Sunday, June 07, 2009
Fun Monday - When I'm 64 (no, when I'm 80!)
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!