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?

Oh yay! I totally get it. You’ve done awesome stuff. Self control is part of it. Got a few broken bones and a whole lot of bruises due to my fault and others (lack of control) There were three women in my school and on the training floor nobody made amends for your gender or size. I feel like I earned every belt based on my ability and guts. I took that energy into my profession and held my own in a board room of men, who tried to place a “ glass ceiling” on my professional journey. Eventually, I was given the opportunity to run a women’s group (women in transition) where I hoped I was able to encourage the group and grow in my personal life. So, who says we don’t train everyday, huh? I’m pleased to meet you, Ginger. Thank you for sharing your story. You may have heard of Professor Emperado. He was instrumental in establishing Kajukenbo and may have meet your instructor. Small world

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@gingerw

@virgo52 I trained under Chuck Norris's stunt double back in the 80s. It was a mix of a karate form and jiu-jitsu. I had to quit before I went too far, because my mind could not separate that practices were not an actual self-defense situation for real. The first time I had a one-on-one challenge with instructor's assistant, I almost put him in the hospital. In doing Tai Chi Chuan (Yang Family Long Style) which is actually a martial art, I also practiced with wooden swords in the advanced training. I was the "token female" in 24 student weaponless defense training class for a small police dept. They took bets I wouldn't last the first day. I did (4) eight hr days in a row, and earned not only their respect, but some awesome black-and-blue bruises!
Ginger

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Wow, @gingerw!

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Our appearance is first to change. We see through it but the younger people see the age in the face and body as near worn out and think the mind and spirit is too.

What might be lost or slowed in quick thinking, is more than made up for, by experience. Give me a minute to search my memory for that lost word or whatever else I’m trying to think of and I’ll provide insight that others don’t have.

Think of us as Yoda or a great Indian Chief.

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@hopeful33250

Such a sweet looking dog, @IndianaScott. How much does he weigh now?

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She has plateaued at between 58 and 60 pounds, @hopeful33250

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@gingerw

@barbb I got mine at Wal-Mart. I am sure there are many places you can go, be it there, or any sporting goods section of a store. Mine have a metal tip to use on trails, to dig into soil and shale, but the pair I have come with a cover for use on sidewalks or pavement. Hope this helps.
Ginger

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Thanks Ginger it is helpful yo know the tips come wit a cover – for sidewalks!

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@IndianaScott

Hi @hopeful33250 I see quite a few folks, especially in Minnesota, using them. Personally I don't. but we have an elliptical machine, which gives an arm workout too, so I'd think they'd be a solid idea! Maybe then you can take up cross country skiing in the winters!

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I like cross country skiing until I fall and then can't get back up without taking one ski off! One time I couldn't get the ski off the boot and had to take off the boot too. Luckily I wasn't far from my car. I have been thinking about getting an elliptical machine. What brand do you have?

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Oh boy!!! my first cross country adventure left me with a twisted backside. I didn’t touch snow. I was standing (in my cross country skis) (long skis) in the parking lot of the ski resort, talking with other skiers ( bus brought us to the lodge) ; and the next thing I’m flat on my back with no clue how I got there. Ouch! Spent the day in the lodge in front of a big fire ( almost put big in all caps!!!) habits🤬 But, I did try again, nor putting my skis on until I was touching snow. Thank you for your story. That is sooo my world, nene 🤣🤣.

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Oh indeed I can relate. I was a "rusher". As a kid I never walked if I could run. My walk was a speed walk. Then….I had to slow down and it freaked me out! It was my first major sign of aging. (Not including wrinkles.) Thanks, and God Bless You! Ro L.

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Returning to the question of change as I get older, it is a challenge. I understand that I am more invisible to young people, but try to accept that. I am letting my grey hair grow in after so many years of covering it and am surprisingly enjoying it. I lost 40 pounds and can now move easier on my replaced hips and knees. The best decision I ever made was to fix those worn out parts. After so many years of pain and limitations, I am now free to take daily long walks (my only exercise now). I have to limit what I do on our property as bending over hurts my back, so just have to ignore the pesty weeds. Anyway it will soon be too hot to spend much time outdoors as I don't function well in the southern heat and humidity. I just hope I can stay as well as I am at 75 and for now just take one day at a time.

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@IndianaScott

Thanks @barbb Here she is today. She's a handful at times, but all in all a solid addition to my life 🙂 Here name is Napa.

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She is a beautiful dog. A friend of mine was lost after his wife died. Didn't feel needed and was lonely. His daughter took him to a rescue organization and he found an adult cat that gave him a reason to get up in the morning. If a dog is too much care because you have to walk them, maybe a cat (who uses a litterbox) is the right move.

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Cat, cat, cat. Independent but engaging. Although, I will say a dog is easier when traveling if that’s important. Cats are attached to places over people. (Per the experts🤨). We got Hobbes, our Tabby, unexpectedly. He was the smartest cat I have ever had. One night, we were sitting in our living room watching tv and my husband said “ do you hear a meowing sound?” I’m like “no”. I got up ( I’m s curious person) and walked over to our front door and opened it and there he was. A tiny orange kitty, meowing his head off. I looked down the walkway (this is the weird part) and there were 8 cats sitting along the sidewalk watching the kitten. Curious?? I picked him up and brought him inside. Turned to my husband and said “ You know were are going to keep him, right?” My husband remembers my exact words. ( this is a guy that loses his glasses on a daily basis ) So, that's my Hobbes story. Yes, we have framed pictures of our cat. Hobbes was quit the ladies man. Very popular at our Vet clinic with all the female techs. They called him “ the gentle giant”. Why do children (cat) behave so much better with others than with the parents?( have the scratches ti prove it). We had 18-19 years with Hobbes and have wonderful memories if his antics. Animals are a gift.

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@beatricefay

Returning to the question of change as I get older, it is a challenge. I understand that I am more invisible to young people, but try to accept that. I am letting my grey hair grow in after so many years of covering it and am surprisingly enjoying it. I lost 40 pounds and can now move easier on my replaced hips and knees. The best decision I ever made was to fix those worn out parts. After so many years of pain and limitations, I am now free to take daily long walks (my only exercise now). I have to limit what I do on our property as bending over hurts my back, so just have to ignore the pesty weeds. Anyway it will soon be too hot to spend much time outdoors as I don't function well in the southern heat and humidity. I just hope I can stay as well as I am at 75 and for now just take one day at a time.

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@beatricefay I figured after my colon cancer adventure that one day is all we are guaranteed. (If that’s not true, please let me live in denial) so knowing what you know and being proactive with your health puts you miles ahead in your life. Enjoy your walks, you deserve it. virgo

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