I was reading an article recently on what one woman thought of being “older”. It made me think about what it meant to me and here is the outcome of my thoughts on getting older.
“Older” is a rather interesting word. When we get to a certain age, we might feel we are getting older. Or maybe we are older than someone else (and that could refer to someone eight is older than someone six).
The World Health Organization describes it as someone who is over 45 which in this day and age is almost young. At 45 I was starting a new life and a second career. I worked fulltime until I was 70.
Now in my late seventies, I am beginning to feel “older”. You know you fit into this category when people in their fifties start standing up for you in the bus or train. I have to say these are mostly of the older type. Younger men and women generally don’t notice you at all. It’s not being rude – you become invisible.
I find that it is getting a little harder to get out of deep lounge chair. In fact, I really think twice about taking a seat at all if I might need to get out of it in a hurry. You certainly feel it when you wonder just how you are going manage to get up. Is it a matter of moving your bottom closer to the edge of the chair and then, hands on the side of the chair and raise yourself up to a standing position or is it hands either side of the chair and use your legs to push yourself to a standing position?.
Occasionally your friend will offer a hand to help you. You mentally hope you can manage with her only use one hand and does not have to revert to the two hand pulling method. I mentally note to keep standing while waiting for someone next time.
Getting on the bus can be a bit of problem as you attempt to hold onto the rail and pull yourself up the step, at the same time note that next time you take the bus that lowers the step that used for wheelchair and strollers.
It also nice when the butcher smiles benevolently when you ask for one chop and two sausages. A fellow older stranger understands when you start up a conversation at the bus stop. They know you live alone and probably haven’t spoken to anyone all day.
There are lots of advantages being “older”. Your ten-year-old grandchild understands that you can’t run for the bus so they will valiantly run and plead with the driver to hold the vehicle until their grandma makes it.
Grandchildren are a pleasure and love hearing about the days when you couldn’t take the phone with you when you left home for a trip to a friends place. ,Your parents didn’t know where you actually went as there was no way to check on our whereabouts. They also love to hear your stories about what their mother or father did when they were young. I know my granddaughters, Mimi and Ava loved to hear stories about Sarah’s misadventures.
Another thing I have noticed since getting older is, I notice babies and toddlers. While I have had four children and six grandchildren, I never really liked them until they got to the stage that we could have a conversation. Now I watch with pleasure a small child in their pram. I watch them enjoying the single grape their mother feeds them or the way they play with their toy. It could be that I never had the time to enjoy my young children. I now just sit and watch them. I am sorry that I missed that time with my children.
At Christmas you can feel quite comfortable after lunch to put your feet up on the couch to rest and nobody gives you looks like “why aren’t you helping.” I look back to Christmas years ago when everyone sat around after lunch laughing and talking and then set off home. I was left alone with the mess and the dishes…and a little lonely.
Yes, there are plenty of things I miss but there are also plenty of things, I don’t miss.
I am not sure that I am happy getting older but there are lots of advantages to enjoy.