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AS TIME GOES ON


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“And we shall walk through all our days with love remembered and love renewed.”
Print by Robert Sexton

If we’re lucky we all get to do it–get old I mean. It’s not only a challenging time, but an interesting one. Our bodies are like the computer, made up of video cards, sound cards, drivers which need to be updated occasionally, and of course our browsers which keep the whole shebang going. The “fixer-uppers” give us patches to make things run more smoothly, but when we install a new device now and then, one thing or another no longer works the way it should, and we need a new one.

It’s worth noting that our cars, homes, appliances, etc. all have these same obstacles of age as well. When we analyze the situation, it is plain that the same challenges are caused by one factor: age. Things wear out, people wear out. Nothing to do about it but continue the journey.

Since it’s true that some products last longer than others, so do people. The woman who cuts my hair is from Thailand. Last October she went to visit her mother there for a month. The mother is 94 years old and rides her bicycle everywhere. She lives in a small village with no amenities to speak of. The village is some distance from the airport, and the old woman took a long bus ride to go meet her daughter’s flight. Her best friend who accompanied her is 116. That’s right–one hundred sixteen years old. They go to the movies together, shop and do everything most older retired people do to amuse themselves. Nothing to it.

More and more of us are living longer, though in some cases, not better. The medical profession is doing its best to keep ahead of the game, and for the most part, they are. My aunt, who was a lifelong Christian Scientist, recently passed away at the age of 99, never having seen a medical doctor except for childbirth, in her life. Good genes or good luck possibly. Others meet a variety of doctors as time goes on.

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I went to lunch with some high school girl friends at a venerable ladies club in Oakland the other day. You’ll notice I called it a “ladies” club. There is a great difference between a “women’s” club and a “ladies” club. Women in a club usually have an agenda to discuss and it can become rather lively and/or heated on occasion. A ladies club on the other hand caters to a dying breed of women who remember and appreciate a refined and gentile dining experience. There were no younger people in the dining room which tells us something about the aging of the “ladies”. As one of our group said, she was surprised we were not required to wear skirts as once was the case. I guess that went out with the hats and gloves we used to put on automatically. Times change.

One thing that doesn’t change is the attitude needed to adjust to the changes. It’s all good if you make it good. Fight it and the internet goes down irretrievably. Old people are just like the rest of us, it just takes a bit mor work to keep us running.

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Black and white print by Robert Sexton. Stippling, one dot at a time.

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12 comments on “AS TIME GOES ON

  1. You write poignantly and cleverly about the aging process, which all of us over the age of 60 (and maybe some people even younger) are aware of every single day. I have begun to notice new lines and wrinkles, uneven skin, and limbs that shout at me sometimes.
    I’ve also begun to notice the young with their vibrant bodies (unfortunately, we see more of their bodies with this generation…I am sure men will disagree with me, but hey, the local mall is not Las Vegas) and wonder, was I ever that young?

    Well put. I’d like you to blog sometime on the thought processes you experience at your stage of life. Truths? Fears? You know what I mean.

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  2. Hi auntie dear-I can feel everything you wrote about! Challenging time for sure as we transition. Hope you know how much you are admired and love! Hugs and kisses to you and Dr Advice!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  3. I have reached a new level of having forgotten what I have forgotten. This is very reassuring for the future. No more worries about what has been!

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  4. The woman in a man’s life never seems to age.

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  5. “Fight it and the internet goes down irretrievably” … good one 🙂 Love this post, esp the bit about your hairdresser and her mother and friend.

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  6. I thought I would have unlimited time when the “golden years” appeared, but that’s another disappointment. There are not many old people sitting in rocking chairs with grandchildren in their arms while watching the reruns of “I love Lucy” on TV. They’re all out biking, walking, playing cards or generally causing trouble.

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  7. I’ve been quite blessed as far as health goes, but a healthy old(er) age is old(er) age, still. After a gloomy, cold, miserable winter, springish weather appeared last week, and it was time for me to get back to work full time and begin the catching-up process.

    Well. Let me tell you, a body that’s been lollygagging around the house isn’t ready to pop into the routine of eight daily hours of physical labor. All of last week I’d come home, stare at the walls, eat some cereal and go to bed at 8:30. Things are starting to improve now, and in another week or so I’ll have rounded back into shape. But the time required is longer than it has been in the past.

    Beyond that, there are certain jobs requiring strength and balance that I just can’t or won’t do any more. Varnishing a mast from a bosun’s chair. Working with power tools from a floating work dock. Working with a heat gun and no way to hold on.

    It’s all a reminder that tempus does fidget, and the smart cookies are the ones who make adjustments, find new ways, set new limits. Far better I should tell someone, “No, I’m sorry. I can’t do your job” than pretend I’m still forty and put myself in a situation where I can’t work at all.

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  8. Even though it’s hard to get back to work again after a cold winter, Spring still does seem good. The sun feels good now that it’s giving a little warmth. The garden looks pitiful, and I have developed a few more complaints since last year. I’m not a complainer, and with Dr. Advice still working full-tilt at 88, it wouldn’t do any good anyway! I’m just happy to be able to do what I can do. The reality is that it was only 4-5 years ago that I had no problem. My own doctor once said to me “You did not come as advertised.” I was not about to let him get away with that, and snapped back “I didn’t have all the problems till I started to come to you.” Yes, the smart-cookies find new ways to be useful. Kayti

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