Sunday, December 20, 2009

Growing older is not getting old

As with everyone in life we see others on a daily basis and likely see what our future may hold. You walk down the street, drive down the road or see others as we mingle in the various activities of the populace. How much do we look at what's ahead?

Aging is the never ending story for us all. We will grow older and a little more frail with each passing year. But is growing older a license to grow old. I make this distinction; growing older is a natural step of life and nothing can be done about it but getting old is a completely different step. Getting old is many times a mind-set that should attempted to be overcome at all costs.

I come from a long line of 'gentlemen' on both sides of my family that seemed to face aging head-on. At least it looked like that to me in the days of my youth. I remember touches of gray turning to an all-white snowcap. I remember eyes that did not have the strength they once had but always kept a sparkle. I remember hands with many more wrinkles but still reached out to grab a nephew in play. These were the men I remember, alas I have only one remaining.

Whitecaps should remember the past but not be afraid to live in the now. With frailties comes hesitation. Beloved Father was never afraid to put his foot on the gas when getting on a freeway. Techno-challenged Sainted Mother challenged herself to learn to use a computer when it was a little more difficult. I see men daily that struggle to overcome a frailty but are not afraid to get through the day. But I also see others that place excuses in front of them as to why they can't do something. Overcoming this challenge is the first step to saying I won't get old. I may grow gray and become a little more frail but I won't take that step of making excuses.

My son has been given instructions to never, and I repeat never let me wear or be seen in those big plastic wrap-around sunglasses that blot out all light from the universe, or, let me wear velco shoes. If I can't tie my shoes or wear loafers, game over. (Let's see how I do in twenty years.)


  1. Agreed! Sainted (Grand)Mother was still up for 5am Mass, walked the dog and worked part time at 79 years old. I just hope I an do it too!

  2. I was just saying to North of 50 that middle age was getting older every year - hard to realize that we are at the age the uncles were, and man, were they all old!
    The knees and hips creak, the memory is funky but there are still so many adventures to be had. I do, however, draw the line at celebrating by jumping out of perfectly good airplanes like a friend of ours did. She asked what I did to celebrate 40? The answer - had a baby! I'm not doing that for any more major birthdays! That's passed to the next generation!

  3. Parts of my body are definitely older than others, but still I insist on believing I am still 25.

    Wonderful Daughter told me a few years ago that my age would have to increase every year, now that SHE was over 25, so I guess I am now 29. For a few more weeks, anyway.