The Aging Process Then & Now!

ageing-gracefully

Have you noticed that once we reach a certain age, things tend to slow down? Even though I usually wake at the same hour and go to bed about the same time every night, for some reason or another I tire more easily these days. As a matter of fact, truth-be-told, I would have to say that I tire more easily now than I did during any other period of my life.

Problem is, I have never been one to take afternoon naps and usually if I get up and move around, the sleepiness tends to disappear. Or, if I occupy my brain by reading a book, or writing in my daily journal – anything to stimulate brain activity (take a walk or do a ten or fifteen minute task) will remove the thought of being tired. As such – no nap is necessary which is not to say that such a nap is bad for you. I personally have never followed such a routine.

Also, for as far back as I can think of, I have always been one of those individuals that is an “up and at ‘em type of guy” when that first alarm goes off first thing in the morning. I am always the first one up just chomping at the bit to see what the new day will bring.

Of course, being a list type of guy, I usually have most of my day already planned before I go to bed and that normally consists of whatever is left on the “To Do” list I did not complete the prior day in addition to items I think of that I want to complete before the new day is over.

But lately, I must admit there have been days that I would be just as happy to turn that alarm off, pull the bed spread up over my head and say “Forget it world, I’m just not ready for this day to begin.” I would just as easily hit that snooze button or in my case – merely change the time the alarm is set to go off to allow for another hour of sleep.

Is it because I have passed the ripe old age of 76 and am heading into becoming an octogenarian? Just the thought of that makes me think of a quote by Mark Twain who said “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.”  But now that I think of it – Nah, I think I will pass on that thought and just accept where and what I am right now.

I guess it is natural for one to have concerns about the changes we see happening, not only to our bodies as we get older, but to our brains as well. Take the daily “To-Do” list I usually prepare each morning. I can think of quite a few things I should place on that list – but knowing that I am not getting any younger – in reality, I place things on the list that I want to do.

Let’s face it, a lot of things require a bit more thinking these days as to not only what to do but whether or not it actually needs being done in the first place and if it does – the question also arises – but must it be done right now? I am the same way with various books I have laying around the house. Some I have started and never got back to – others I haven’t even started yet. At the time I obtained them, I am sure I had every intention of reading them and absorbing the knowledge contained therein. But now – well – the fad has passed. Now they are merely dust collectors.

Getting old can be a pain. One can be fortunate however, if what I briefly described above are the only concerns one has during this, the aging process. While I have had my problems some years back with certain health issues, for the most part I lead an active and fairly healthy  lifestyle. But even so, as one ages we do find that this “getting old” stuff can create changes in our lifestyle.

As we get older, things tend to take a little longer to do. You know, like getting up out of the recliner after sitting for an hour or two. Or going to the grocery store or mall and looking for your car once done shopping. Both our bodies and the old grey matter isn’t working as fast as we have become accustomed to in the past which seems like just a few short years ago!

Some things – our capability to rise from a chair like a normal person instead of a decrepit old fart that hasn’t exercised a day in his life or bending over to pick something up from the floor (bending down may not be such a problem but coming back up – whoa there big fella – now that is another story!) causes us to stop and pause and utter the words – when did I get old? Feeling the blood pulsing through the veins in my skull and listening to my heart rapidly pumping the blood through my veins upon becoming vertical once again isn’t the music I had intentions of hearing at this stage of my life.

Fact is – as we become older – we change as does our bodies. By acknowledging those changes, accepting them, and making allowances for same, one can continue to enjoy life.  Besides who would want to go back to any time in our past – remember in going back – at some point  we will also have to move forward once again and I am sure that there are some years during that interim that we wouldn’t want to relive all over again. I can think of a few myself.

Best thing to do is to accept whatever changes we may incur within our bodies and our minds as we grow older and accept those changes with the same viewpoint as we have done over our present life span. After all, we made it this far – why change a good thing!

retirees

Until next time.

 

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What’s the Word?

writing

I would like to say that it has been hard for me to compose any type of article recently, be it for this site or my other writing website due to our nation’s current state of affairs, but truth be told, when it comes to the news and certain other items, I am like the ostrich that buries his or her head in the sand.

We all know that this metaphor is an untrue statement. The reality of the saying is that the person is ignoring obvious facts or refusing to accept advice, hoping that simply denying the existence of a problem will make it go away. Our nation’s current state of affairs is not going to go away. And to be quite frank, nothing I am going to do during the year 2017 or the next four years is going to change that.

But that is not to say that we as individuals (specifically senior citizen retirees) should just “bury our head in the sand” and ignore the fact that while we may not like where the country is heading, we still have a lot of living to do. As a matter of fact, even though we are now past the mid-point of February, it is early enough in the year that I am still considering what one might call my list of resolutions and good intentions. I just prefer to identify with them in a different manner.

Years ago I was involved with a group that chose a “given” word as the word they would most like to – how shall I say this – pursue throughout the upcoming year as their word of the year.  Words like – Accept, Connect, Pursue, come to mind as they all relate to things we do in our everyday lives as seniors enjoying our current lifestyles. There are many things we tend to accept (case in point – our current state of affairs when it comes to our nation), connect (not getting any younger, many of us plan to connect or quite possibly re-connect with both friends/  relatives while we still can), and pursue, meaning we will start that diet, begin an exercise program, and so forth and so on.

But for the year 2017, choosing a word of the year, leastways for me, is similar to making New Year’s resolutions. And I usually shy away from making them because I never follow through with them anyway. And while I do sit down, pencil in hand at the beginning of each new year and vow to eat less (or eat healthier food), walk at least 30 minutes a day a minimum of five days a week, clean out my office, clean out our storage room, and so forth, the one thing that keeps coming to mind as I think of these words is that, hey – I am still “a work in progress!” Nothing is set in stone and if thinking of a word will help me accomplish that which I still hope to do – why not?

Having figured that out, the word I am choosing for 2017 as my “Word of the year” is Achieve. Achieve means to successfully bring about or reach a desired objective, level, or result by effort, skill, or courage. Why bother having a list of New Year resolutions when thinking about one word can work subconsciously as I think of it each time I begin to eat, exercise, clean or whatever happens to be on my plate for any given day.

For instance, passing up having that donut when I go to Saturday morning coffee and donuts will show that I am achieving my objective of eating less or at least not eating something filled with sugar and too many calories.

In addition to our line dancing four days a week, by making it a point to go for my morning walks which, by the way is an excellent way to start your day as it makes everything seem so much clearer as to what must be accomplished, I will be achieving my objective of exercising more, thus staying physically fit.

The challenge, if there is one in this whole scenario, is making the time in our busy lives to do the other things I want to achieve in 2017, i.e., the cleaning up of the office, storage area, and other “need to be done” items that aren’t at the top of my “to do” list but should be.  So, therein lies my challenge for 2017 and while some may say at age 76 looking forward to turning 77 later this year, why is this of such a concern to you – fact is, it is thinking and planning like this as to what we intend to do with our time is what, in my humble opinion, keeps us going.

Fact is, if it weren’t for my having these things bug me when I let them slide, I could probably become a couch potato and my guess is that I would eventually look like a “rolly polly” old fart that didn’t know the first thing about keeping himself in shape and eventually my health would deteriorate, I would become depressed, and who would write these posts making sure I keep you all on your toes as well. So, with that confession in hand, I guess I had best get to work and not only draft a schedule of things I need to do – but will also include a schedule outlining times for me to sit down and write (one of my most favorite times of any day).

Oh, by the way, should anyone have something they would like me to either comment on or write about, please feel free to share your thoughts with me and I will do my best to see what I can do. Until next time!