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Old Age

Put into Perspective

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Beach  Male  Dorset 7-Jun-2019 01:23 Message #4741402
Growing up, I thought I had a reasonable understanding of what LIFE might have in store for me and I comprehended the concept of a work ethic to build the foundations of such a life.

I held a romantic idea of (and found) a love that could last for decades … and it did … with Jackie.

Having children also fell into a pattern I felt I was ready to embrace …

In hindsight, (and in truth), I lived the first 40 years of my life in, just about, utter bliss! (Enjoying love story from aged 20 to aged 40).

Then I got (internationally) successful in business … though the wheel fell off my marriage… and I spent the following decade (from 1999 – 2009) pouring out my heartbreak, angst and mental breakdown that followed examining the human condition via a friendship and dating site called Midsummer on the internet. (First via personal messaging individual folk and, later, via Midsummer forums).

I rallied in my 50’s, reinvented myself, adopting a stress free alternate lifestyle, (focussing on HAPPINESS not business), and pursued a no strings, irresponsible, attitude to sex and “having a good time” … until the novelty of that superficial lifestyle wore off.

And then I hit 60 … and it was like hitting a wall.

I thought I was old. I felt old. Jeez. At 60, you are old, aren’t you?

And I’ve felt that way these last two years. (I’m now 62).

Except … I had a phone call from my younger sister last week.

“It’s Dad. He’s in hospital, Chris. You have to come up”, she informed me.

And when I saw Dad?

He’s 89 … He’s frail … He’s confused … He’s OLD.


I now realise …

I realise I’m ONLY 62.

I’m trim … I’m fit … I’m healthy … I’m erudite … I’m mischievous … I’m gregarious … I’m loved ...

I’m a million things …

But I’m not OLD … Not just yet. :-)

Please share any thoughts you’ve had, (or been confronted with), that have encouraged or forced you to reconsider your outlook on life. (For good, bad or otherwise).
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 7-Jun-2019 11:49 Message #4741417
When I was in my mid thirties and newly divorced I realised that when you get to 21 you realise there are no more milestone birthdays for another 9 years and you're officially grown up, so you semi-conciously start behaving like a grown up or your idea of what one should be. When I hit 30 I felt a great weight lift from my shoulders, midway through that decade I realised that I'd spent my 20's playing at being a grown up and the first half of my thirties casting off the shackles of the previous 35 years. I stopped caring about how old I was and to an extent whether something was age appropriate, when another relationship ended in my early forties, where I'd felt tied down to premature middle age and had been fighting it, I went to university, the best thing I ever did for myself. Now by and large I don't give a damn, I live for me and by my own values and that includes doing what I can to help others and the planet. So far I've nearly died 3 times, being close to death gives one a totally different outlook on life, death isn't an enemy anymore, its not exactly a friend either, I don't fear being dead, just how it happens with all the mess and pain. I feel I've learnt from death how to live and live by my own lights, not those of others, so I both don't care and love deeply.
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 7-Jun-2019 12:06 Message #4741421
A lot of 'old' people put me to shame now...I have struggled for a few years, and am only 61, coming up 62 in a month...My mind is more active than my body, but I don't think my body is going to last much longer, and the mind will go with it... to whichever graveyard we end up in.

My dad died aged 64, and I was a mere youngster then at 34...but now...not far off my dads age.

A lot of people in their 80's are amazing...They seem more amazing in todays age, than old people seemed to be years ago, if you know what I mean...Old people used to seem really old...Maybe it's just a perspective thing...but I remember, years ago, old people in their 80's who looked like really old people in their 80's...nowadays, a lot seem to look amazing to be that age..

I can't imagine me at that age though, especially if I have totally lost it by then, so hopefully I will go peacefully before then.
Orson  Male  Tayside 7-Jun-2019 15:39 Message #4741427
To many who are sepia tented
Have forgotten when they experimented
And if your page is yellowed with age
There really is no excuse for wearing beige.
Aely  Female  Hampshire 7-Jun-2019 17:59 Message #4741432
I am 71. I find it hard to believe. How did I get here? What happened to the past 10 years? They came , they went, nothing memorable. I have reached the "Ah, bless" age, the age when if you say anything to anybody under the age of 50 they say "Ah, bless" as if in wonderment that anybody so old has an opinion let alone feels it necessary to voice it.
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 7-Jun-2019 18:46 Message #4741437
I think everybodies expectations of what they can do has expanded, looking back at old photos my mum and my nan wore almost identical clothes, maybe there were only two types of people then children and adults? Now we've grown up with the idea of identity as more individual and tribal, seeing a 70 year old hippy or an elderly person in a gym dosen't seem that odd, I think we're all better for it and as Orson so cleverly say theres no excuse for wearing beige.
Aely  Female  Hampshire 7-Jun-2019 21:16 Message #4741448
WH when I was a young child I dreaded the day when I would hit old age (50?), wake up one morning, look in the mirror and discover my hair had become short, curly and lavender coloured, while my clothes had magically transformed into a mid shin-length skirt, twinset and pearl necklace. Actually I didn't mind the pearls!
fosy  Male  Leicestershire 7-Jun-2019 22:15 Message #4741451
when you see news clips/films from, say, the 1940/50s, people did look old, a 50 something looking like a 70yo.
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 7-Jun-2019 23:38 Message #4741455
I can remember being sat on a bus, and worried.
Because in 5 years time I would be 24, and that is old.
People did look older years ago, longer hours etc.
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 8-Jun-2019 09:30 Message #4741466
I quite like beige ;-)
Orson  Male  Tayside 18-Jun-2019 16:18 Message #4742271
One imagines that someone has to, Nigel.
mancers  Male  Greater Manchester 18-Jun-2019 17:11 Message #4742281
I’m only as old as the people I grew up with, apart from those who are not here anymore.
Sea Urchin  Female  Essex 21-Jun-2019 08:08 Message #4742466
I don't actually feel old at all; certainly have not slowed up in any way. It is only when looking in the mirror that I realise I have aged. Or perhaps the mirror just needs a good clean? : -)
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 25-Jun-2019 07:27 Message #4742728
My eyesight has deteriorated in the past few years and I now look younger in the mirror.

FAITHY  Female  North Yorkshire 7-Jul-2019 20:37 Message #4744140
tsunamiwarrior, I know what you mean. When I look in the mirror not wearing my glasses, I do not look too bad but if I have my glasses on, Well there is a different picture!!! Ha Ha
FAITHY  Female  North Yorkshire 7-Jul-2019 20:37 Message #4744141
tsunamiwarrior, I know what you mean. When I look in the mirror not wearing my glasses, I do not look too bad but if I have my glasses on, Well there is a different picture!!! Ha Ha
FAITHY  Female  North Yorkshire 7-Jul-2019 20:41 Message #4744142
tsunamiwarrior, I know what you mean. When I look in the mirror not wearing my glasses, I do not look too bad but if I have my glasses on, Well there is a different picture!!! Ha Ha
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 7-Jul-2019 21:16 Message #4744146
Haha FAITHY. I hope you’re not nagging me. ;)
Beach  Male  Dorset 7-Jul-2019 23:44 Message #4744167
Losing one's eyesight or witnessing it deteriorating is a very common, (and early), symptom of ageing and I find myself realising that if I didn't have a pair of glasses to hand then even routine tasks like reading a paper or a smartphone screen … or tying a hook on a fishing trace … would be simply impossible to do without such an aid.

I guess, if we had lived 10,000 or 20,000 or even 100,000 years ago, bad eye sight might have contributed to ending our days early in our 30's or 40's … unless our tribe might have looked after their infirmed or elderly folk.

Apparently, some prehistoric tribes did because human fossils have been found where extremely serious injuries, (that should have killed a person), have been shown to have been healed, (or scarred), indicating that someone was fed, watered and nursed back to health despite suffering injuries that should have killed them.

Old age must represent a different state of being these days compared to prehistoric times because, today, some of us might expect to live way into our 80's or 90s.

It does beg the question though.

What quality of life might we have even if we did, (or do), live so long?

I mean, (as I am only now beginning to comprehend), is dementia the default, most natural, way we might expect a truly elderly person to pass away from?
RAACH84  Female  Buckinghamshire 8-Jul-2019 06:45 Message #4744179
As we live longer we are seeing more dementia sufferers. It can’t be halted as other illnesses can. I would only want to be old if the health and quality of life came with it.
Beach  Male  Dorset 8-Jul-2019 08:24 Message #4744186
Morning, RAACH,

Do you think health and quality of life, as a priority, means that, perhaps, we here in the UK should consider allowing assisted dying like in Canada, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and parts of the United States?

We don't, currently, have such a system, partly, it seems, because there are fears the system could be abused, (with relatives forcing or coercing other relatives into applying for assisted dying in order to speed up or benefit from wishes outlined in a will), but I'm not sure that is a realistic fear given that we already have "Do not resuscitate" rules in our hospitals.

I'm of the view that assisted dying is a way of allowing folk to pass away in an acceptable, even calm or rewarding way. :-)
RAACH84  Female  Buckinghamshire 8-Jul-2019 08:31 Message #4744188
Hi Beach. I hear a lot of peple discussing how they would sooner be assisted to die rather than spend an unhappy life in bad health or suffering. They go into some detail taking about ways and means that are painless and the family won't get into trouble for assisting. We often see the comparison of not letting an animal suffer in the same way.
I think it will come to the UK and it will be a comfort to many knowing they can do this.
Beach  Male  Dorset 8-Jul-2019 15:52 Message #4744203
Goodness. When you put it that way, where we, indignantly, all get up in arms about animals suffering ... yet find ourselves content to allow humans to suffer and linger a long, possibly, painful death, it seems like some people in some countries, (and we in the UK), have got priorities wrong. :-(
persona_non_grata  Male  North London 8-Jul-2019 18:14 Message #4744207
Yes it’s a funny old world, in the U.K, especially anything involving animals and pets.
wholelottakaren  Female  Lincolnshire 8-Jul-2019 22:57 Message #4744227
Well, at the ripe old age of 62 I am training for an SIA door supervisor licence. And why not? Old dog - new tricks

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