A friend and neighbor I spoke with told me about her physical therapy. She had her last visit with her surgeon, and she would have several more months of physical therapy.
She had shoulder surgery. She is just a few months older, having recently turned 70 in 2023. When we first started talking, I asked how she was doing and her response was, “You know, as everyone says, aging sucks!”
Speaking of aging, I told her then how I was interested in talking with her about her thoughts on aging. I informed her that I was writing 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). An online program with support and tracking of your writing. The book would be about aging.
She said, “My opinion is aging is just as important a part of life as birth and whatever else!” I added that I believe that too. Then I added life can suck at any age, right?
“It feels discounting, demeaning, and downgrading when everyone says that about how aging sucks. Aging is about maturity, wisdom, and acceptance of where we are at. I don’t believe I’m 70. The calendar and birth certificate may say that.”
Then she added, “Age is a number, not the process. Not really life. I just know I don’t like when people judge me.”
We went on to talk about her having lunch with a group of high school friends when she said that most were 70 and they decided as a group of 70s, that they don’t care how old they are. They are elated about life, accepting their limitations.
She mentioned pushing herself emotionally, and physically two years ago trying to prove something and realizing that she didn’t have anything to prove.
“Others think they would be bored while being retired is just different.” She said at lunch they talked about, “How many times have you driven to work when retired? I know I have. I was so used to driving that road.”
“Retired life is different, it’s not that you are not busy. Look at you and I, gone all the time. I guess we are the lucky ones.”
We have other things in common besides aging. We are both in the family program as we both grew up with alcoholic families. We learned a lot from some of our aging relatives.
My grandpa weeded the garden until my mother had to go get him with the wheelbarrow as he was too spent to walk back to the house. A work ethic that said that you work, until you have no work left in you!
Another Grandpa worked at a resort until he went into nursing home care. He was always helping “those old people”, even though many of those old people were younger than him.
Then my friend and I had a LiveStrong group in common, that we participated in for about a year and continue with that supportive group of women now years later. Women survivors, we prefer thrivers from cancer.
While there we were taught the importance of exercise and used the weightlifting machines during each of the group meetings. Even though we know the importance of exercise, it isn’t always possible for some. Or at least for periods of time in our life.
I suppose you could say that is a positive for aging as we see many of the same faces at places, we all hang out at together!
We have many things in common and enjoy much of the same music, and entertainment too. When living in the cities the benefit of retirement was, that I could go to matinees. I can still go to the BWCA, but most of the time we stay in cabins and eat at restaurants with my group now.
We still get some paddling in and enjoy the scenery. We don’t have to take long weekends as the middle of the week works too.
So far, I have enjoyed my time speaking with friends and family about aging. It doesn’t sound so bad and after all, what is the alternative?
Published by Penny Press in medium.com
About the Creator
I am married with 7 children, 27 grands, and 12 great-grandchildren. I am a culture consultant part-time. I write A Poem a Day in February for 8 years now. I wrote 4 - 50,000 word stories in NaNoWriMo. I write on Vocal/Medium weekly.