Monday, 20 June 2011

Do we really get old, or are we just losing our patience?

Sometimes I wonder if I am feeling tired or just intolerant, and if is ageing is a mental process rather than a physical one, sure, I've been prompted by my grey hairs and wrinkles to go buy comfortable shoes and elastic waistbands, but am I slowing my pace because I am changing physically or does my mental health have an even greater part to play in the ageing process?.

Am I expected to watch instead of join in, and are my visits to the hairdressers going to involve hair lacquer and rollers? well I bloody well hope not!, and is it more important to exercise the body more than the brain?, and why do so many people think that once they have jogged around the park or been to the gym, that they have enhanced themselves enough to keep their bodies resistant to all ills, is it a marketing ploy to pop vitamins and rub lotions into our lined faces when all we really need is a good diet, and a positive attitude?, and do we really need to let the anxiety of being told that we need to start preparing for our twighlight years get a hold of us at the age of 50?

What with all the mailing lists  that we are put on after reaching half a century, like the dreaded Saga holidays and insurance, Stannah stairlifts , hearing aids and all of the various other gadgets to assist us as we fade into uselessness, theres no suprise with all the constant reminders that we start to feel old, the bigwigs from this clever marketing will trap and capture you, and even your great blood pressure and the fact you attend pilates twice a week won’t save you from the draining clutches of the media's rule of thumb about when youth ends and old age begins.

There is no doubt that the mental anxiety over this will have a physical effect, and that we will be gradually easeing ourselves into the geriactric box, and then the one we will be buried in well before we ought to, because we are being sold the idea, a good 25 years before we should have, and why is this acceptable?.

This negative attitude we have, is disrespectful and it’s as if once you have become a certain age you are discouraged and abandoned, set aside and disregarded, and I refuse to let that happen to me.

Old people aren’t impatient, they have just lost their confidence about where exactly they fit into our society, it’s like they have been stacked and crammed into a drawer, put into a photo album but never looked at, and our children feel awkward around pensioners, 
because they are never taught, how much we could really gleen from a person of experience, who has made mistakes or discovered things for real, true life lessons, so much to offer, but instead we would rather qualify our understandings through a book, or put ourselves in the hands of those who have studied rather than experienced life.

I think we have to take age with a pinch of salt, make sure we are driven with a personal passion, be it stamp collecting or watching birds, the minute we stop looking forward to achieving, creating or tasting, is when we really are grinding to a halt, and that can happen to you at any age, so let’s not put a label on the amount of time we have been around, but rather embrace the knowledge and wisdom of someone who has lived a lot longer than ourselves.

Give the elderly the courtesy they deserve, because we are all heading in the same direction after all.

'Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.  Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.'  ~Samuel Ullman

In Memory and with great love to my Nanny Ray Ray who died last month


  1. I think age is a state of mind - there are old twenty-five year olds and young seventy year olds. A timely post Cheryl on the day the news is full of the neglect given to those who need help in their homes... I do want to keep physically fit for as long as possible not because I am denying being older but because I want to be as independent for as long as possible and not at the mercy of a society that would rather not bother. We must love our wrinkles and celebrate our wisdom and just keep on going.... thanks for the comment on my blog btw - big hug to you xxx

  2. My poor Nanny spent her last 10 years in homes, who simply couldn't be bothered to take good care of her, I watched her go from a fiesty 85 year old to a 95 year old shell of a woman waiting to die..
    She was treated badly and the neglect killed her in the end, and has left me feeling very concerned for societies attitude to the old, I think the minute I cannot do simple things for myself is the time for me to say goodbye, and as long as I can speak up for myself I will think of myself as independent, and alive.