Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who Me, Old?

Friend Chris in California sent me an article about how people view old age. It seems that most people consider old age a number 20 years older that they happen to be. So that makes my idea of old age 102.

Back when I was still working, one of my colleagues (who was around 45 at the time) referred to someone as "elderly." I asked her how she defined that word. She replied that it meant people around 65. I was 62 at the time myself and hardly thought of myself as elderly.
I guess I am more than elderly now and my body is indeed, elderly, old, ancient; I am a senior citizen, a golden ager - in short, a geezer. My ears have grown longer, my toenails are the consistency of rhinoceros horn, and if I get down on the floor, I must perform a few gymnastic didoes to get up again. I can no longer run, leap in the air, play hopscotch or jump rope.

The thing is, in spite of those limitations, I still don't think of myself as "elderly." Like many people of advanced age, I forget about it until I see that old person in the mirror, or until I hear people of my age referred to as old. Someone recently mentioned seeing this old lady walking her dog. That "old lady" is one of my neighbors who is a few years younger than I and in perfect shape. I've never thought of her as an "old lady" fa cryin' out loud. So what does that make me? Oy!

Age is a state of mind, I think. Some people are old at 40. We're all much younger than our parents were at our age, aren't we? So no matter how decrepit, we are probably all old-age deniers unless we dwell on the negatives that come along with surviving. Oh, and people in California just pretend it doesn't exist, thus making plastic surgeons very wealthy.

1 comment:

anne bebbington said...

Hi there, just found your blog via a link from Nancy, near Philadelphia. I believe that only lucky people get old, unlucky people die before then (I lost a very dear friend to cancer at 37 and a previous partner aged 33 in a car accident) Getting older has its drawbacks but hey! live life to the full as if every day is your last and enjoy it!