“Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.” – Benjamin Disraeli
Now the real question; when are these milestones in order?
Well, it’s a very individual matter .
Now, those of you who follow my blog know I write about the first world, and people who want to improve themselves, and mostly educated and responsible. That does not negate the fact that other groups have issues around aging and indeed some cultures do care for and respect their elderly in better fashion.
What we usually see are individuals who in youth take everything for granted about their looks, health, strength, and capabilities. They are looking ahead and coping just fine for the most part.
Middle age, which can be about forty begins to set some new challenges. And again, age is how you look, feel, and behave. Not to mention the grandmas in ultra miniskirts!
I have known people in their thirties who were ‘old,’ in their manner. And I have known people, especially these days, in their eighties that are youthful, and great to be around.
It seems to boil down to attitude and of, course, physical and mental wellbeing.
Now again some people with minor health problems succumb to complaining and making their Medicare card a trip to Disneyland in the form of doctors and hospitals. It is a constant activity and topic for conversation. They find one another and jibber-jabber all day and night about the idiosyncrasies of their bodies, pills and treatments.
Aging occurs if you live long enough… no news here.
With men, first signs may be loss of hair… devastating for many. Some lessening of strength. Bones may ache, and wrinkles can occur. Pot bellies are rampant.
Women, on the other hand suffer in different fashion. If once beautiful some of that may change and again wrinkles and lines while they may make a man look distinguished make a woman feel less desirable. There do seem to be many more good-looking women than men and not just from face lifts and make-up. Men do get face work done more these days but they do not have the benefit of make-up.
Coloring hair is common with women, and some men Some of it just looks awful!.
They all like to exercise and eat right and keep in shape.
Men usually continue to work and some women as well and that is stimulating and helps with being involved and vital.
Many women continue their roles as homemaker and caring for the family so they do not change role as frequently as men when they retire.
A man alone seems to need a woman more than a woman needs a man, with aging. And there are a lot more widows.
When the AARP card comes it is a shock for many and is a message. True there are some benefits but they do not outweigh the fact that time is moving on. The message is now not how many years I have lived but how many years do I have left to live.
People do a variety of things during these phases. Men find younger women and fancy cars, to feel virile and women make themselves ‘needed’ to others.
Sex is a big change and can be non-existent for many which is a biggy for men. Some women never really enjoyed it and even the thought of ‘toys’ or vibrators are abhorrent.
Knowing what the inevitable is for all of us we make plans and think about these issues. Many just block that whole business out and let the children or lawyers or others do the planning. The roles are reversed in many cases with children taking care of elderly parents. That’s a whole other story.
In the end, we all do it as we have lived. We are the culmination of our life’s experiences and we have matured, become compassionate, and wise or we can be bitter and nasty.
Being as lively as we are able in whatever areas we can and doing things for others seem to soften the blow. We are here until we are NOT!
“ Giving up is the ultimate tragedy.” – Robert J. Donovan
How long would you like to live? Do you have a role model in aging?