As the Mills Brothers said years ago “No one wants to be old at thirty-three”. But some people really Are old at that age. A friend asked me how we were handling the aging process, and I realized what a great question that was for ANY age you might be. No one wants to be considered OLD, but as the joke goes: think of the alternative.
In Nora Ephron’s best-selling book, “I Feel Bad About My Neck”, she laments about the sorry state of her 60-something neck. “Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth.” Well, it’s true I’m sorry to say. You can only get so much “stretch” out of skin, and unless you have a long neck, what’s the point? Face lifts are great and I know a lot people who have them. One doctor friend came to a function of ours, looked at another guest and stated “Face lift and nose job”. And he was right. Another friend approaching her second or third marriage had a lift so that she would knock the socks off the groom. Unfortunately it turned out badly, so she postponed the wedding until things calmed down.
We do spend a lot of time and money trying to reverse the signs of aging. We need to get over our stereotypes about growing older and the loss of our beauty. But it’s going, so do what you can and forget it. It’s even bad to refinish antique furniture because you greatly diminish its value.
The change of decades in our lives brings many different reactions. Long ago, a friend asked if he might spend the evening with us as it was his wife’s 30th birthday and she was feeling testy. I began asking people how these changes affected them. Several men seemed to feel anxious at forty, feeling they had not accomplished what they had hoped by that age. It’s different for everyone. Dr. Advice seems to take a great deal of pride in informing people that he will soon be 89. Women, while not exactly hiding their age, do not broadcast it so readily.
Don’t get bogged down in all the hype about aging. There’s nothing you can do; the clock is going to tick away.
Your life won’t stay the same, aging changes everyone. Our frame of reference changes. Our bodies change, and ill health sometimes puts us out of commission. A dose of healthy denial can improve your attitude. The people who do that aren’t thinking that much about getting older. They have accepted the changes and are aging gracefully.
If you live to be 95 years old you’re a survivor. You probably are not going to be living in a big house and driving your car to the grocery store and walking a mile for exercise. Life grows smaller, we get slower, and our steps get shorter. But if you know that ahead of time, it’s much easier to manage it.
But is it possible? Of course it’s possible. It may take a little more effort than you have become used to, but we all have to accept the challenge and learn the new “language”. You don’t REALLY want to be younger again no matter what your age. You simply want to fit in with whatever age group you are with.
One of the best parts of growing older is you have so much more to remember, but you need to keep making those memories all along. Keep learning new things; remember that people are learning from you. The GenFab (those in their 80’s) have no role models; they just have to keep making it up as they go along.