We’ve all heard the saying, “growing old is not for sissies”, right? Well, now that I’m 65 I’m starting to live that saying and experiencing it up close and personal. At first, it started out as only minor inconveniences: I couldn’t see the newspaper or computer without my glasses or readers, when I finished a meal, I had enough food in my teeth for a snack later, the name of that actor I’ve loved for decades is on the tip of my tongue, but it just won’t come to mind, and my face began slowly sliding toward my navel and got the strangest brown spots that cropped up on a daily basis. The list goes on, until eventually more serious problems began.
For me, I have been plagued by a very bad back which ended in two major surgeries in two years time. The year after, I shattered a wrist that required a plate and screws, then my knee had to be replaced. I have so much metal in my body that the screeners at airports just shake their heads and motion me over to get the invasive pat down. My husband jokes that when I die, and am cremated as I have requested, at least the kids will have a remembrance of their dear old mom. The metal will remain in the pile of ashes that was me, and they can make wind chimes out of them. As the soft breezes blow the chimes, they will always think of their dear, sweet mother! Charming sentiment, huh!?
But, I have to say, without the advances in medicine in my lifetime, if I had been born only a hundred years earlier, I would either be dead or in a wheelchair by now. Learning to cope with my life at a slow downed pace is proving to be the hardest part of growing old, and yes, I am a sissy! Sixty-five is not old in these times, and so many of my contemporaries are still out there doing anything and everything they want to do. I’m trying to learn how to continue to participate in this life, not be a burden to my family and friends, keep a positive attitude, and push on, but it’s hard.
The best thing that I have done in the last year was write a book with my sister. She is 64 and we’re very close. We could not have done anything better together. What a joy it has been to work on the book, come up with story lines, plots, and characters. Our brains have been running a mile a minute, and it has been glorious. I can’t recommend this exercise enough. Maybe I can’t walk the mall for hours, or jog through the airport, but by golly, I can put my thoughts into the computer and have a ball doing it. Our book, Rainbow’s End, is out now on Amazon in Kindle form and as a paperback. It’s basically about two widowed sisters in their seventies, who have moved in together in a retirement community in Key West, Fl. There’s humor, unusual characters, and some intrigue in the book, but the best part has been the process of writing and getting the book published. If you read, Rainbow’s End, by JB Bonds (a pen name), let us know what you think. We’ve actually started writing story lines for Book Two.
So, here’s to all you “Boomers” out there. Keep your mind moving, keep your family and friends close, laugh A LOT, and keep smiling.
If there’s anyone out there who would like to offer suggestions, opinions on growing old gracefully, of accepting the hand they’ve been dealt, then please, let’s start a conversation. There are so many of us “baby boomers”, and I know we’re all starting to feel the ravages of time, maybe some more than others. As a group, we need to communicate and stick together.