How do you accept change as you age?

Posted by Scott, Volunteer Mentor @IndianaScott, Wed, Apr 8 1:40pm

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?

Let's face it-Life is Change. Very few of us are the same person we were 20 years ago. If we were we would be very boring people. If you can't do what you used to do, find something else you enjoy but keep your mind engaged. I really think that is the key.

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@nene22

Let's face it-Life is Change. Very few of us are the same person we were 20 years ago. If we were we would be very boring people. If you can't do what you used to do, find something else you enjoy but keep your mind engaged. I really think that is the key.

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@nene22– Oh, if only it were that simple! I do not believe that we are in a time that we can just simply age and accept our changes. With the new virus, change isn't nor will it be the same. We have no idea what life is going to be. We don't know if we will be fighting for resources or have to continue to stay inside beyond the end of this year.
Sure, we can look back and see that our jowls have another fold, or my roots need coloring. I don't know if we are looking at how to accept changes, more like how can we be ready when we don't know what's going to hit us?

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I truly do not mind being in the older category until it starts to feel as though as an older person I along with many other older folks are a liability during this covid19 and if it were not for so many of us the country could open back up. Gee, suddenly finding myself feeling guilty for being old. I was accepting this "older" thing now I am reevaluating.

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@parus

I truly do not mind being in the older category until it starts to feel as though as an older person I along with many other older folks are a liability during this covid19 and if it were not for so many of us the country could open back up. Gee, suddenly finding myself feeling guilty for being old. I was accepting this "older" thing now I am reevaluating.

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Unfortunately many young people are also getting sick and dying. We are all in this together. No group should be thought of as a liability. We all matter and no one has the right or good sense to suggest otherwise.

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@parus

I truly do not mind being in the older category until it starts to feel as though as an older person I along with many other older folks are a liability during this covid19 and if it were not for so many of us the country could open back up. Gee, suddenly finding myself feeling guilty for being old. I was accepting this "older" thing now I am reevaluating.

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Hi @parus, I don't think us "older folks" are preventing the country from opening up again. The movement restrictions are in place to prevent the pandemic from spreading to everyone. Us, the senior citizens, are probably the best of the community because, as a general rule, we tend to follow the rules and take care of ourselves and look out for others.

Take care of yourself and be safe, @parus, we need you.

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@parus

I truly do not mind being in the older category until it starts to feel as though as an older person I along with many other older folks are a liability during this covid19 and if it were not for so many of us the country could open back up. Gee, suddenly finding myself feeling guilty for being old. I was accepting this "older" thing now I am reevaluating.

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@parus Don't feel guilty for having gotten to the age you are, now. You, and all of us, have fought a hard fight to get here. We are not a liability. We are a picture of bravery and persistence! Keep on keeping on [oooh, did I just date myself or what?]!
Ginger

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@parus, @IndianaScott
I'm happy to be back after my hiatus from Connect to campaign for my local Representative and others. I've found that I'm not interested in the frustrations of the national election this year. I cherish my work with Mayo Connect and was happy to see that you and others are still contributing here.

I too have been very concerned about COVID19 and what it means for those of us considered "elderly." I've honestly never thought of myself as elderly, just older/ mature, lol. My husband assures me that I'm elderly. We're not holding anyone back, and if we are it's a good thing. The virus is still too active for people to be out and about. As elders we can demonstrate by our behavior that it's OK to stay in for extended periods of time.

An excellent resource for me as I age has been a book titled, From Age-ing to Sage-ing; A Revolutionary Approach To Growing Older, by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald S. Miller. I will quote a couple of passages from the book's Introduction to give a feeling of the book's contents.

"As part of the emerging approach to late-life development, the contemporary sage draws on 3 sources: models of the traditional tribal elder whose wisdom guided the social order for thousands of years; state of the art breakthroughs in brain-mind and consciousness research; and the ecology movement, which urges us to live in harmony with the natural world. These forces converge in the sage, whose explorations in consciousness are giving birth to an elderhood that is appropriate for the modern world."

"Throughout most of history, elders occupied honored roles in society as sages and seers, leaders and judges, guardians of the traditions, and instructors of the young. They were revered as gurus, shamans, wise old men and women who helped guide the social order and who initiated spiritual seekers into the mysteries of inner space. . . . with the Industrial Revolution . . . . elders lost their esteemed place in society and fell into the disempowered state that we now ascribe to a 'normal` old age. Today as the Age Wave crests all about us and we confront existential questions about the purpose of our extended longevity, we are searching for new myths and models to ennoble the experience of old age."

This book helps me to better understand my new role as an elder. I think some of our current problems with younger adults feeling it's "unfair" to even quarantine for a comparatively short period of time, and demanding their "freedom to get a hamburger" when they want, despite the global health Pandemic, are the result of elders not asserting and sharing our learned wisdom with our families. I work to be heard in my family, which isn't easy. The tendency is to discount what elders have to offer because we grew up in different situations. Nonetheless, our wisdom is needed. I persist until what I offer is acknowledged and even accepted by some of my 10 grandchildren, and 3 children/step-children.

I believe I have much to offer my family and others, as well as much to learn as a "wise old woman."

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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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@IndianaScott, what a beautiful furbaby! No wonder you fell in love with her immediately. Great companion and walking partner. This may sound odd, but my new Smartwatch got me started walking daily, no matter how short the walk. It reminds me hourly to be active, stretch, or go for a walk. My husband has started walking with me too, which he would never do before. Sine I'm 71 and he'll soon be 75, it's great for us. We live in an area where the houses are far apart and we rarely meet others while walking. It's great for relieving the quarantine stress.

We did get into the hot tub last week which was great, until I tried to get out. I forgot that I'm old now and can't just hop out as I used to. Instead of putting one leg up on each step, getting my balance, waiting until I was steady, and then moving up, I tried to do it all in one fast move. I ended up falling on my right side on the concrete, and being in pain for several days. I hope our daughter will install a metal set of grab bars at the edge of the hot tub. Until then, I have to move in and out with conscious efforts. I have osteoporosis now and can't afford to break anything.

REPLY
@gailb

@IndianaScott, what a beautiful furbaby! No wonder you fell in love with her immediately. Great companion and walking partner. This may sound odd, but my new Smartwatch got me started walking daily, no matter how short the walk. It reminds me hourly to be active, stretch, or go for a walk. My husband has started walking with me too, which he would never do before. Sine I'm 71 and he'll soon be 75, it's great for us. We live in an area where the houses are far apart and we rarely meet others while walking. It's great for relieving the quarantine stress.

We did get into the hot tub last week which was great, until I tried to get out. I forgot that I'm old now and can't just hop out as I used to. Instead of putting one leg up on each step, getting my balance, waiting until I was steady, and then moving up, I tried to do it all in one fast move. I ended up falling on my right side on the concrete, and being in pain for several days. I hope our daughter will install a metal set of grab bars at the edge of the hot tub. Until then, I have to move in and out with conscious efforts. I have osteoporosis now and can't afford to break anything.

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Oops, sorry to hear of your injury, @gailb. Yes, trying to do several movements at one time is not advisable for us elderly folks. Take care, I agree that broken bones are not good to deal with.

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@virgo1952

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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@virgo1952 @gingerw
Wow! What accomplished women you are in martial arts! I tried a few classes in the 1970s when I worked in the Tucson Police Department. I learned a lot, but never really used the physical skills. I do think it made me more sure of myself and more assertive in my career and relationships. As a former HR executive, I had to use many skills to achieve good things for employees and not let the powerful (men) keep lowering benefits and wages. Thanks for reminding me where I learned much of what it takes to compete honorably.

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@gailb

@parus, @IndianaScott
I'm happy to be back after my hiatus from Connect to campaign for my local Representative and others. I've found that I'm not interested in the frustrations of the national election this year. I cherish my work with Mayo Connect and was happy to see that you and others are still contributing here.

I too have been very concerned about COVID19 and what it means for those of us considered "elderly." I've honestly never thought of myself as elderly, just older/ mature, lol. My husband assures me that I'm elderly. We're not holding anyone back, and if we are it's a good thing. The virus is still too active for people to be out and about. As elders we can demonstrate by our behavior that it's OK to stay in for extended periods of time.

An excellent resource for me as I age has been a book titled, From Age-ing to Sage-ing; A Revolutionary Approach To Growing Older, by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald S. Miller. I will quote a couple of passages from the book's Introduction to give a feeling of the book's contents.

"As part of the emerging approach to late-life development, the contemporary sage draws on 3 sources: models of the traditional tribal elder whose wisdom guided the social order for thousands of years; state of the art breakthroughs in brain-mind and consciousness research; and the ecology movement, which urges us to live in harmony with the natural world. These forces converge in the sage, whose explorations in consciousness are giving birth to an elderhood that is appropriate for the modern world."

"Throughout most of history, elders occupied honored roles in society as sages and seers, leaders and judges, guardians of the traditions, and instructors of the young. They were revered as gurus, shamans, wise old men and women who helped guide the social order and who initiated spiritual seekers into the mysteries of inner space. . . . with the Industrial Revolution . . . . elders lost their esteemed place in society and fell into the disempowered state that we now ascribe to a 'normal` old age. Today as the Age Wave crests all about us and we confront existential questions about the purpose of our extended longevity, we are searching for new myths and models to ennoble the experience of old age."

This book helps me to better understand my new role as an elder. I think some of our current problems with younger adults feeling it's "unfair" to even quarantine for a comparatively short period of time, and demanding their "freedom to get a hamburger" when they want, despite the global health Pandemic, are the result of elders not asserting and sharing our learned wisdom with our families. I work to be heard in my family, which isn't easy. The tendency is to discount what elders have to offer because we grew up in different situations. Nonetheless, our wisdom is needed. I persist until what I offer is acknowledged and even accepted by some of my 10 grandchildren, and 3 children/step-children.

I believe I have much to offer my family and others, as well as much to learn as a "wise old woman."

Jump to this post

I am 90 yrs old. I tested negative.How about you?

REPLY
@gailb

@parus, @IndianaScott
I'm happy to be back after my hiatus from Connect to campaign for my local Representative and others. I've found that I'm not interested in the frustrations of the national election this year. I cherish my work with Mayo Connect and was happy to see that you and others are still contributing here.

I too have been very concerned about COVID19 and what it means for those of us considered "elderly." I've honestly never thought of myself as elderly, just older/ mature, lol. My husband assures me that I'm elderly. We're not holding anyone back, and if we are it's a good thing. The virus is still too active for people to be out and about. As elders we can demonstrate by our behavior that it's OK to stay in for extended periods of time.

An excellent resource for me as I age has been a book titled, From Age-ing to Sage-ing; A Revolutionary Approach To Growing Older, by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald S. Miller. I will quote a couple of passages from the book's Introduction to give a feeling of the book's contents.

"As part of the emerging approach to late-life development, the contemporary sage draws on 3 sources: models of the traditional tribal elder whose wisdom guided the social order for thousands of years; state of the art breakthroughs in brain-mind and consciousness research; and the ecology movement, which urges us to live in harmony with the natural world. These forces converge in the sage, whose explorations in consciousness are giving birth to an elderhood that is appropriate for the modern world."

"Throughout most of history, elders occupied honored roles in society as sages and seers, leaders and judges, guardians of the traditions, and instructors of the young. They were revered as gurus, shamans, wise old men and women who helped guide the social order and who initiated spiritual seekers into the mysteries of inner space. . . . with the Industrial Revolution . . . . elders lost their esteemed place in society and fell into the disempowered state that we now ascribe to a 'normal` old age. Today as the Age Wave crests all about us and we confront existential questions about the purpose of our extended longevity, we are searching for new myths and models to ennoble the experience of old age."

This book helps me to better understand my new role as an elder. I think some of our current problems with younger adults feeling it's "unfair" to even quarantine for a comparatively short period of time, and demanding their "freedom to get a hamburger" when they want, despite the global health Pandemic, are the result of elders not asserting and sharing our learned wisdom with our families. I work to be heard in my family, which isn't easy. The tendency is to discount what elders have to offer because we grew up in different situations. Nonetheless, our wisdom is needed. I persist until what I offer is acknowledged and even accepted by some of my 10 grandchildren, and 3 children/step-children.

I believe I have much to offer my family and others, as well as much to learn as a "wise old woman."

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@gailb Welcome back. I have been rather scarce for various reasons. Mostly trying to keep my head from going to unhealthy places.

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@bill54321

I am 90 yrs old. I tested negative.How about you?

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I haven't been tested yet. I am in the vulnerable group, but have been isolating since the end of January. Hopefully I won't need a test. Thanks for asking.

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@gailb

I haven't been tested yet. I am in the vulnerable group, but have been isolating since the end of January. Hopefully I won't need a test. Thanks for asking.

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Get tested

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In reply to @bill54321 "Get tested" + (show)
@bill54321

Get tested

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@bill54321 I can't get tested for no reason. I would have to get my doctor to say I need the test, and I don't think I do. My husband and I haven't been around other people since late January, and we have a great disinfecting system. If I feel a need to get tested I will.

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