Friday, February 22, 2013

Old fogies and other myths

When you hear the term “senior citizen” what comes to your mind?

A lot of that will depend on your age.  I’ve heard it described that “middle age” is when you are at the center of the youngest and oldest person you know.  It’s all about perspective.

For those young whippersnappers hearing the moniker “senior citizen” they probably picture someone drooling on themselves while sitting in a wheelchair wearing depends.  At an earlier point in my life that was probably how I viewed growing old.

My views have changed, or matured, if you will.  The earlier images that shaped my perspective of what it was to grow old were based largely on my home community and family in particular.  This is unfortunate because it gave me a false reading of what the situation could be.  Traveling throughout the south and meeting many other seniors, some more senior than me, have forever altered that viewpoint.

In my family to reach your seventies was to be evading death and by the late seventies and earlier eighties all the fight was gone.  These people (who I’m still not convinced I really belong to) were old before their time.  I’ve often had fantasies of being switched at birth or secretly adopted…there’s no way I could have come from this bunch.

During our travels I have met some delightful people who have eliminated any residual fears of aging that I might have had.  There was Lila, a spritely little woman I had the pleasure of meeting at a restaurant in Quartzite.  She was alive, vivacious and full of fun as she pushed ninety years young.

And if the mental state wasn’t encouraging enough, I recently met two ladies aged 71 and 81 who I had the pleasure of playing pickleball with.  Sure, I was ready to go easy on the old gals…but it wasn’t necessary.  They kicked my partner’s and my butts!  Julia has a serve that is almost unstoppable.

This feisty dynamo of 80 plus years is interesting and inspirational.  She is also an Escapee member and lives full time traveling about the country.  She loves to golf and hike as well as beat up pickle ball players much younger than herself. 

In addition to the physical side of her life she is politically aware and follows current events far better than I do.  Meeting someone like this and not getting totally buzzed is impossible.

I always figured I’d have maybe another twenty years left of this life on earth and I’d just take it easy and hope for the best.  Now I see that it can be the best years of my life and there’s no reason not to be physically fit and active.

So I want to give thanks to all my new role models out there who have shown me a new direction for the final chapters of my life and proving that the best is yet to come. 

Long Live the Queen of the Seniors


  1. Boy, you are right up my alley. My mother was my role model. She was still the champion bowler in Tampa when she was in her 80's and she also was a snap at the bridge table, something that takes some smarts. She always said she hoped she died doing something she loved and never gave it another thought. Well, she was brushing her teeth, so that didn't quite fit her plan, but they found her sitting on the floor with her toothbrush in her hand ... she never knew and that is how I want to go. But, that said, like you, I have no plans of leaving any time soon and I have a bucket list a mile long that will keep me hopping until that day comes.

    Izzi is my godsend. She keeps me on the move. There is no sitting around when she is here. And, the agility that we do together keeps us both fit and smart (that is not to say I don't have some ... maybe even frequent, old poop moments). The plan was for her to do that for both my right brain husband and me, but he got sick and it took his ability to do much away. She still keeps him moving, but not enough. We will work on the taking walks when the weather improves.

    I love meeting old peole, they are so full of wisdom and fun. Good clean sense of humors and stories that will keep you rolling on the floor. I also admire their spunk. What about the lade 102 years old who stood in line for four hours to vote because she wouldn't be deprived. What a gal! So Queen of Inpiration ... lets do this. Lets live until we drop and not waste a minute:) Thanks, you got my blood running this morning ...:)

    Andrea @ From The Sol

  2. Andrea said it all! I too have plans to be around for quite a bit longer. At my 100th birthday party (which my daughter Audrey has promised me) I plan to be surrounded by, and enjoying, all my elderly children. Good Lord!! What a thought!

    There are still lots of things I want to do, and photos I want to take. I'm comfortable with my age. I think it's fabulous that you and your hubby are enjoying your retirement so much. You have a great day, hugs, Edna B.