Let It Be Known

getting older

Let it be known you are reading words written by an old person. At least that’s how our government now defines me since I’ve reached the ripe old age to receive Medicare. Send in the marching band, let the trumpets blare. Yours truly is 65!Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t feel an iota different than I did 10 days ago, back when I was 64. But being long in the tooth does have its perks:

I now notice when one is referred to as ma’am (no longer miss), one receives a different sort of attention. The kind that says, “Do you need help with that, ma’am?” And, “Here, let me do that for you, ma’am.” Turns out they’re happy to help. It’s one of the more pleasant aspects of being on the road to decrepitness.

Continue reading

How to Become Old as the Hills

Just about everyone has an opinion on how people can live to a ripe old age. Old as the hills is often used to describe one well into their 90s. That saying must be getting lots of use these days since people living over 90 are the fastest growing segment of our population, according to a recent 60 Minutes broadcast. Can you believe that? Hard to imagine in 1900 people only lived an average of 49 years. I’d be dust for 9 years already…

Theories abound as to the tricks needed to reach that wrinkly old age where you can get away with just about anything simply because you’re ancient. Personally, I’m looking forward to that part of it, at least.

Hopefully me in 35 years

Hopefully me in 35 years

So the few perks we can look forward to as we inch closer to decaying are things like no longer carrying groceries to the car  because some nice young man will help us with that. It’s his pleasure. At least that’s what he’ll tell us.

Here, let me take that

Oh, it’s my pleasure, ma’am

We will never be without a seat on a bus and I bet we’ll get to move to the front of any line because people will feel bad if we’re standing at the back of one. If we drop something, someone will rush to pick it up. No more unnecessary bending for us.

Oh, it's my pleasure

Don’t strain yourself, I’ll give you a hand

Ah, the joys of slowly becoming decrepit.

Now don’t get me wrong; getting old is not something to look forward to, but what’s the alternative? When you look at it that way, I say embrace the wrinkles, accept the aching muscles and brittle bones and just go with it. But wait. There’s good news to report on this front.

The 60 Minutes program I mentioned featured the results of a study conducted in the early 1980s with 14,000 seniors living in a retirement community in LA. The study attempted to determine what the seniors did or didn’t do that might eventually contribute to a long life.

Thirty years later they compared data from the original questionnaire to one recently conducted featuring those same seniors who were still alive and kickin’ – many now in their 90s:

And here’s what they found:

1) Doing just 15 minutes of exercise a day is all that’s necessary to maintain good physical health. Up to 45 minutes is optimal but it doesn’t have to be all at once or even aerobic. How sweet is that? Makes me question whether I need to take that hour-long Body Works class at the gym anymore. 2) As we already know, keeping the mind mentally sharp is important to ward off dementia. Join a book club, play board games, make new friends, travel to unfamiliar places…anything to keep those neurons firing so the old noggin’ doesn’t lose more precious brain cells.

Anyone for a game of Yahtzee?

Anyone for a game of Yahtzee?

3) Vitamins didn’t make a bit of difference. Nil. Nada. None. Most of the 90-plusers didn’t take them. There goes my stash of Cs, Bs, Es and any other letters I have in my medicine cabinet.4) Dessert is our friend. Don’t deprive yourself of sweets. I’ve got this one covered since, lucky for me, I’m not familiar with deprivation where sugar is concerned.desserts5) Those who smoked died earlier. A no-brainer.flirting with death6) Caffeine is a good thing. Having 1-3 cups a day was better than having more than that or none at all. So glad my espresso machine and I are inseparable.7) Late in life it’s better to weigh more than to weigh less. Those who were average or over-weight outlived those who were underweight. I absolutely LOVE this one, don’t you?no more diets8) And perhaps the best news of all? Having 1-2 glasses of alcohol a day (any alcohol) reduced the risk of death by 10-15%. I don’t know about you but that pretty much seals it for me. Vodka martinis and I shall be seeing a lot more of each other.

Come to Mama

Come to Mama

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. I think overall the news is pretty promising, don’t you?

It appears if you want to live into your 90s, don’t kill yourself with exercise, do new things you enjoy with people you like, chuck your vitamins, always eat dessert, get your caffeine fix and stock up on the booze.

Who knew getting old could be so much fun?

 

This week’s blog is dedicated to Dee Dee Dalton, 95-and-three-quarter-year-old mom to my friend Sue. Mrs. D is my inspiration. She’s independent, feisty and engaging. You rock, Mrs. D!

Mrs. D with her great grandson, Liam

Mrs. D with great grandson, Liam

Pumpkin picking

Pumpkin picking

An inspiration

An inspiration

This is a previous post from 2014. What can I say? Life’s been busy of late…

Does Wisdom Really Come With Age?

They say with age comes wisdom. I’m not so sure I believe that. You see, I’m not exactly a spring chicken so you’d think I’d be pretty smart by now, wouldn’t you? There’s no doubt I’ve learned stuff along the way that’s helped me navigate through life. But in some areas I’m still quite lacking. And for that I blame my poor memory. How can I acquire this wisdom if my memory is on strike?

For instance, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve misplaced my keys. When I walk into the house, I should have a routine where I put them, don’t you think? Sounds reasonable to me. If I had a routine it would go like this: place the keys in a bowl on the counter. How hard is that? Apparently very.

Where my keys should go

Where my keys should go

My mind is like a game of leap frog. It jumps from one thing to another. So by the time I exit the car, walk to the door, open it and walk in, I’m already on to another thought. I think I’ll make myself a grilled cheese sandwich then water the annuals. Oh, and I suppose I should fertilize while I’m at it. And so it goes…

Any conscious thought about keys became lost within the 20-foot span it took me to get into the house. Poof! Continue reading

The Merits of Aging

Previously posted in 2013

This week, when my younger friend Hilary told our ladies’ tennis group she needed “less mature” friends because we oldies are struggling with injuries, I quickly fired off an email to that healthy show-off, explaining what she’s missing by not being an interesting 50+ year old…

My "young" friend, Hilary

My “young” friend, Hilary

My Dearest Hilary,

Let me set you straight. Younger friends are boring. They have nothing to complain about as far as body parts aching. What is there to discuss if you have no wrinkles and therefore can’t debate the best ways to disguise them? What could possibly replace the topic of whether it’s better to use a color rinse or permanent dye when trying to cover gray hair? Continue reading