Sunday, June 07, 2009

Fun Monday - When I'm 64 (no, when I'm 80!)

I'm hosting Fun Monday this week! Your challenge:

Using your imagination, project into the future and tell me what you will be like as an 80-year old. Will you be someone who doesn't accept the aging process, spending all your time in thegym and the bars, or will you be a rocking chair granny, or something in between?


I've been pondering this for a while - even before the nudge from my friend Jennifer when she suggested this topic for our consideration.

My in-laws are in their 80s. My mother's mother died at age 84 and my father's mother just turned 90. His father is 92. His grandmother was 99 when she died.

I have reason to believe that despite recent events or unforseen future events, I will easily make age 80 and probably quite a bit beyond. I also understand that what 80 will look like will have a lot to do with how I have treated my body and mind in the past, in the present and in the foreseeable future. Old age is only as good as the life leading up to it!

I can tell you that I will probably have blue feet. That in spite of the efforts to keep circulation going in my feet and legs with walking and running and biking, neuropathy has affected my grandfather, my grandmother and my father. The fact that I have diabetes (though am very close to "curing" myself) makes this even more likely. I will do what I can because I am forewarned - and forewarned is forearmed. Perhaps I can hold off the blue feet until I am 90...

I will have thin hair, hopefully white or silver. My hair is thinning already and I really hope I still have some when I get to 80, but if I don't, I shall buy glorious platinum wigs that look most natural.

I won't be fat anymore. In fact, I'll be on the rather scrawny side. Hopefully I'll be taking care of this particular issue in the next year, but I can tell you that if I ever fall and can't get up, I want someone to be able to just come pick me up rather than having to call a crane to do the job.

I will still stand tall (or as tall as you can at 5'4") because I've never been one to slouch. I may be using a cane, however. I have arthritis that comes and goes and has for 20 years already. It mainly affects my hips and lower back. A few days of warm baths, medication and gentle exercise has helped me get off the cane in about a week so far. It may take me longer later, but I hope I will still be walking somewhat briskly and tall when I am 80.

I accept that old age is coming. In a strange way, I welcome it because once it arrives, the pressure to be "successful" or "good at your job" isn't a constant drumbeat in your head. You can actually slow down and enjoy the world around you - or retire from it altogether if that's what you like. It gives you a freedom to be who you are that is never there when you're trying to make a living, raise a family and fulfill the myriad responsibilities that surround an adult person up until about age 65 or 70.

I'm a bit of a hermit. I will be quite content to live mostly alone with the occasional visit from friends and family. I expect my son to go out there and live his life, but to touch base with me from time to time. I don't want him to hover. He'll be 43. With his own career, his own family to worry about.

I really do hope my eyes hold out. I can go deaf tomorrow and not miss the noise of traffic and loud neighbors and booming car radios. The world is way too noisy for me already. But I'd miss my eyes. I love to read and do things with my hands. I love playing on the computer and writing letters or books or even just lists. However, if something does happen to them, I'll find a way around it.

I'm looking forward to time to sit and do nothing. To garden. To amble around the block with my small dog. To drink cocoa or tea with a purring cat and a good book. To go to bed when I want, sleep as much as I want, eat what I want and when I want. By the time I'm 80, being "naughty" really won't matter as much.

I always thought that 85 was a good lifespan. After that, your friends are disappearing faster than ever. You maybe move slower and think slower because the world doesn't have to happen so fast anymore - which is a good thing because your physical self can't keep up with that world anymore either. But there are still good things, good friends to be had for as long as you live - however long that is.

I hope that I am one of those people who remembers to appreciate that - when I'm 80.


Go visit the other participants, listed below and see what THEY think 80 will be like!

HulaGirl / Lil' Mouse Jill (host for next week's FM) / Patience / Gattina / ChrisB / Margaret the Misanthrope / Mama Drama Stephanie / Janis / Grace / Mariposa / Sandy / Beckie / Rayne /
Mama Drama Min / Hootin' Anni (viewer discretion advised)/ Running at Large /

And don't forget to check in with Jill for next week's assignment!

20 comments:

Moby Dick said...

I don't think anyone can "easily" make 80!! However, as we get older, it is a fact that you either keep getting older or else you die. So getting older and staying alert and in shape is the key in my humble opinion!! I want to hit 80 and still go to the gym and still be in reasonably good shape. Yes, I do not want to be fat at all!!

Gattina said...

Oh my ! I never ever thought in my whole life how I would be at 80 ! and certainly not in my 40th ! It always comes completely different as what you think or plan. There was a time in my 50th when I thought I want to die and felt bad from top to bottom. I also lost hair and was a living catastrophe. But somehow I crawled out of it and now I am feeling very good. My example is my grandma who became 95 and died in front of her TV while watching her favourite soap opera ! In my Yoga group there are women older than 80 you should see them, they are still very flexible and 4 of these ladies are travelling to Moscow in two weeks making a roundtrip ! the youngest is 80 the oldest 85 ! These are examples ! If you keep young in your mind the body follows !
There are women who were born old already !

Mariposa said...

AMEN to Gattina as I can those traits from my Grandma is is turning 90 this year!

I'm with you on accepting old age...yet again we need not deteriorate! ;)

Nice theme...I'd love to re-read my post many years from now.

margaret said...

My friend - you could've written my FM for me. We even had the same song in mind for our post titles :-) I am 100% in agreement, especially about the blessed relief from the "you must succeed/please others/etc." drumbeat in our heads. Brilliant. Just brilliant. Thank you!

Hootin' Anni said...

I'M POSTING MY "80" challenge.

It's done now. Come by and visit if you can find time and have a laugh or two.

BEWARE THO...an 'x' rated cartoon is shared also.

Anonymous said...

80--the new 70. I hope I can still drive a tractor and keep up with this place, we'll see.
dad

Janis said...

I like how you imagined yourself at 80, its realistic. If you have good genes that will make a difference and taking care of yourself right now is a good start to aging. Thanks for hosting Sayre

Mama Zen said...

I love your vision of 80!

ChrisB said...

What a great post. According to my mother, who will be 86 later this year, life gets busier the older you get because everything takes so much longer to do!

runningatlarge said...

Great topic and post!

Rayne said...

I think your biggest strength for reaching '80 healthy and whole is the wisdom you are applying to the approach. Wonderful post.

hulagirlatheart said...

So much wisdom in one post!

"Old age is only as good as the life leading up to it!" So well put.

nikki said...

i plan on being a wild old bat, driving a sports car and driving the men wild. well, as wild as an 80 year old woman can.......

Hoosier Girl said...

I have no doubt that you will still be a ton of fun at 80! Here's hoping we both make it to that age, and longer!

J.

Faye said...

Hi Sayre! Didn't get in on Fun Monday this week, but am so into your great topic. I admire the way that you're approaching living right now so that in your 80th year you'll have health, peace, and enjoyment. Our actions and attitudes of today determine our future. I'm curious about your diabetes reversal--have you just gradually changed diet and upped exercise so you don't need meds to control?

ChrisC and JonJ said...

I hope when I'm 80,I'm in bed with a much younger man,having the time of my life!Sorry,but I can't think of a better way to spend my Golden Years.

Patience said...

Your version of 80 sounds rather peaceful!

Sandy said...

I love your take on this. It will be nice to be able to just do whatever you want...lol.

jill said...

hey my topic is finally up. sorry it took so long, not sure if anyone's asked you or not, no one's been by to ask, so, anyway, it's up.

grace said...

I love cocoa too, look at the way its going, I bet you will still be blogging at 80. thanks for hosting, fun topic