5 MYTHS ABOUT AGING


I was standing at a dinner party with a group of women recently when one of them said…

(and let me interject here, that the woman was super tall, elegant, and weighed about a pound and a half)

MYTH 1

….“I just love getting older. You become so much more confident.”

I almost did a spit-take. “Seriously? I’m not.”

“I noticed a slight edge to her voice. “How can you say that? I feel even more attractive and more sure of myself. “ She looked me over with a disapproving eye. “You don’t?”

“Nope. I had much more confidence in my twenties and thirties. I was prettier for one thing.”

Another woman tentatively whispered: “That was honest.”

.

The woman snapped, “You look fine now.”

“Exactly. I rest my case.”

MYTH 2

Age is just a number.

Tell that to your knees.

There you are at the gym. You stop your workout for a moment to check your Instagram account, feeling all Millennial or even Gen Z and then some 23-year-old muscleman casts a critical eye at your sad bony legs.

In the old days you could get old. And fat. You could wear anything. Sensible shoes. Why not throw away the wired bra? Bald spot? Wear it proudly. You earned every empty follicle.

Today no one lets you off the hook. You can’t open a newspaper where there isn’t an item on how much exercise you need to do. You’re never too old to start. Keep up the standards. And they keep changing the damn numbers. 150 hours of vigorous, heart-pounding exercise. Why not 200? Why not just all day? Stand, don’t sit. Walk, don’t ride.

And as a bonus you get so much more skin….Where does all that skin come from?

MYTH 3

It doesn’t matter if you can’t remember a name. Give it time. You’ll remember.

I know I’ve covered this before and I came up with the solution. Relax. It’ll come eventually. Well that really works when you are sitting in a meeting and going through the alphabet like mad twice and you still can’t remember and you’re sweating, and when you finally remember, the conversation has marched on, and you’ve been so busy trying to remember, you haven’t heard a word they were saying.

I’m always struck by the scene in a cop show when they ask: where were you on the evening of June 11th? That was three weeks ago. Are you kidding? Last night, maybe I stand a chance. So let me just say here and now, don’t count on me to furnish you with an alibi.

MYTH 4

Retirement is wonderful. I’ve never been so busy.

Oh really? Doing what? Going to doctors? Playing golf?

Plus it gives you so much extra time to worry. You reach for something and…Ow! My back! Oh oh, I better Google that. It could be…well it could be…. annnnything.

MYTH 5

With age comes wisdom.

In the old days kids listened to you. They thought you had wisdom…. or maybe they were just polite. But you thought you had wisdom, which really was all that counted.

I remember my mother at the age of 85 telling me that the only thing she has learned after all those 85 years is that four prunes are too many. Three are enough. The truth is I only hope to have learned as profound a lesson in my life.

However there are 5 honest good things about aging. (I’m not sure that they compensate, but they do help.)

MORE THAN 5 GOOD THINGS ABOUT AGING

You really are wiser. You can see a shit-storm brewing. You know how to dodge the bullet. You know how to fake it.

You worry less about politics. You remember Viet Nam and Watergate. If you lived through that, you can live through anything. This too shall pass. Though I hasten to add not quickly enough.

You can stop trying to change your partner. That ship sailed long ago

You don’t slouch. You listened to your mother.

You know what you like. My Grandmother (with me in the picture) happened to like getting married. Which she did. Often.

You don’t HAVE to go out every Saturday night. You can be tucked up in the beddies, binging Big Little Lies or Vera reruns.

Sometimes you get a seat on the bus.

You can’t see your face properly first thing in the morning.

If you’re retired you could be doing something profitable and educational with your extra time, like watching more TV.

You can go to Matinees, instead of bolting your dinner to get to the theater before the curtain.

But, of course, the best good is thing is we’re still here, enjoying our friends and lovers and relatives and kids and grandkids, taking memorable trips, having a chilled glass of wine, loving the sunshine, grumbling in the rain, sighing with delight as we slip into bed, and that amazing feeling of pulling back the curtains to see the sun in the morning.. All the parties and the dinners and the laughs and the silly gossip. And we are still here appreciating them even more than we did before.

Because we’ve learned through the years what’s really good in life.

TURNING POINTS from Crowd-Writing

a book by Shelley Katz

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