Thursday, May 25, 2023

May 25--Thoughts on Aging

You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.  --John Steinbeck

    Let's take up the subject of aging. A friend mentioned this the other night as a challenge in his life. We've heard the saying often: Getting old isn't for sissies. I certainly didn't understand older people and their aging issues until I became one of them. There are new experiences on every level. 
    Physically, I can't do as much for as long as I used to. There are things I did earlier in life, like repaint our entire house inside, that I have no desire to do anymore. I've cut down the size of my garden. I pace myself better to accomplish things like cleaning. Seeing my 83-year-old brother's challenges, especially with balance, is making me acutely aware of all the ways and places that folks can fall, and falls are the primary thing to put folks in nursing homes. I'm fortunate in that I'm very healthy and active, with minimal chronic aches. Those with major health issues have not only physical discomfort but also mental and emotional distress.
    Mental, emotional, spiritual issues of aging are abundant and complex. How do we maintain a sense of being useful after retiring from a lengthy career? How do we handle the challenges of illness and loss of loved ones? It's a proven fact that we attend more funerals as we age. Looking death in the face can be terrifying. Can we stay in our current home or do we need one more accommodating to our aging bodies? How is the bucket list going? Are we at peace with ourselves and others or do amends need to be made? So many questions, and we recognize--so little time. 
    Enjoy this day!

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