Today’s column may be geared toward us older folks, but it’s not intentional. In fact, I’d recommend all you younger generations take note of what I’ve noticed lately since you will be following along behind us shortly.
I’ve noticed an increased reference to age lately as I interact with people I know, as well with complete strangers that cross my path. Perhaps it’s just me, but it appears everyone is concerned with the numbers connected to them. Personally, I’ve never let the years bother me a whole lot since it’s a useless endeavor that we have absolutely no control over.
As I said, it seems to come up in the conversation a bit more than, say, 25 years ago. I suppose folks are more aware of the aging process with all the miracle creams that promise to take away the wrinkles, the trips to the gym that tout the virtue of a flat belly, and pills sold as vitamins that say they will reverse the years.
While we may be tempted to jump on the “stay-young-forever” bandwagon we have not lost our ability to know the difference between truth and untruths!
With that said, let me clarify my position. I do take vitamins, and I do exercise and yes, I do use cream morning and night to smooth the wrinkles, but I am fully aware that short of a body make-over and a facelift my outside has begun to age.
Therein is my problem; my body is 75, but my mind still thinks it is 25! While this has its advantages, there are some pitfalls I have encountered recently. One was my yearly medical check-up where my young doctor that is kindness itself reminded me that I needed to have some of those annoying tests for ‘folks my age.’ Furthermore, I made a comment that my legs were tired after standing at the keyboard to play for choir at my church and the pastor said ever so thoughtfully that they could lower the keyboard and let me sit to play.
The final slap of reality occurred this morning when my daughter said she had seen a meme on Facebook to send to me where the lady’s mind said, “You may think you’re twenty-five, but your body disagrees!”
Now, if all of this seems like a downer to us folks living our golden years let me encourage you to look at the advantages we have on the younger generation. First of all, we have the advantage of time and experiences on our side. We have been there — done that — and decided whether we wanted to repeat the experience. Plus, the years have brought memories that we can unwrap in a moment’s time. If the moment happens to be in public, no one is going to chastise us if the laughter or tears burst forth. Oh, we might get a few strange glances from passersby, but, after all, we are older, so we rule!
As a final suggestion you can do what I’ve learned to do when my 25-year-old mind snickers at what my 75-year-old body is attempting to do. I calmly remind my brain and body that they are in this adventure for the long haul and they might as well work together to get us from point A to point B all in one piece.
Another nugget of encouragement is to stay involved in your community. We have Pioneer Day coming up on Saturday, Oct. 12, in the Veteran’s Park in Mayo and the Florida Forest Festival in the Forest Capital Museum State Park in Perry on Saturday, Oct. 26.
My mind and body plan to be there, and I’d love to see all of you there too.