Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why in Such a Hurry to Grow Old?

Many of my peers seem to be fond of saying that they're getting old. While I'm sure it's very freeing to say that, I've always feel a bit odd, especially when the person is younger than me. I never knew what to say, but the words were finally given to me when I heard or read that some people who are in their 70s and 80s take great exception to someone in their 50s or even 40s claiming to be old.

Now I have something to say: "You know those who are in their 70s and 80s really hate it when someone your age says that." That does take the wind out of things and probably is a bit of a kill joy, so I need to use it judiciously. It appears that some really like to acknowledge that they are getting older and I must admit that I find it really mysterious as I'm in my late 40s and I've never felt better. I used to worry that I was approaching 50 until I started consistently running into people on mountains in their 50s and 60s (met a dentist who is 68 and who had just summited Mt. Whitney) and have heard of those in their 70s who consistently climb mountains. I've resolved to stop worrying about it entirely. Age is clearly attitude. Well ok, taking care of yourself counts too.

I still have to figure out a proper response to some youngster complaining about being old. Likely the best response is none at all. I think maybe what's going on is that your body does start to change when you hit your 40s (like your eyes stop working as well as they used to, and your hair starts to gray, and healing takes longer which is pretty frustrating) and that does take some adjustment and that's probably what's going on.

Maybe I should just agree with the and say "Yeah, YOU'RE old," but I believe in Karma so I think I'll refrain.

1 comment:

Elf said...

Sometimes I say I can tell that I'm getting older. Sometimes when other people say that, I say, "maybe YOU are, but I'M not." Some days I feel young. Some days I wonder how my body is going to make it to 120 when it's not even halfway there and has so many things that don't work the way they used to. At the trial last weekend, some of us were sitting around talking about this & that & how many years have gone by & such. Someone else said something about getting married 30 years ago, and I suddenly realized it was almost that long ago for me, and said, yeah, I got married in 1981. Not 2 minutes later, the conversation turned to how old people were getting, and I made some snippity comment about me not getting older, and they asked how old I was, and I said 37. All 3 people accepted that. Despite me just saying I got married in 1981. I corrected my statement to my actual age, but it was fun to think that they thought that I could in fact be 37. On the other hand, everyone I know between 30 and maybe 65 seems to me to be "about my age" and I couldn't guess within 10 years someone's age necessarily. Well--yeah, maybe within 10 years. I think I'm lucky in that my hair isn't graying noticeably yet. It is true that some people's bodies age faster than others, for whatever reason. Some people get alzheimers in their 50s or 60s. SOme people's knees and thumbs and shoulders start giving them arthritis troubles in their late 40s (ahem). I think it's more an observation on most people's parts that they are noticing the aging process taking place, not that they WANT the aging process to take place. Blah blah blah--