our biological age varies from person to person and is mostly affected by our lifestyles, life events, and genetics. Even back then, I enjoyed a social life once a month or so. After which, I have a glass of wine and prayed for forgiveness.
Coupling becomes less about performance and more about tenderness and touching as we age. But be assured that any form of celibacy allows us to explore ourselves outside the eyes of another, which is always a good thing, mentally & physically.
Many find speaking in riddles using abbreviations easier. Some like me might have PTSD, ADD, PD, and GLAUCOMA, all the old age icons. My family calls me DINGY when I begin forgetting, stuttering, and dropping things. I understand those that love me are laughing with me, not at me, still…
I do find words like Webroot impossible to get out of my mouth. I can only get out Webroooooo. Getting that Tout requires another kind of TNT or Tea and Toast. Yes, I had to give up coffee. Caffeine drove me nuts. There is always the trouble of ROFL, which means Rolling on the Floor Laughing. But then, I cannot get up. Which always calls for BTW, meaning bring me a wheelchair, my knees went out.
LMDO is when I spit my dentures out at the most unfortunate times. My top peeve was and is, opening baby-proof bottles, snacks, and even frozen meals. Sometimes I wonder if I should have taken better care of myself. (For more abbreviations, go to Cartalk.com.)
Surprises, Surprises, and More Surprises
I have always enjoyed sewing and other crafts in my lifetime. Recently, I needed to sew a button on, a simple five-minute procedure. However, surprisingly, I forgot I was blind in one eye, and my hands shake when trying to do something tedious. Where is the thread? I could not see it to get it through the needle! Where is the needle thingy?
I would appreciate a Personal Robot to help me, like in The Jetsons
Learning How to Cope
As we age, we become less emotional and more thoughtful with our money and decisions. Losing adrenaline, testosterone, and estrogen during our years calm us down as nature intended, so most of us no longer sweat the small stuff. We are far less judge-y, more loving, and empathetic but also surprised and in awe of all we have endured and triumphed over so far.
I have seen style trends come and go, so I wear jeans and a sweatshirt or sweater. I spend less money on trending styles and, amazingly, have more to wear than I ever had. You can bet the older we get, the more interesting we are. So, filling a blank page is not hard for older writers like me.
Many of us are even returning to work or revisiting many kinds of hobbies we enjoyed when younger. So, smile and greet us at your local Walmart. Our feet may be hurting, but we are probably having fun anyway.
Despite our decaying containers, most of us are grateful for the many opportunities life has afforded us. It seems like today, the pendulum is starting to swing back, and more of us are embracing the aging process. The lucky of us have completed what the universe threw at us, predictably and unpredictably in our senior moments.