Age makes some people cringe.
Although there are always people older than you, it doesn’t make it any easier to pass these milestone birthdays.
I have never faced so much age discrimination.
“No, you can’t do that at your age!” or “It’s too late to start that project!” And even, “It may be too late for you to buy a new car, what if your vision fails and you can’t drive anymore?”
The worst part was that all these voices of discrimination were coming from me!
These statements became hurtful. I was limiting myself, causing myself to doubt and worry about things I hadn’t even thought of before, so why was I doing this now?
An Age Related Condition
When my husband turned forty, he suffered from shortness of breath and a rapid heartbeat. I took him to Inst a-care. He was not suffering from a heart attack, as suspected. He had a panic attack! He thought he was dying, but it was an age-related medical condition—he was turning forty!
I began bringing up age in conversations and I got many reactions.
Patti told me that she was about to turn seventy, but she has had many surgeries such as knee replacements, and now both hips are bothering her. She thinks she is in a body that seems much older than seventy.
Audrey, spoke up, “Well what about me. If you think seventy is a hard, milestone birthday, then how about eighty-four? I still need to do laundry, cook dinner and do the dishes. Everything I do is getting harder now that I am older.”
Edith is a friend who is ninety-six. She said, “Oh, you are just a kid, stop going on about your age. I am old enough to be your mother, and you don’t see me going on about my age, do you? I am grateful for each day I wake up on this planet!”
Barbara, who just turned seventy two, said, “I can still hear. I can still see. I can walk, and I can still drive. I am happy to be this age and to be healthy. Do not think about your age that way. Just be thankful for what you can still do.”
Gene is ninety-two, and he walks his dog every day. He also mows his lawn. Gene is the life of any party, and so far, he is not slowing down.
Kay is Gene’s slightly younger wife. We recently went bowling. She said she used to be able to bowl and get a much better score, but she has not given up!
If I’m still around
While working in a busy salon, we always said, “We’ll see you next week!”
There was a lady who always answered, “I will see you next week, if I’m still around, but I hope the good Lord will take me.”
One older lady had a morning appointment. Just before her appointment she called and said, “I can’t come this morning because I’m dying. Can I come this afternoon?”
What is it that affects us when they have these milestone birthdays?
It must be our perception of age. Will we still be vital? Will we become a burden to our families? Will we have enough money in our savings accounts to survive? Will we have enough time to do everything on our to-do lists, or our bucket lists? Did our parents and grandparents die young? Have we set goals that we may not complete?
In my case, I wonder if I will finish all the books I intend to write and the quilts I have started to make? If I don’t complete them, what will happen to those projects? What about my family stories? If I do not write them down, then the stories and adventures will die with me.
My goals have changed since I was forty or fifty.
My new goals include:
- 1) going to Ireland
- 2) living on a cruise ship for one month
- 3) living in every U.S. state for at least a month
- 4) making a quilt for each family member–plus the babies that will be born to my family
- 5) writing all the books that I have in my mind.
- 6) Speaking to schools about drugs, gun safety, and underage drinking
- 7) Starting a program to bring musical instruments to schools.
Will I have enough time to accomplish all of my goals?
The answer—I’d better get busy! According to my friend Edith, “be grateful for each day that you wake up and make every minute count.” I find that if I’m engaged and accomplishing things, I have a reason to wake up and start a new day.
My thoughts about Age?
Celebrate every birthday you have. That is a great accomplishment in itself! Be grateful, and do not waste time wishing for a day that will be your last.
- Liam Neeson
- David Hasselhoff
- Steven Seagal
- Sharon Osbourne
- George Strait
- Christine Baranski
- John Goodman
- Jeff Goldblum
- Dan Akroyd
- Kim Bassinger
- Cyndi Lauper
- Tim Allen
- Pierce Brosnan
- Cyndi Lauper
- Alfred Molina
- Mary Steenburgen
- John Malkovich
- Bill Pullman
- Hulk Hogan
- Kathie Lee Gifford
- Tony Shalhoub—Monk
- And Oprah Winfrey turned sixty-nine this year!