Thursday, October 9, 2014

Stages of Aging: The Adolescent Oldster

Bob Lowry over at Satisfying Retirement wrote a post the other day about the approaching decay of an aging body. It is a subject most of us that are growing older don't want to face but is always on our minds. Like our teenage grandchildren we are worried about how our bodies and the rest of our life will turn out. In many ways we are experiencing our adolescence for a second time.

Women will invest a fortune is creams, procedures and the gym so what is true can be denied. I honestly do not know what is in a man's husband just keeps going like the Energizer Bunny that he is. I have never hear him talk about wrinkles ever. Isn't that wonderful? However, he is not willing to give up that younger self that could lift the couch and dig a trench. For him, it is very important. I have a hard time keeping that little boy in a grandpa's body out of trees in the spring. He still likes to trim the highest branch while perched on a limb when I am not looking.
Vintage Barbara

So it may be a fact that, like our teenage self or even our kindergarten self, we value our physical appearance and performance more than anything else. In the adolescent stage of our old age, we women will do almost anything to put off the day when we see what our body knows is a fact. Time will take it's toll no matter what. Like a budding teen, we study our bodies and faces looking for some sign that it is all going to turn out alright.

I have talked about exercise a lot over the years. When I was a small child all I really wanted to do was run fast and jump high. I still have that child inside me somewhere. Touting exercise and activities seemed to me to be the best way to keep the clock running at a slower pace. I have promoted walking fast, even if it was just to the corner. Movement seems so important. Well it really is...I have found in just the last couple of month that I can regain mobility I thought might be gone forever. But the fact is I will never run fast or jump high again.

In the end, it is not a bottle of cream or even a new pair of tennis shoes that will save me. It will be what goes on in that 6 inches between my ears. You can see a person's attitude in their eyes and in their smile. That is where our younger self is hiding. I will not quit walking fast or even putting on moisture cream and make-up but I do it more and more just to remain acceptably fit and groomed so I don't scare my grandchildren or the clerk at the store. I still get joy from what is beautiful in my life. The onset of old age is becoming a welcome friend these day. I like that a lot.

It's just a thought.


I urge you to read The Art of Transcendence in Psychology Today written by Mindy Greenstein. It is wonderful.


  1. So, so true, Barbara.

    I seem to have better judgment about my physical abilities than my husband Art. I know I'm in my 60s. He thinks he's still in his 30s. The next day, he reads all afternoon in a big chair because he's too tired to do anything else!

    1. Well, that is not so bad Linda. If he is happily tired and feels like he has accomplished a lot, then that is what counts don't you think?

  2. Yeah, as you (and Bob) point out it is all in the mental acceptance area. I like to say that my warranty ran out when I turned 60 so now various parts are failing. :) Up until that time I was like your husband, I didn't want to mentally accept any limitations. But that is OK, its the way life is supposed to be I guess. All I know is that I want to take full advantage of all I know have to live my remaining years in peace and enjoyment. And I am doing just that. I posted an interesting article on my site today about how a well known doctor who says he will stop the tests and such at 75...

    1. I think the doctor has no idea how he will feel at 75. My husband is 75, plays 18 holes of golf (walking) and lives a very active life. Like Art, he will sit in the chair and sleep too. But it is all good. Life is a beautiful thing.


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