Tuesday, August 8, 2017
negative negatives from the negative
Once upon a time, when I was young, I studied aging.
The first thing I learned was "It is not they, it is we. It is not them, it is us."
We are all aging and it is possible to be thrown on the heap of old folks at age 30 by a up-and-coming teenager.
I also learned we stereotype so many things, people, situations because our minds "categorize" as a way of handling so much information.
"Let's see....... that goes with that..... and that is like that."
An intelligent response to reality.
We ain't bad! We are normal. Our brains naturally stereotype for us. A bit lazy but it works to keep us functional.
The solution to stereotyping of anything is more and more education.
Like the real life trench of being old teaches us about aging.
Then you start (excuse me!) WE start seeing real differences in old people and we begin telling ourselves we are not as old as that old cranky son of a bitch...............
or that people who see us as old have no right to their intelligent response to reality.
We begin viewing our own selves negatively.
It's not like we are stupid. We have mirrors.
We know we are not the fairest of them all.
We know we are old.
It is just....so.....shocking.
Having trolled the halls of health care as a young health care giver, I know what it is like to take care of people old and decrepit. It ain't fun.
There is this hopeless air of mortality that hangs over the whole scene and can only be dealt with by the young as "that is another world, not mine".
We never feel we are going to get old when we are young.
If we think at all, we think we are going to die young. It is so much easier to visualize ourselves dying young, than visualize ourselves old.
Thus the shock of old age.
I have yet to meet an old person who isn't truly shocked.
"Oh, my god, I am old!"
One of the wonderful things that can happen in life's arena is when you run into an old person with a sense of humor. Oh, my.
Humor is healthy! Even if ancient.
Alas. Many of us old people are in so much pain we haven't a sense of humor left, even if we started out with one.
Of course I no longer stereotype old people. I am old and I see how different we old people are from one another.
I do believe everybody, including me, has a right to good health care.
However, resources are not unlimited and in the rationing process, whether it is time spent on my case, or tests for me paid for by "the system", or understanding of my plight of being old, when I come up short-changed I am more understanding than you might think.
Disappointed, of course. Steamed, even.
But I understand.
I support the rising generation. God bless them. Their day is coming if they are so blessed as to live to be old.
In the meantime, I spend more time thinking about higher ground than I used to spend.
As my "lots older" friend said the other day, "I keep thinking about the next step anymore. I find myself excited about what that might be like."
Glad you visited this aging blog on aging by an aged person who gets older every day,
Posted by Riverwatch