How do you accept change as you age?

Posted by Scott, Volunteer Mentor @IndianaScott, Apr 8, 2020

Aging and accepting our changes is never easy!

One of my favorite sayings is ‘it’s a good thing our children grow older, but parents don’t!’ Often I wish this was true and while it’s a positive message, not our reality.

Like it or not, time and life take their toll on us and we change. However accepting these changes can be a challenge in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Both physically and emotionally I might add.

I remember well after caring for my wife for the first seven years of her war with brain cancer my dad passed away and I was able to get to his memorial service. I was very excited to see our two grandsons and decided being ‘as young as you feel’, and wanting to make up for lost time entered into a rousing game of Freeze Tag in the hotel’s front yard. All went well until I made too fast a deke and found myself flying across far more sod than I should have been! Result? Four broken ribs, a painfully long recovery, and a reminder I’m not as agile as I once was!

I also realize that the realistic view of our age is not relegated to ourselves alone. I’ve spoken with our adult children about this and they have said they don’t really see me as aging, but just as ‘Dad’, who they want to do all the same things with they have done in the past. On the other hand, our grandsons see me as ‘grandpa’ and are comfortable ‘just having me around’ especially if there happens to be a Dairy Queen nearby!

So it is I‘ve begun to think more about the importance of accepting the changes and limitations imposed on us as we advance in age. While I’m not cashing in any chips I don’t need to, I have found I do avoid a few challenges I used to gladly accept. For instance last summer I went whitewater rafting on some Class V rapids. After almost drowning, I have forgone any return trips to rivers with this class of rapids. I swim well, just not as far and as long as I used to be able to while fully clothed and in heavy gear.

While I miss those rapids and full contact Freeze Tag, I know why my grandmother often told me ‘discretion is the better part of valor’.

As you age, are you practicing discretion, even when you wish you didn’t have to? Is it hard like it is for me?

to Scott: As far as I'm concerned aging is a bloody, scary bore and should be eliminated -although the alternative – expiring – is not good either. We are in the midst of so much "ageism" today, which denies the wisdom and experience that comes with growing old. It angers me as we "old bats" have so much to offer young people – instead we tend to be discarded in the heap of humanity that appears uneducated too often and lacks standards of behavior. I am also appalled at the scores of young who have no sense of history , no knowledge of the past to learn from which is so often a lesson for the future. Sorry to be so negative about aging, but since I'll be 89 in two months , have lived an interesting life and plan to keep going – I feel I have a right to speak my mind.
I realize I'm out of sync with your formula for communication at Mayo clinic. connect, and will probably be corrected by the powers that be, so this just might be my last post.

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I'm with @sapphira. I'm 86 and have so much to share.

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cldmeyers: thanks. so you're a complainer too!

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@sapphira

to Scott: As far as I'm concerned aging is a bloody, scary bore and should be eliminated -although the alternative – expiring – is not good either. We are in the midst of so much "ageism" today, which denies the wisdom and experience that comes with growing old. It angers me as we "old bats" have so much to offer young people – instead we tend to be discarded in the heap of humanity that appears uneducated too often and lacks standards of behavior. I am also appalled at the scores of young who have no sense of history , no knowledge of the past to learn from which is so often a lesson for the future. Sorry to be so negative about aging, but since I'll be 89 in two months , have lived an interesting life and plan to keep going – I feel I have a right to speak my mind.
I realize I'm out of sync with your formula for communication at Mayo clinic. connect, and will probably be corrected by the powers that be, so this just might be my last post.

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@sapphira Agree that we have a lot to share. Good to hear from you!

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@cldmeyers

I'm with @sapphira. I'm 86 and have so much to share.

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Please share as much as you want, I, for one feel it's enlightening to listen to someone a little older than me. Your experiences and life's ups and downs can be of great value to others. Thank you in advance..Have a blessed day

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@sapphira

to Scott: As far as I'm concerned aging is a bloody, scary bore and should be eliminated -although the alternative – expiring – is not good either. We are in the midst of so much "ageism" today, which denies the wisdom and experience that comes with growing old. It angers me as we "old bats" have so much to offer young people – instead we tend to be discarded in the heap of humanity that appears uneducated too often and lacks standards of behavior. I am also appalled at the scores of young who have no sense of history , no knowledge of the past to learn from which is so often a lesson for the future. Sorry to be so negative about aging, but since I'll be 89 in two months , have lived an interesting life and plan to keep going – I feel I have a right to speak my mind.
I realize I'm out of sync with your formula for communication at Mayo clinic. connect, and will probably be corrected by the powers that be, so this just might be my last post.

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Your years of experiences have given you not only the right to speak up but an obligation to speak up. Anytime we can help someone else through our own experiences it becomes not just a right but a necessity. Please feel free to share.

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@lioness

@jeanie26 Like fiesty76 I just saw your post my condolences for the lose of your daughter Everytime you look at Kylie you,LL see your daughter how precious for you

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Awww thank you. I lost my daughter 5 years ago but the first 4 years was spent with attorneys, law enforcement etc. She died as a result of a motorcycle accident under circumstances that were questionable. Finally about a year ago everything was over and now according to my Dr. I am now allowing myself to grieve. I think I am dealing very well but I do have moments when I do grieve and that's okay.

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@jeanie26

Awww thank you. I lost my daughter 5 years ago but the first 4 years was spent with attorneys, law enforcement etc. She died as a result of a motorcycle accident under circumstances that were questionable. Finally about a year ago everything was over and now according to my Dr. I am now allowing myself to grieve. I think I am dealing very well but I do have moments when I do grieve and that's okay.

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@jeanie26 I'm so sorry for your lost As a Mom I don't think there could be anything worse then losing a child There is a grieve group on Mayo Don't have the link but some one will answer you @gingere

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@sapphira

to Scott: As far as I'm concerned aging is a bloody, scary bore and should be eliminated -although the alternative – expiring – is not good either. We are in the midst of so much "ageism" today, which denies the wisdom and experience that comes with growing old. It angers me as we "old bats" have so much to offer young people – instead we tend to be discarded in the heap of humanity that appears uneducated too often and lacks standards of behavior. I am also appalled at the scores of young who have no sense of history , no knowledge of the past to learn from which is so often a lesson for the future. Sorry to be so negative about aging, but since I'll be 89 in two months , have lived an interesting life and plan to keep going – I feel I have a right to speak my mind.
I realize I'm out of sync with your formula for communication at Mayo clinic. connect, and will probably be corrected by the powers that be, so this just might be my last post.

Jump to this post

Ya know I can agree with you on most of what you said, but aging is a bloody, scary bore? Hummm, tell me more about that. I will agree aging can be a little scary at times, or is it really? I think for most of us the process of aging carries with it wisdom, knowledge that only we can pass on, to those who care to listen. I agree that the younger generations have become extreme in their disrespect and lack of understanding of the values of the aging adult. but like it or not that's the world we live in. It is no longer the world we once knew. When I was growing up, the thought of ever talking to an adult like the kids do now , was just not heard of. A lot of what's going on in this world today, I don't agree with and I certainly don't understand, but I can't change the world so I avoid what I can and learn to live with others. It's terrible the way our youth are today but it terrible how their parents are too. But aging doesn't have to be a time of remorse or difficulty. These are OUR golden years and I for one intent to spend it with grace and doing things that make me happy. I love my great grandchildren with all my heart but I am not going to allow them to be disrespectful to me and not do something about it. I generally take them home when they get too out of line. My older grandchildren know that to disrespect me is a no no and that if they feel they can't help themselves, they need to leave. I intend to be happy and do whatever it is that makes me happy. When I was a young mother and wife I did for my children and my husband, when I was a grandmother I help my daughters with their children, as a great grandmother I helped with their children but now that the great grandchildren are older now and so independent and so free to say what they want, when they want, It's my turn. MY turn to be happy do the things I want to do and if that means I can't babysit when they seem to need one, oh well, Maybe it's important to me to visit a friend thats needs me, maybe I just want to sit home and watch tv. or maybe I want to go for a weekend away just for the heck of it. I wish you felt better about the aging process, I wish you were a little more positive about the fact that we have earned the right to do as we please and we don't always need to cater to our children and grandchildren. We have earned the right to be independent, well adjusted, happy older adults that have an abundance of knowledge for the whole world. Share it with all who care to listen. Welcome to the group.

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Jeannie: So, I'm having a grumpy day and posted a small tirade on agism , etc. Bloody (British slang) scary (potential illness), are just intros to how I'm feeling today. Usually I'm more optimistic. Ya see, I live in New York City and no longer (the Virus) can go to the ballet, museums, theater, movies or eat at a fine restaurant (yes I'm spoiled); see wonderful shops; go to the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station for crab cakes on Wednesday nights; etc. etc. I've lost too many friends – many younger than me – so I get lonely. I have no family remaining since I lost my darling baby sister 4 yrs. ago; just a couple of good
friends remain and I'm thankful for them. I'm glad you find these years "golden" – perhaps I'm too cynical but I miss having my busy , exciting, traveling business years as an attractive, lively woman of the world. Oh, one positive I can share: The Frick Museum , which is my favorite NYC museum, has a marvelous program every Wednesday and Friday at 5pm here, where a curator reviews a work of art (it's on Youtube) so brilliantly that a friend and I usually discuss it after the viewing. I am a member of the museum, so it comes to me free. Perhaps you can google Frick Museum "cocktails with a curator" – that's Friday nights and see it – if you like art. Yes, I'm independent , questionably adjusted, not always happy older lady fed up with the ugliness I see around me, and adjusting in my own way, my own style which is feisty to say the least. Adieu.

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@jeanie26

Ya know I can agree with you on most of what you said, but aging is a bloody, scary bore? Hummm, tell me more about that. I will agree aging can be a little scary at times, or is it really? I think for most of us the process of aging carries with it wisdom, knowledge that only we can pass on, to those who care to listen. I agree that the younger generations have become extreme in their disrespect and lack of understanding of the values of the aging adult. but like it or not that's the world we live in. It is no longer the world we once knew. When I was growing up, the thought of ever talking to an adult like the kids do now , was just not heard of. A lot of what's going on in this world today, I don't agree with and I certainly don't understand, but I can't change the world so I avoid what I can and learn to live with others. It's terrible the way our youth are today but it terrible how their parents are too. But aging doesn't have to be a time of remorse or difficulty. These are OUR golden years and I for one intent to spend it with grace and doing things that make me happy. I love my great grandchildren with all my heart but I am not going to allow them to be disrespectful to me and not do something about it. I generally take them home when they get too out of line. My older grandchildren know that to disrespect me is a no no and that if they feel they can't help themselves, they need to leave. I intend to be happy and do whatever it is that makes me happy. When I was a young mother and wife I did for my children and my husband, when I was a grandmother I help my daughters with their children, as a great grandmother I helped with their children but now that the great grandchildren are older now and so independent and so free to say what they want, when they want, It's my turn. MY turn to be happy do the things I want to do and if that means I can't babysit when they seem to need one, oh well, Maybe it's important to me to visit a friend thats needs me, maybe I just want to sit home and watch tv. or maybe I want to go for a weekend away just for the heck of it. I wish you felt better about the aging process, I wish you were a little more positive about the fact that we have earned the right to do as we please and we don't always need to cater to our children and grandchildren. We have earned the right to be independent, well adjusted, happy older adults that have an abundance of knowledge for the whole world. Share it with all who care to listen. Welcome to the group.

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@jeanie26 So what would you say to those of us who do not have children/grandchildren and not as outgoing?

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@sapphira

Jeannie: So, I'm having a grumpy day and posted a small tirade on agism , etc. Bloody (British slang) scary (potential illness), are just intros to how I'm feeling today. Usually I'm more optimistic. Ya see, I live in New York City and no longer (the Virus) can go to the ballet, museums, theater, movies or eat at a fine restaurant (yes I'm spoiled); see wonderful shops; go to the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station for crab cakes on Wednesday nights; etc. etc. I've lost too many friends – many younger than me – so I get lonely. I have no family remaining since I lost my darling baby sister 4 yrs. ago; just a couple of good
friends remain and I'm thankful for them. I'm glad you find these years "golden" – perhaps I'm too cynical but I miss having my busy , exciting, traveling business years as an attractive, lively woman of the world. Oh, one positive I can share: The Frick Museum , which is my favorite NYC museum, has a marvelous program every Wednesday and Friday at 5pm here, where a curator reviews a work of art (it's on Youtube) so brilliantly that a friend and I usually discuss it after the viewing. I am a member of the museum, so it comes to me free. Perhaps you can google Frick Museum "cocktails with a curator" – that's Friday nights and see it – if you like art. Yes, I'm independent , questionably adjusted, not always happy older lady fed up with the ugliness I see around me, and adjusting in my own way, my own style which is feisty to say the least. Adieu.

Jump to this post

@sapphira Love your spunk and frankness!

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