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How I want to get old.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Spent another couple of hours with the elderly neighbor today, and it has occurred to me that I've observed how many people age and get old. And this is what I've learned:

I do NOT want to stay in my house No Matter What, like it's some kind of badge of honor. If all I can manage to do is to sit alone in my house, I'm selling the damn thing and moving into a retirement community.

I will NOT maintain grudges and constantly talk about past hurts and slights. I've listened to people talk about a fight they've had with someone only to find out it happened 25 years ago! When you get old, the number of people in your world diminishes fast so you better put that garbage behind you and enjoy the people who will put up with YOU!

I will NOT isolate myself. I will go to the senior center for activities and lunch, I will go to the library and join clubs. I will volunteer at the local elementary school -- they can always use people to listen to the children read, or interact with them on the playground and lunchroom.

I will not live in the past! I know old people miss their spouses who have died a decade or more ago. But what is gained by refusing to move on?

I will not be demanding! I will not expect my children to "do" everything for me. Last summer when we visited TC's mother she actually got MAD when he mentioned he had done some yard work for another elderly relative. She said -- IF YOU'VE GOT TIME TO DO YARD WORK FOR PEOPLE, YOU SHOULD BE DOING IT FOR ME! And I'll tell you, the more she demands, the less we want to do for her.

Now I also know several people who have aged really well -- who are optimistic, who are important members of their church and community, who keep their minds active with reading, watching the news, and doing puzzles. They own pets to keep them company. They volunteer for Red Cross, or at the Senior Center. They are always thrilled with every little thing you do or bring and don't focus on what you AREN'T doing for them!

That's the kind of old person I plan to be!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I just got this in an email and it made me think of your blog.

    Check out this website -- its a video about an 89 year old woman who drove alone for 3,000 miles to attend her 70th high school class reunion! She drives her 45 year old Comet with 540,000 miles on it with the same engine!

    I think she is my new role model!

    3898 days ago
    I agree with you 100%. One reason to work at being healthy and fit now is to do all we can to age gracefully with minimal health issues. A healthy lifestyle will also help with a healthy attitude.

    I've got two older people in my life who are such contrasts. One you basically described in the "don't be this way" side, the other is 83 and still works 2-3 days per week as a physician, travels, is active in church, etc. You know which one is my role model!!!
    3899 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/15/2010 9:25:06 PM
    Ditto... It pays to think about these things ahead of time. Maybe we should make aging advantage cards and read them as we live thru that season lest we forget. People just have a way of turning into miserable folks if they don't keep things in check and find joy in their days. Then, if you can believe it, they just want to spread the bad feelings to all who stop long enough to listen. emoticon

    Like an attitude check while we work on the bucket list. Somehow I thought the vampire guy was the right emoticon for this. emoticon
    3899 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4357551
    Good for you TG. I should introduce you to my mother. 84 years old and will outlive us all. She is the adopted grandmother of about 5 families in the community where she lives. Once PM and I wanted to go down for the week-end and she said not to. She was too busy!!!

    Ok enough bragging about my mother.

    Make it a great week TG!


    3899 days ago
  • NANCY-
    You go girl!!!
    3899 days ago
    Super Blog! Thanks for sharing! I agree and hope to NOT be those either! Ohhh and the demaning one...ahhh I won't say anymore other than TOTALLY AGREE! Makes you NOT want to do it haha lol
    3899 days ago
    Love it!
    3899 days ago
    Great blog; if we make the best out of whatever comes along, and make it a point to ENJOY life, then we will have good memories to reflect on later in life.

    I know people who simply can not let go of the past, all the things that have been "done wrong" to them. I try to see the glass as half full, and TRY to maintain a positive attitude and sense of humor.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.
    3900 days ago
    I want to grow old looking back and knowing I had a happy life. One not filled with regrets, one that I can honestly say I tried my best to live a happy life. It's never too late to start paving your life on a road of happiness. I do wish I had this attitude sooner but sometimes when you're young, you don't realize that there will be a point when many trivial things in life are not so important. I think the realization comes with age. There are a few young people that come to this realization sooner and you can see it in how they conduct their lives and how they pave it to optimize the best life they can achieve. Unfortunately, most have to learn from years of mistake and over thinking to finally realize that each day is unique and you can never go back. . so, with that said, live each day as if it's your last. . .:) Happy Valentines.
    3900 days ago
    What a great blog. You are really insightful and observant! So many significant ideas here.
    emoticon emoticon
    3900 days ago
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