Tuesday, February 28, 2012

getting old

This is a subject I step delicately into. Admitting it here: it's a fear I have. I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in this fear. This culture glosses aging over with beauty and youth and their superficial, impermanent promises. Those before me are aging and those after me are aging, as am I. The task is to reconcile ourselves to this simple, biological fact without losing the will to live.

I see aging in myself. The worry over an errant headache being Something Else. Being rounder in some places and sagging in others. Eye sight not being what it used to be. Changing my style of yoga in order to meet this changing body's needs. Keeping a wary eye on the healthcare issues. I never used to give any of these things one iota. It's hard enough adjusting to my own aging. Watching a loved one age is harder.

Dirk and I have been together 30+ years. We've done a lot together. Traveling, rock concerts, creating a family and a home. Will we be able to take care of each other when we get to Geezerville? I hope so. For as long as we can. Because, even in aging, if nothing else, we will have each other and our children and then some.

I've also witnessed and am witnessing now, how difficult it is for family to come together to deal with their aging parents. Aging isn't pretty. It's messy and inconvenient. It can't be nailed down and pigeon holed. It doesn't fit into anyone's time schedule. It isn't clearly defined ~ some folks age better than others and with no real discernible reasons (despite Dannon's 1970's ad campaign). Aging can't be fixed.

And what's worse, few people have any real answers as to how to deal with the inevitability of aging. I guess it's something one has to sort of relax (as much as humanly possible) into and just live Life. I know I don't always feel old so there's got to be something to practicing a little bit of that each day.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Timely post (no pun intended).

I don't recognize the woman in the mirror anymore. When did I get such a chicken neck? LOL Jay's getting grizzled in a big way, and my baby has adult problems in his adult life. My parents, well, they've got their own unique approaches to being in their 80's.

Aging isn't a problem - it's a consequence of living. I marvel at the things I have yet to learn and do, the skills I have yet to obtain, the knowledge yet to be gleaned. The things I used to be able to do are like so many dreams. I will never ski again, but I can ride a motorcycle. I can't life 70 lbs up over my head so I can stow something in the attic, but I can ask my son to help me.

I wonder how many of my friends will still be alive when I'm in my dotage. Other than pain, the one thing I fear about getting really old is loneliness.