Monday, April 20, 2015

I Think I've Become Elderly

      I've lived in the same small city since 1969...46 years. The population was 24000 when I moved here. Over the 46 years the population grew to around 100 000.

     I lived here long enough to have met many people. I've participated in the community and have come to know many people. I taught about 3000 students from 1968 to 1987.

    As a result, I look at the obituaries on a daily basis.  It is not uncommon to find that some  have passed away. Just recently a former student passed away. He used a power wheelchair in his last years.was passed . His family passed his wheelchair on to a 76 year old friend who had a serious spinal cord injury.

    Now recently in staring at the photos of the deceased, I've started to notice that the ones who are my age are starting to look very elderly! Many of them have been in nursing homes. Some of them have had the dread dementia. This started me thinking about myself and my age.

    Now in my head I see myself as fairly active. I think young. I still think I'm young.  So I decided I better take a look and see if I'm in this elderly group. So off to the mirror. Sure enough. There's an elderly man staring back at me! Who can this be? Well, I had to admit that it's me. I am truly in the elderly group.

    Now I'm very aware of my age and the process of becoming elderly. Somehow , we can put this in the back of our mind. We seem to think that we are always much younger than we are. However, the obituary photos have reminded me of reality.

    How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as your actual age or younger?





47 comments:

  1. I can certainly relate to this post! Yes, I see myself as younger, although not as much as I did until I turned 70 last year. It seems it's easier to remember now that I am old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There seems to be some lag between what we are and what we think we are.

      Delete
  2. I think of myself way younger than I am...like maybe 30! But the mirror does not lie...mine has an old lady inside:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You certainly accomplish as much or more than many thirty year olds.

      Delete
  3. I know I'm old and I don't like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe that you think about age with being so very active.

      Delete
  4. I have been in existence for slightly over seven decades. Since this is all new to me I really don't know how I should feel. The best way to describe it is I feel GOOD. I'm not sick or ill like some other people that are the same age as me. In the past I have had surgery (appendix, eyes). Without it I would not feel good. In fact making this far I consider it privilege.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we are fortunate to have a good quality of life.

      Delete
  5. I see myself as a bit younger than my actual age, but there is no denying as I push 70 that I am an old woman and I am among elders. I do envy you your long time history in one place. I wish I could say I knew everyone around me, but I barely know 4% in this little community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not my fault I been here 46 years. I'm a true rolling stone. It's the micro manager who keeps me in one place.

      Delete
  6. I think young and feel young but the mirror reminds me that I'm middle aged. And so does the fact that my daughters are all grown up. But I hope that by taking care of myself by eating right and exercising, I'll continue to feel young for a long time to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the quality of life that really counts.

      Delete
  7. Sometimes I feel old, and sometimes not, it has to do with my mood. But I am sure other people see us different as we do ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point about being up and down.

      Delete
  8. I "see" and elderly person when I look in the mirror, however; this is only a reflection of wrinkles and parts showing their age. However, I feel good, have good health etc, so I feel "young".....anyway, much younger than the person I am looking at in the mirror. haha Have a wonderful day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate to rain on your party but we're also wrinkly inside!!!

      Delete
  9. I hear a young man talking. Age is inevitable, we can never reverse it. Going to the nursing home today to drop some lilacs off with a friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The better our attitude toward aging the better our mental health.

      Delete
  10. Hi Red, I think we all resist facing reality when it comes to getting older. Most of the words we use to describe it have a negative connotation right down to old fart. The good news is that you are reading the obits and not in the newspaper. Have a great day! By the way, the recipe postcards are not that common ... but in the past they were often shared by folks who were into cooking. Thanks for your comments on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had never thought about the negative terms used to refer to old age. Good point.

      Delete
  11. You are right, as always, Keith!
    I read about a 40-something having a life issue, and think - that's my age, then realize it's not!
    As a hospice volunteer I'm very aware of age and aging. I want to age gracefully, accepting my infirmities, aches and pains new and old. Many of my clients don't accept this and get hurt in the process.
    You are so active, and my clients, like us, are better off for it. That said, we are at risk for falls if we are too foolish. I realize the danger of this, once you fall once you are doomed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I accept that there will be an end to my life. After that make a good quality life. I am a risk taker. I may pay the price some day.

      Delete
  12. I think we all do think we are younger than we really are. The shock is when you unexpectedly come up to a mirror. For a split second you think who is that old codger before you realize it it you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've found it interesting that we all admit to thinking of ourselves as younger

      Delete
  13. I do think if you keep yourself fairly active, you can age gracefully. I've seen some people of the age of a hundred, who look much younger, and on the other hand, I remember being one of a group of people trying to keep a guy having a heart attack going until the paramedics arrived- he looked like he was in his late seventies, but in the papers the next day it was noted he was in his early fifties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's amazing how old some younger people can look.

      Delete
  14. i know you count your blessings on your active lifestyle and zeal for life, even as you age. i just read an obituary this morning in my hometown paper of a 50 yr old man (who i remember as a trouble-making boy 1 year younger than i in high school) that died 'after a long battle with cancer'. soberly makes you stop and think and be grateful for what you have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right . With each loss we sit back and reassess our situation.

      Delete
  15. When I think about being 72 it shocks me. I think somebody made a mistake somewhere. I can't be that old! I do think of myself as being younger than I am. What shocks me back to reality is walking past a mirror and seeing my elderly mother

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very active for 72. You have a large yard and critters to look after. On the other hand being active helps to keep you young.

      Delete
  16. Oh think how much better we would all be without mirrors to see our flaws! Keep moving- that's my motto. My dad is 75 and just became a mayor- he LOVES it! Have a super day- and stay away from that silly mirror.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wish you hadn't asked that Red. I still think of myself as pre-old age. My mind is active. My body is active (within the limitations of needing a new knee). I have kept up with modern technology and in fact am quite a computer fanatic. If it wasn't for the mirror..........!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always say, "It helps to be a little crazy." Then you can ignore the mirror.

      Delete
  18. Having lost two dear friends in the past month, I am definitely thinking about my own mortality. When I look in the mirror I see a 65 year old woman, but in my head I feel around 30. I find it actually fun to look at my younger self in photos, and laugh some. Who is that person I wonder :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry for the loss of your two friends. yes, we do sit down and think about things.

      Delete
  19. It's getting to the point where I am forced to acknowledge my age. Like when I get tired faster than I used to, and when the bed beckons at a ridiculously early time... :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tired business for me has to do with hemoglobin levels.

      Delete
  20. I think of myself as mentally being about forty-five, but this is belied by the fact that I'm drawing Social Security.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So who said, "It's all in your head?"

      Delete
  21. Oh Red...you'll never get old! You are still skating and cycling, right? I know people younger than you that do neither!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Months after turning 70 I'm still struggling to accept that I am in the old age group now. Sometimes my bones tell me it really is very true, most times I'm happily in denial. As for that mirror - mine is in bad light!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I tend to think of myself as "older" rather than elderly because somehow in my mind elderly Is synonymous with feeble and weak. I'm not sure how I got that picture in my head but it's definitely there! And it's always sort of a surprise when I think, wow, I'm in my 60s, how did that happen?

    ReplyDelete
  24. You're a handsome guy, in any age, Red and you're not elderly.

    I just saw someone in the news and recognized the name. It was a high school classmate and I thought to myself... Geeeee... but that's a pretty old fellow. Tsk. And yes, I look in the mirror at times and am surprised at what I see. Gravity is pulling everything down.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have to say I see myself way younger than I am. Even looking in the mirror I sometimes don't see the older person I've become. Looking at friends profile pictures on Facebook I see how much they have aged and realize I must look like that to them. I think feeling young helps keep us young.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Red, I have to tell you, you don't fit my definition of elderly at all!!! You are youthful indeed. I think being active is the best thing to keep a person young.

    I can't believe I'm 51 now. I know I'm a few years behind you, but it just blows my mind that a half a century has passed. In my head I'm still 25. Now I look in the mirror and see my mother staring back at me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great post, Red. I'm much younger than you are but I perfectly understand what you mean. You're right, somehow, we can put this in the back of our mind, and I think it's good. As long as our mind is young, we are motivated and that matters. It's great that you still find yourself young, don't get stressed by those obituaries and the picture the mirror shows you! :)

    ReplyDelete