Updated: 6 days ago
Dad had the very best remedy for tackling monsters under the bed. He would shine a light on them to see what they really looked like.
This monster called “OLD” has several disguises:
Running out of money
These are the big monsters worth thinking about all by themselves. Surprisingly, there are still other discussions of importance as well. Get out your flashlight and we'll take a look.
We can’t skip out on dying. Everybody does that. There is probably little point in worrying about something you can’t change.
What you can change, however, is how you live now so that you have a sense of peace. My wife’s grandmother would say, “I’m all prayed up.” Another family member said, “I’m ready to go any time.”
So I take heart and take steps. Reconcile with estranged friends. Eliminate potential for regret. Prepare a legacy for family; it can include money but more importantly stories and pictures. Help your family know what is important to you and, above all, make sure you tell them you love them.
As for money… the green monster? Haven’t you been broke before? If COVID-19 has done one thing for us, it has demonstrated how frugally we can live if we don’t go anywhere or eat out. Maybe those lessons are important. I do know that as you and I become less able, we do spend less time out and about where all the money changes hands.
As for infirm? I don’t like the thought much, but truth be told, I’m doing everything I can about it: eating right, exercising, making my doctor my confidant. And, I’m learning to adjust to new normals every day. My back is particularly vulnerable so I can feel the cost of aging mount almost regularly. Inexorably. So I make the best plans I can now knowing that I will be less able later.
Take, for example, the question of driving. You know some day that you’ll have to stop driving. Plan ahead and figure out what to do when it’s no longer safe to be on the road instead of waiting for your kids to start threatening to take your keys away. Like I said, lay plans now knowing you’ll be less able later.
Maybe being “old” is really about what others think. You’re afraid of showing off some wrinkles or a sag here and there. I refuse to be in junior high again worried about zits! I know some folks who won’t head to the gym because they “don’t want people to see me in gym togs or swim suit.” Believe me, others are more worried about what they look like than what you look like.
Or maybe you’re worried about how others will treat you. My advice there is make friends with younger people. If the ones you pick respect you now, they are likely to respect you tomorrow as well. Be proactive about making younger friends. So armed, you can ignore the rest.
In short… I’m not afraid of getting older. I really object to being labeled “old”–either by others or myself. However, I think “old” is a state of mind and my mind is made up: I’m going to be defiant about it. As I tell people, “I’m going to go out kicking and screaming. Even if I can’t kick or scream any more.”
...the retired guy
Bonus: Here is another short tip about being old. Want to stick your tongue out, too?
Do you really want the basics about avoiding infirmity? Try these:
Say Goodbye to That Couch: 3 Venues Where Exercise Can Make a Difference
3 Key Ingredients to Get Exercise Started With Less Pain and Little Motivation
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