A post I made on FB brought on a discussion of “age.” It made me think of a sight I used to see in my neighborhood. A middle-aged couple walked an obviously older fellow down my street and back up it again. I’m guessing the old guy was in his nineties and the couple who supported him on either side were his kinfolk. I thought, “Now, that is the way to treat your parents.” They got the old gent out and, if he couldn’t make it on his own, with their support and encouragement, they had him doing some exercise. I don’t see them anymore so I guess the old timer has died, but I always admired that couple for keeping him going. I’m sure they extended his life. There is an image, especially in young people’s minds, of what an old person is “supposed” to do and look like. And it’s killing folks before their time.
It’s my belief that people make themselves old, or allow others to make them old, and it’s their choice to accept that or not. When I occasionally go to a doctor (and I don’t do that often) invariably the nurse will come in and say something like, “This birth date on your chart must be wrong.” When I assure her that it’s not, I explain that I just don’t choose to “be old.” Of course we can’t stop the clock and the calendar counts off the years for us. That’s inevitable.
But I have seen too many people, who are younger than I am, who allow their children to make them old. “Here, mama, let me put this shawl around you.” “Daddy, hold my hand when we go down the steps.” “Mama, I’ll carry that for you, you shouldn’t carry heavy things.” “I’ll drive, dad, you shouldn’t be driving at your age.”
Fortunately, I don’t have any grown children around to do things for me, so I do them myself. And I don’t sit around watching TV. I’d rather DO things, than WATCH things. I eat healthy foods, and I weigh the same as I did when I left TV 20 years ago. I walk 3 or 4 miles every other day and I have a dozen “projects” going to keep my brain active. I read everything and always have. And I always read before I go to sleep. I don’t watch any national news on TV because I’ve learned that now it really is “fake news” with a leftist, socialist agenda and that would just make me mad, so I avoid NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC and now since they’ve given in to political correctness, FOX. I can find all the news I need on the Internet.
I know people are shocked when I roll up on my bike and take off my helmet. I’m sure they think, “What is that old white haired man doing on a motorcycle?” Well, I’ve ridden them all my life so far and I see no reason to stop now. Sure, I don’t fool myself – there are things I can’t do now that I did 40 years ago, but what I can do, I do. And being of German descent, I do them as perfectly as possible.
Now, it’s up to you. You can choose to be what young people think “ old people are supposed to be” or you can be what you wish to be. And as long as your brain and your heart stay young – so will you.