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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:00 PM
Original message
Do you think that you're aging gracefully?
And if you're not that old, do you think you're the type to age gracefully?

I realize that this is subjective and includes a lot of things.

I happen to think that most people are not. And I wonder if I might become one of them.

For now I'm doing OK at 53, but not always sure how long I can keep up the game. I can run and jump and play and I have good health and a good attitude.

I count my blessings every single day.

But I think of the downgrading that happens with age. I would hate to be a burden to my loved ones or friends.

And I would certainly hate to be a bastard like so many people are when things go south. I see so many people not dealing with the process very well at all.

Just wondering what you all think.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. Nope. Not even a little bit. nm
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. I guess it matters as well, if a person even wants to.
There are no rules when it comes to this, I suppose.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. I think you've put your finger on it. nm
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. My dear kayakjohnny...
I think I am, for the most part. Internally, I'm not so sure...

There are aches and pains that I didn't have before...

But I try not to let them get me down...

I'm enjoying my life!

:hi:
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Oh I think it's quite clear to many people
that you are enjoying life!
:pals:

And 10-4 on the aches and pains.
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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
41. Old age ain't for wimps
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Mugu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. I don't do anything very gracefully. n/t
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NightWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
4. to quote Jimmy Buffett, "I'm growing older but not up"
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blue neen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. IMHO, a positive attitude is one of the keys to aging gracefully,
so you must be doing pretty well! :)

I'm 54 and feel that I'm hanging in there..but there are few things that could stand a little extra attention.

Don't you feel like a kid some days? Other days, just ancient? It's odd.
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Very well said!
Thanks.
:)
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Urban Prairie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. I definitely look much younger than my age (same as yours)
But I am not in excellent health.
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kimi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
11. Well . . .
I fantasize that I am!!
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tango-tee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
12. At my job, I'm one of very few women, and also one of the oldest employees.
Working with a lot of young men in their early 20s has put my in the role of "Mom" in so many ways, being 57 years old. Listening to their concerns, sharing their joys and generally being Dear Abby keeps me on my toes.

I hope to age gracefully in the respect that I will keep an open mind, and accept the inevitable aches and pains without too much grousing.
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Good for you and thank you.
That is all I am hoping for as well.
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femmocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
14. Hell no! I'm fighting it with everything I've got!
It's catching up with me though.....
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Me too.
I am wondering how I'll be in 20 years, which is the age that my parents are and were. I give them just a bit more credit as the years roll by, because I'm not sure I'll be in it for the long haul, like they have been.

It's such a graduated process. You don't pay mind by the day perhaps.

But by the decade you sure as hell do.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
15. No.
I'm fat and wrinkly and I've earned every bulge and wrinkle. Fuck aging gracefully; I'm going down hard.
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HipChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
17. yes...I got asked out by an intern today...
However I'm old enough to be his mother...He said I should stop eating aged steak and start sampling veal..I am always getting ID'd..after a a while it gets old
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Haole Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
18. Um...
no.

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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
19. Hell no.
Grace is highly overrated.
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bluesbassman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
20. Nah, more like growing old disgracefully...
The purpose of lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave with a well-preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, completely used up, yelling and screaming, what a ride! Author Unknown

:evilgrin:

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BarenakedLady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
21. Kicking and screaming
Denial and self-delusion. That's how I roll (downhill).
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Silver Swan Donating Member (805 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
22. I don't know if I'm aging gracefully
But a friend of my daughter said I had aged well, so I'm satisfied with that.
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qnr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
23. Yeah, at least better than the majority of 52+ men that I know firsthand n/t
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
24. Depends on what you feel is "graceful"
My body and I disagree on many things. Besides having two heart attacks eleven years ago, a very bad relationship between me and diabetes, and a lot more ailments than I care to think of, I'd say that my mind and my body aren't exactly in sync. According to one of those "real age" quizzes, my body is 65, while chronologically, I'm only 53.

I rail against the inequities to some degree, but there are definitely times when I don't feel like denying anything.

Gracefully is when you accept your age, and I don't accept anything--ever, when it comes to preconceptions of what I'm supposed to be doing at this age. While memory loss comes and goes, I still play games to keep my mind a little sharp, I try to remain creative and not accept paradigms, and most of all, I try to learn something new every day. My mom gave up to some degree about ten years ago, and has succumbed to all the medical problems she has, but she's 81, so I guess she's entitled.

So, no, I don't think I'm growing old in any graceful sense, but my body and I completely disagree on that subject.
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #24
43. Such a reasoned answer.
Thanks.
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 05:04 AM
Response to Original message
25. Most of the time I can even fool myself...
So I must be doing okay. ;)
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velvet Donating Member (950 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
26. is it possible? I hope so
I worked in the arts most of my life and was generally a happy bohemian, but in the last few years I've needed a day-job and have been working part-time in an aged care facility. Here I am a care assistant for people who did, or chose not to, become a burden on their families, and for people who had no one to look after them when due to physical infirmity or dementia they became unable to look after themselves. Ours is not one of those places you read about in the news where people are neglected or demeaned, our management adheres to all the best practice standards and the staff bend over backwards all day every day to meet the individual needs of the people in our care.

And yet ... and yet ... not one of the staff, including me, would honestly say they'd wish to end their days here. Because no matter how good the clinical care is, no matter how nice the rooms and the grounds, how good the food, how many music mornings or bowls games or painting classes with Velvet are scheduled, it's not home. It's an institution. You have no say in who you live with. You shower or are helped to shower at set times, you eat at set meal-times and in the dining-room, unless you're ill. You have your own room and staff must knock before they enter but you have little real privacy, your every fart is documented. Government authorities require vast amounts of documentation and of course it is important and necessary but ... when I think about my intimate details recorded in some ever-fattening folder, I shudder.

I work with people who have had multiple mini-strokes who require two staff-members to shift them with a mechanical lifter from wheelchair to bed to commode and back again, because they cannot even stand, let alone walk. People with severe dementia who have no idea why they had to leave their own home and who try several times a day to go back there. People who when asked how they are reply "Alive, unfortunately." And people who have still have some ability to do things for themselves but have given up and given themselves over to passivity.

But I also work with people who, luckily, are not bewildered by dementia, and despite knee replacements, hip replacements or the onset of Parkinson's disease, are still able with the aid of those marvellously engineered roller-walkers, to get around by themselves. People who are still able to think for themselves, people who have friends and/or family who visit and take them on outings, people who enjoy their meals and the company of other residents and who participate in games and activities with grace and enthusiasm.

And I wonder which I'll be. I wonder what my old age, if I have one, will be like. I'm 58, single, no children, no siblings. I'm doing fine right now but each day on the job I see my possible future and everything in me cries "Nooooooooooooo!" I would rather die. I hope if the decisive moment ever comes I will have the means, the courage and the wit to do the job properly. But who knows - even the sharpest brains have been blunted by dementia and the will to live can be very strong despite tremendous physical suffering.

Please forgive the rant, I try hard to be professionally calm on the job and by and large I succeed, but it's been a particularly difficult day. People with dementia can be very demanding and today I've had a gutful. Kayakjohnny, your OP gave me an opening to vent a little, thanks. I'm gonna go make some art now, it's the best antidote to these kind of ruminations, dontcha know. :)
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
27. hell yes.
I'm sneaking up on 36. Most guess my age at 23-25. Still get carded for booze.
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Mad_Dem_X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
28. I think so.
I'm 43, in relatively good health (could stand to lose a bit of weight, which I'm working on), have only a few gray hairs on my head and barely any wrinkles. I don't feel my age, or act like it most of the time (ha, ha). Most people who know me say they can't believe I'm 43.
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My Good Babushka Donating Member (966 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
29. I hope so
I'm 36, but people think I'm much younger.
I think it's my awesome Charles Nelson Reilly T-shirt. You can see a picture of me wearing it.
http://www.mygoodbabushka.blogspot.com/
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
30. I think I am.
age 44 -- I'm very healthy, I work out a lot, I eat lots of vegetables & omega 3 oils & very little meat (no red meat x( ), I don't smoke, I'm not overweight, my face doesn't look that much older than it used to (a few forehead wrinkles, but I've had those for years). Oh, and I don't wear Mom Jeans. :)
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tblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #30
38. I could've written that.
Except I'm 52. People have always said I look much younger than my age. I know I dress much younger. I look weird in matronly clothes. So, it's leather jacket, jeans and boots in the winter and tank tops and capris in the summer. I weigh the same as when I was in HS -- but don't envy me! I work out like a crazy person (too much time!), and I'm vegetarian. Oh yeah! I got carded yesterday at Trader Joe's (again, don't be jealous, I think it was mandatory!), but the clerk told me "never in a million years" would he have guessed my age. So I guess I'm doing okay.

BUT I see the ALL the flaws and the wrinkles and the flab and the scars, etc. I have to try really, really hard every day to like what I see in the mirror.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. Yep -- the flaws just jump out at you like they're lit up in neon.
Sometimes you have to step back and try to see yourself as others see you.

:hi:
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
31. Keep up the running, jumping, and playing as much as you can, and you'll be okay.
The folks who aren't aging gracefully aren't doing that. I know a woman who is in her late 70s, who regularly comes to step aerobics. She's in better shape than many people in their 20s and 30s. There are a several others like her at my gym. One of them told me that exercise was what kept her alive and kicking. Then, she told me she was 76. She looks 10 years younger.

We're all going south, but as long as you can keep moving and try have some fun, you won't head there so quickly. Attitude is everything. Just remind yourself of the alternative daily. A little ibuprofen now and then doesn't hurt, either! ;-)
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av8rdave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
32. It depends on how you define "aging"
If we're talking gray hair and wrinkles, then no, I am not aging gracefully at all. Last year, my FAA Dr. made me change the "hair color" block on my medical form to "gray," the crow's feet around my eyes get ever deeper, I can't read without glasses and my skin in general shows plenty of signs of wear and tear.

But then again, everything still works. I still run and ride my motorcycle, and can ski just about any run without looking too foolish. I take the stairs instead of the elevator (OK, if I have my suitcases and/or it's more than 3 floors...), and I walk when on layovers unless I'm going a really long distance. I still have days where I'll walk 5 miles + if I'm in a nice town and the weather is good. In the last 3 1/2 months, I've zip lined, done tequila shots with friends, parasailed, and downed a few beers with my son while listening to some 20something band on 6th Street in Austin.

So if we're talking about living (vs. appearances), I think I'm aging pretty damned gracefully.

I just hope I can keep it up for a long time!

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azmouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
33. Yep. I'm 48 but most people think I'm only in my 30s.
I don't have wrinkles and I cover my gray hair with a realistic color.

I don't like the extra pounds I've put on as I've gone through my 40s but other than that I think I'm aging very well.
No aches or pains, and as for those miserable menopause years... no problems at all.
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Mopar151 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
34. Ain't no graceful about it
But I never was. Can't dance worth a shit no more tho, and that pisses me off. And Mrs. Mopar is in the same boat. But if we can get our pins under us a bit better, we may take ballroom lessons as rehab.
But when it comes to music and culture - not enough of the new gets through for us. She loves all that "nervous energy" in a lot of the new bands, and was enchanted by Amy Winehouse.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
35. I think I am. I'm a lot smarter and much wiser
My 50s were the best decade of my life up to then. I'm 61 now and still very curious about everything. I hope my 60 are good too. I'm much more self confident than I was when I was younger. I still find myself looking to the future with enthusiasm. I believe in change and that it'll come because I've seen lots of change in my life. Even when it seemed impossible to imagine change.

My body has become matronly and I have aches and pains but I don't mind any of it.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
36. If by "gracefully" you mean "kicking and screaming," then sure, why not? nt
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nickinSTL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
37. define "aging gracefully"
I don't consider that to mean aging without having age-related problems.

I consider it to mean that you accept that you're aging, and that it's natural and ok.

Someone who doesn't age gracefully, IMO, is someone who shells out thousands of dollars to "fix" the signs of aging via plastic surgery (which, even in the rare cases it looks ok, will eventually end up making them just look fake, again, IMO).

I'm balding, graying and getting wrinkles. And that's ok. It's natural. I have NO desire to fight natural aging.

I'm also exercising and eating healthier than ever in an attempt to be as healthy as I can for as long as I can.

Does that count as "aging gracefully"?

(disclosure: I'm only 37, so...ask me again in 20 years)
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
39. I'll be 53 soon and can still swim across lakes
no gray hair yet either....wht's aging? :D
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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. But...
Can you hear when someone shouts... PIRANHAS!!!

Oh dear... I better run!

:yoiks:
















:rofl:
:hide:
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clyrc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
42. I'm aging quickly
In most of my twenties I could still pass for a teenager, but I'm forty now and I look older. My hair is going gray fast and there are brown streaks on my face (inherited from my grandma) and I have many more wrinkles than my mom had at my age.

On the other hand, I like to believe I'm getting wiser (maybe it's just more oblivious, I really don't know.) If I could get some wisdom I would not look at the physical changes with so much despair.
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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
45. My body has been over-revved so many times...
My bounce back takes a bit. I'm still kicking though :)

:hi:
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. Precisely the same with me. I've been through so much with my body.
Not disease but hard adventure and good old wear and tear. It's also the reason my mind is so clear and positive.

I wake up with an agenda every day. It usually has something to do with moving. Not sitting still.

Cheers. :hi:
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TripleKatPad Donating Member (241 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
47. The beauty of getting older...
...is that I just don't care what anyone else thinks about how I look. I can't remember when I realized this, but when it happened, it was truly liberating. I sport my gray strands with pride. I earned them.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #47
51. Agreed!
The older you get, the less concerned you are with the opinions of others. It really is pretty liberating.
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #51
52. My uncle-in-law (63) had a great observation:
Edited on Mon Mar-15-10 08:33 AM by Richardo
"When I was young, I really cared what other people thought of me.

When I got to middle age, I didn't care WHAT other people thought of me.

Now as I get into my 60s, I realize no one was thinking about me in the first place."
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #47
55. I know exactly what you mean.
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mnhtnbb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
48. Up until our house burned down 2 1/1 years ago, I could pass for 10 years younger.
The stress after the fire aged me to the point that when I look in the mirror now, I think I look my age: 59.

I have gained weight in the last couple of years and I've just instituted a diet plan. I want to take
off 30 pounds. Hopefully, there will be some benefits to achieving that goal in helping me to feel
and look better.

I have no intention of becoming an old fart and I don't want to look like one, either!
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 03:54 AM
Response to Original message
49. my objective in life
is to become a cantankerous old coot. You kids get offa my lawn!

I let my hair grow in a few months ago, and I'm now starting to gray a bit at the temples. I shaved it off. Still no thinning. A few gray hairs in the goatee. No wrinkles. I'm overweight due to my disability, but I just had lap band surgery and am losing weight rapidly.

I can't do more than a slow walk due to the arthritis/fibromyalgia, but I get around. I keep my mind sharp by reading voraciously, and playing games for mental exercise.

I'm aging okay, I think.
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InternalDialogue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 04:02 AM
Response to Original message
50. Age Like Wine -- my favorite "I'm getting old" song
Basically -- "Too late to die young now"

Old timer, old timer
Too late to die young now
Old timer, five and dimer
Trying to find a way to age like wine somehow

My new stuff is nothing like my old stuff was
And neither one is much when compared to this show
Which will not be as good as some other one you saw
So help me I know, I know

I am an old timer, old timer
It's too late to die young now
Old timer, five and dimer
Trying to find a way to age like wine somehow

I've met every fool that ever signed their name up on these walls
In the backs of all these beer joints and concert halls
I've been through seven managers, five labels
A thousand picks and patch cables
Three vans, a band, a bunch of guitar stands
And cans and cans and cans of beer
And bottles of booze and bags of pot
And a thousand other things I forgot
I thought that I'd be dead by now
But I'm not.


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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
53. There are no pictures in this thread.
Curious.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
54. I think I am. At 63, I realize that I am aging and I accept that as just another part of life.
Since I've never considered myself to be a particularly pretty woman, I'm not really bothered by the aesthetics of the aging process. I've earned every wrinkle and gray hair that you see. My health is good, I still do my own yardwork, work full time at a job that I like and I have hobbies that I enjoy. I have family and friends close by and we have some really good times together.

I'll retire in a few years and the plan now is for me to live with my son and daughter-in-law and become a stay-at-home granny for their two young sons. I'm looking forward to that as I didn't have the luxury of being the stay-at-home mom that I would have preferred.

So, all in all, life is still good and one of my favorite lines comes from "Thoroughfare Gap" by Stephen Stills: "It's no matter, no distance, it's the ride".



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