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Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Don't call me OLD! It's demeaning!"

Ahh, feedback.  Don't we all just love it?  You don't want me to call you old.  I sort of understand.  Got it.

But, well, here's the deal: I was young (38) when I took all those extra credit classes on the study of aging, so I guess that's why I am so comfortable with my status as "old", now that I am considered old by every human I meet.  Fooling no one these days.

Because of my education on aging, I learned about myself before I became myself....or something like that.

Our First Lesson on aging was that it is not "them and us".
It is US!  There is no "them" in this human process of aging.
Aging starts the moment we stop physically growing.  Through education I slowly became comfortable with the concept of my own aging.  So naturally I am comfortable with your aging and the word OLD is a term of great respect.

Our Second Lesson on aging was about  the false perception of disease as "old".
Old and disease are NOT synonymous, but we look at the white- haired or bald people who are suffering with a disease and we think "old".
In our classes on aging we worked on unhooking the disease/old image and learning what it actually means to be old and healthy.
          Disease........not good
Yeh, yeh, yeh, I know the frequency of certain diseases go up as we age.
     Just like the risk of slipping on a small rock and being thrown off balance to a fall and a broken ankle increases for the 100 mile hike compared to the one mile hike.
     But the relationship of age and disease is not solid, nor is the relationship of long hikes and broken ankles solid.

     Let's look at old in a better light.  Old and healthy is possible for some and is great to see.

Old is worth looking at! 

(Looking at disease can scare the liver out of you.)

So look around for the centenarians who are still smoking at 100 yrs of age,
          or sky diving,
               or driving the same car they've had for 85 years,
                    or still participating in "youthful" activities like sex (OMG), or other stuff .  
They are downright worth focusing on.  And since the USA has the highest number of centenarians (over 70,000 last count and still climbing) you should be able to find some, at least in the news.  (and I don't mean the ones wrecking their cars into crowds!)

Maybe you are one!  (and I don't mean wrecking your car into crowds!)

     Running, skydiving or lighting a cigarette from the candles on a Happy 100 Birthday cake (did you see those pictures on the internet?), centenarians are not as camera shy as you might expect.

Thank you for visiting,
Your old friend,