Thursday, January 16, 2014

Manifesto of Aging


I watch myself like I'm an experiment in a petri-dish sometimes.

The subtlety of behaviour changes.

My personal manifesto to aging.

No more sleeping in. Ever. Regular as clockwork. No late nights. No alarm. Up at 8.00 a.m. Without fail. Bed made. Dressed. Breakfast the same every morning without fail.

Showers and hair washing are not daily anymore. Skin and hair too dry. They need time to recuperate and gather themselves for the next aquatic assault.

When items around me go even slightly wonky, like needing a repair, I panic. Much like my dad did. My mother died too young for me to observe her in her elder years. Why can't it be fixed today! (Implied – I could be dead by the time it works again.)

I basically lived by the seat of my pants it seems like forever. Now I'm that kind of model citizen I would laugh at (don't they ever have any fun for gawd's sake?). Regular hours. And bowel movements. No hangovers. No desserts. No seconds. Eating out rarely because home-cooked is best – you know what goes into it. Watching the pennies – ha-ha, I'm living longer than my savings and my pension just doesn't cut it. Keenly watching the weather for negotiability.

Hearing myself speak my father's words, my granny's (she outlived my mother, her daughter), setting firmer boundaries, having clearer dislikes and likes. But every pain/ache gets magnified a little. And I try not to talk about them. That is hard.

But also, more confident. My dramatic (my gawd, she has balls!) move to Newfoundland celebrated over and over again. My not caring really, anymore, about what you think of me. My opinions more cherished – by me. And my gifts. I never could see them before, I would demean them, tell you anybody could do what I would do, play piano, write, knit, sing, speak at public forums, host large get-togethers. Speaking openly about ageism, sexism and racism. I am more offended than ever at jokes about any of it. No, it's not funny. And don't tell me I have no sense of humour. But I refuse to laugh at the expense of a demonized group, like elders in diapers or prostitution or gays. And no, it's not extreme PC-ness either. You're the one who needs to grow up and become more aware of how offensive it is.

But being more at peace with myself is the best change of all.

And not too, too crotchety. Yet.

I'm waiting in anticipation.

25 comments:

  1. Are you wearing purple yet? ;)

    Have fun being and doing just what YOU want.

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  2. I know you do GM!!

    XO
    WWW

    PS I wear this shocking pink and black outfit (GGirl's choice) and everyone says it is marvellous on me. I'm working on the purple!!

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  3. The best part of growing older is that we learn to like ourselves so much, especially when we find out that we are eccentric. That is like icing on the cake. And we sure as heck don't apologize for who we are, do we?

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  4. As we got older, we may seem more fixed and predictable in our outward behaviour, but our minds are still fizzing with ideas (well, mine is anyway), and that's what matters. And yes, like you I don't understand people who think oppressed groups are good for a laugh or two.

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  5. Crotchety? Know what you mean. The Angel thinks his mother has all the makings of a marvellous 'grumpy old woman'. Stand up comedy. No charge. When the time comes. As compliments go I shall take his grudgingly.

    Main thing I tell myself is to never slow down. I kept snails as pets when I was little. People think snails aren't fast. Not so. Turn your back for one minute and they are gone. I didn't burst into tears - but was a little disappointed. If I value one thing it's loyalty.

    Other than that, WWW: Keep anticipating. Future is where hope lies.

    U

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  6. I will be 80 in a couple of months and I can honestly say "the older I get the more I like it". Mind you I am very healthy which must make all the difference. Until after menopause we are more or less ruled by out hormones.
    I am in the process of buying an annuity Wise. After much comparing I am going with rbc.ca - completely eliminates that fear of outliving my money! I can send you info if you want it.

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  7. Oh I do like the sound of the aging you! I agree with so much of it - not liking the jokes, having no patience with things that break, demeaning my gifts. No more! It's liberating, being liberated from one's old self, isn't it?

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  8. Yes, I’m ticking off the itms one by one. Except for the early nights and regular mornings.
    No thank you; I like to do what I feel like at any given moment.

    But there you are, who cares? Not me. Not you.

    I always wanted to be liberated and, boy, didn’t we spout it. Now I am old, I am liberated. Who’d have thought it.

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  9. I've found that the best gift of old aqge is the freedeom to forgive yourself (so I'm not Shakespeare. You have a problem with that?").

    I've told my son, who will turn 21 in July; "I wish two things for you; Find your bliss, and be nice to people."

    All the rest is a footnote.

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  10. "Find your bliss"....love it.

    I go with a lot of what you've said - no alarms, haven't worn a watch in 12 years, every ache/pain gets magnified, regular hours, no hangovers and home-cooked is best.

    It's a great life and I'll re-quote Cicero "with a garden and a library, you have everything you need" (except for your lovely handyman who does your trees and wood!)

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  11. Irene:
    I so agree with you and take pride in the ridiculous like my granddaughter telling me she and her friends had a competition about grandparents and I had the filthiest mouth of all of them. Hands down.
    Made me proud.
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Nick;
    I love a good joke but never at the expense of any demonized group.

    and yes, my brain is always fizzing, like right now as I keyboard I'm think up an aran jacket to make for a wee guy of 3 months.

    XO
    WWW

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  13. Ursula:
    yeah me too I so value loyalty and love being a crotchety geezer.
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Betty:

    I honestly don't think there's enough to even blink about annuities. I was self-employed for a very long time.

    But thank you.

    And 80??? Who'd a thunk it!!

    You inspire me.

    XO
    WWW

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  15. Pauline:

    Yes, I honestly felt that life would disimprove once I aged. Not so at all. It gets better and better.

    I just LOVE waking up in the mornings and lying there planning the excitement of the day!

    XO
    WWW

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  16. Friko:
    I think you're a wee bit younger than me and I was such a nightowl but it fixed itself in the last year once I started, ahem, jogging again.

    When I jogged before I found the same thing. Daylight is more embraced.

    Odd that.

    XO
    WWW

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  17. Marc:

    Oh that is fun, I had "Find your bliss" on my bulletin board for a long time.

    And like you, I did. Best advice ever, isn't it?

    XO
    WWW

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  18. Pamela:

    I wouldn't call my turf a garden exactly but I do have woods and a stream to call my own. And books. So many lovely books. And the gift of time to read them.

    Heaven.

    XO
    WWW

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  19. Hello my dear. How I wish we could visit over hot tea, share stories, laugh together. But then, that is exactly what we're doing, and I am so grateful for the Internet and for your stories. You inspire me.
    love,
    v

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  20. There you go again.
    I think you are describing me :)
    But I do
    early to bed
    and very early to rise
    and the best part of now is to
    be me and "freedom."
    Now the anxiety starts when thinking of my first granddaughter's wedding. In the big New York and I love my country home in the woods that is simple. I do not want to go
    this will be another world that will require much of me that I am no longer comfortable with - can do it - just do not want to...
    Do not want to be disowned
    by my daughter. Peace at this time is so precious
    as many times in the past it was not there.
    I have a few months to decide
    and at the moment do not feel like
    pushing myself onward to this.

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  21. Verna:

    I know. I know exactly what you mean. I see ourselves sitting down without an introduction and just gabbing like we never left off.

    So very grateful for the interwebz.

    XO
    WWW

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  22. OWJ:

    Oh the pressure, it must feel so bad. I try and follow my instincts on stuff like this. New York would be scary after such peace in the woods and more importantly all the peace in your well earned place in them.

    All will be well.

    XO
    WWW

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  23. Speaking up for what is right is definitely not the same as crotchety.

    But a personal thought on sexism and language - it raises the hairs on the back of my neck to hear women described as "having balls." That implies that strength and courage are masculine traits and they are not. I don't want or need balls, not even the metaphorical kind. I'm plenty strong with my ovaries.

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  24. Seems to me you're discovering what maturity (I hate, "old age") is all about. Frankly, though I miss my youth, I wouldn't want it back if the price were losing all the knowledge and experience I've gained over the years.
    Incidentally, I agree with SAW, you girls don't need "balls" to be strong and courageous. These days, so many women try to be just men with breasts. It's wrong. Testes are merely the 'outdoor' male equivalent of the female 'indoor' ovaries.
    When I first came to America, to a grotty company town in central Illinois, I was disgusted by the sight of pick-up trucks and SUVs with plastic testicles dangling from the fenders. I was even more appalled to find many of these vehicles were being driven by women. Perhaps it's just my British reserve surfacing, but such 'in your face' crudity as this is yet another reason why US 'culture' is so often repugnant to me.
    PS I've been catching up on your recent wonderful posts after an enforced absence due to shifting three feet of snow from our driveways.

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  25. Must be because I am the opposite sex! I can't sleep in till 8 because by that time I have to be reading my newspapers and having breakfast!

    I am already there. Being a cantankerous old reprobate.

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