Someone said to me – you really have to be upbeat about getting old.
What a load of rubbish. How can you be upbeat, whatever it means, when bits of your body don’t work the way they should – and let you down at the most inopportune moments…
When you can’t enjoy good food and good wine any longer because they don’t make pills strong enough to take away the pain of heartburn…
and even if you do enjoy a croissant now and then or an ice cream your weight and blood pressure will rocket and you’ll get type two diabetes -that’s if you haven’t got it already…
the idea of a sex life is as probable as there is life on Mars, try being upbeat when you know all that sort of fun and pleasure is gone forever…
try being upbeat when you also know you’ve had an awful lot more years in the past than you are going to have in the future and try being upbeat when you know it’s not when you’re going to die but how?
Will it be heart or stroke or cancer or motor neurone disease or something worse? Is there anything worse than motor neurone disease, cancer, strokes and heart attacks? Oh yes there is…
You may have enough money for your needs but how to get more out of life with it?
Foreign travel is out of the question, mainly because you’re scared now of the unknown – everything that was so exciting and an adventure when you were young is now a crisis that puts your blood pressure up and stresses you out.
It might be out because of all those questions for the the travel insurance, you daren’t tell a fib because you won’t be covered…and the fear you’ll be ill or die in a foreign country, or worse still, something dreadful will happen to your partner; and how could you cope – the ‘what if’ scenario is rife when you are no longer young.
And the frightening thought that something will upset your stomach, or his, and you’ll feel off it for days – all that money wasted…and you can’t sleep in a strange bed anyway..
You while away the days looking back on the time when you had that wonderful thing called energy – and great things to look forward to and to plan for – and you were the same age as everyone else – young.
Now everyone else is young – and you are just another of those old ladies who fumble about with their purse at the checkout holding everyone up or talk in the queue or on the bus.
What is it about old ladies and talking? A life story including how many grandchildren in two minutes – that’s what being old means.
Then sometimes your partner looks at you in a way he never did in all the previous forty years and you think – jeez I must have dementia- you can tell it by his look – you are having the first signs of the personality change that goes with it and you don’t recognise it – but he does. Or you think he’s going a bit strange and wonder is this it – is the rock he once was now crumbling?
How frightening will that be, ask yourself that and then tell me how to be upbeat.
When the black dog is yapping round your heels and you can’t eat, drink and be merry and have some good old fashioned sex to banish it; when that same dog climbs on to your lap or sits with you on the sofa and lies snarling and grumbling at the bottom of your bed – show me how to be upbeat then. And don’t tell me getting old doesn’t make you depressed – because it does. The trick is not letting anyone know, and fighting it.
Ahh, but that’s just the crappy negative side of it all – there is a different side to getting old – the positive thinking, make someone smile along the way, giving something back side.
And in the words of Gerald Good – who is he – don’t know – but like this quote
‘if you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.’
‘The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings’. – Eric Hoffer.
watch this space for being upbeat about getting old – part two…The real upbeat side to being thankful for waking every morning and being able to make decisions and put your own shoes on…