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Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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When did you first realise you were "old"?

I've a feeling this will be lengthy enough to warrant being in the Blog section, but..........

 

 

A cursory glance of the blogs screams serious -  a cerebral concentration on theology, politics and world affairs.

 

 

 

Now it's alright for you, possums - on here you're one of the mob.

 

But, as for me, I've got the added responsibility of being the sole representative of my country. A flag bearer, no less!

 

If I post in the blogs I'm inviting trouble. ("Geez, these Aussies are a lightweight mob").

 

 

 

So, settle back while I recount a sad tale............

 

 

Last week I went swimming with my best friend at the Coogee Mc Iver pool.

 

As far as I know, this is the only pool in Australia that is for the exclusive use of women - and kids under ten.

 

Every few years, when the lease is up for renewal, men and some women object on the grounds of discrimination - but so far to no avail.

 

 

It is mainly used by women with small kids, Muslim women, Orthodox Jewish women, nuns, lesbians, feminists and older women. (In case you're wondering, my friend and I fit into the latter category).

 

 

 

One minute I was swimming contentedly in this sea of oestrogen  - when I had the most dreadful realisation.

 

 

I was the oldest woman in the pool!

 

 

"Oh, no", I said aloud.

 

"What's up?" said my friend,  as she dog-paddled over towards me.

 

"Have you got a cramp?"

 

"Much worse. Do you realise I'm the oldest woman in this pool? This has never happened to me before this"...........

 

"I'd love to help you out", said my friend, "but, as you know, I'm a year younger than you."

 

(This has been a bone of contention between us since we were teen-agers. My birthday is in December, and hers follows in January. She says she's a year younger - I say she's a month younger!)

 

 

"I'm old - it's finally happened. Maybe I should stop treading water and just sink to the bottom.".............

 

"God, you go on at times - if you think I'm going to climb up all those stairs and get you some rocks to help you out, you've got another thing coming."

 

 

I looked around, vainly searching for someone older.........

 

 

"What are you looking at?  They'll think you're an old lesbian on the lookout..."

 

 

"See that woman over there? I think she could be older than me."

 

(It's an interesting fact that when you know someone over a period of many years you get to pick up on the nuances of the conversation.

I've noticed that when my friend disagrees with me she says, with a raised eyebrow, "You think?")

 

"What woman?"

"That woman", I say  pointing.

 

"You think?"

 

I scowl.

 

"C'mon", says my friend, let's go and eat. There's nothing  a yummy meal can't fix."

 

 

Somewhere deep inside me the rebellious child puts in an appearance.

"I'm not leaving the pool until someone older gets in", I say with a defiant glare.

 

 

'Oh, Lord, we could be here forever - I means hours" groans my friend.

 

 

I look up and see an elderly woman with a walking stick making her way slowly down the steps.

"There". I say triumphantly - "she must be close to a hundred."

 

"Good! Now can we eat?'"

 

 

 

Although my tale sounds amusing, for me it wasn't.

I have simply never felt old before - and the experience shocked me.

 

I know I'm fortunate, apart from a few arthritic problems my health is good.

I think here of my friend Crazyheart - who is undergoing chemo..............

 

 

So, what of others, has old age crept up on you?   A gradual awareness?

Or, like me, did you have a sudden realisation?   

 

Per -lease  reply, otherwise I'll think I'm the only oldie in Wondercafe.

 

 

 

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trishcuit's picture

trishcuit

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Sorry but that was REALLY funny. And yet I relate.

I felt old for the first time in a casual /jean clothing store in the mall and all the stuff was geared towards the younger set and I realized that I couldn't even FAKE it anymore. I would look ridiculous in those clothes. I was old enough to be some of their mother.

chemgal's picture

chemgal

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I got a good laugh.  There are times when I feel old, like when I found out the university students I was teaching were born in the 90s.  It won't be too long before I actually fall into WC's target age range.

 

I'm not sure if you want to hear someone of my generation say that sometimes they feel old! :P

 

I remember feeling old turning 19 and 22, for a very silly reason.  I used to get a bunch of spam with topics like HOTT 18 YR OLDS ON CAM.  The desirable ages seemed to be 18 & younger or 21 & younger.  I never saw one for 23 or 25 year olds.  I never had any desire to do such a thing (or be with a man who was into that), but still there was the message that I was older than the desirable age for the type of people who actually opened those emails. 

sighsnootles's picture

sighsnootles

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your friend is the coolest woman you will ever meet.

Pinga's picture

Pinga

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PP, I love your humour, thank-you!

 

I went out for a beer after work with some people last week.

There were two contractors, who i figured were in their 30's.  We were talking about aging parents.  I asked them how old their parents were.

 

"52"

 

Dang....I'm used to kids that are my co-ops having parents younger than me, but, not the other folks.  I felt old....but then I remembered...i am close to retirement.  made me smile!

kaythecurler's picture

kaythecurler

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I realised that I must be getting old when out on a hiking trail in Jasper National Park.  It took hubby and me longer than it used to to pass the kilometres under our boots because we stopped more often than when we took the same trail thirty years earlier.   The clincher came when a group of 'twenty somethings' came up to us from behind.  They stopped and one said looking amazed  "I didn't know old people came up here!"  Another said "This is so COOL - you are so COOL - my parents wouldn't ever think of tackling this trail - or any other trail".  One kid said "My parents think it is a long hike to the corner store".  Hubby pointed out that there parents were probably younger than us - and it turned out that they indeed were - by twenty years.  The youngsters went on there way and we met them again later when we were almost at the end of the trail and they were heading back to the parking lot.  There were more exclamations of amazement (they didn't think we'd go all the way) followed by warm and spontaneous hugs.  We both thought the chance meetings and hugs were COOL. 

 

 

 

Beloved's picture

Beloved

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I started feeling "old" a few years ago . . . it was in the "looks" - my looks . . . starting of greying of hair, wrinkles, baggy knees, feet were looking old, etc. etc. etc.

 

It's funny though, despite the physical aging, and the aches and pains that go with it . . . inside I feel sooooo young.  I catch myself in a store window as I pass, and I think "I really am old."  (I'm only 57 and I really believe I could pass for 52 or 53 LOL!)

 

We recently (hubby & me) had our photos done for a new church photo directory . . . when I got the photos back I though . . . "who are these old people"?

 

If I'm watching tv I always place myself as "younger" in comparison to the actors, or people on the news etc., and then when they give the age I realize I am much older than a lot of them . . . and think . . . "what's up with that?"

 

I'm trying to gracefully accept my aging process - especially as my body continues to fail me in little ways each day.

 

Somehow, Pilgrims Progress, and all the rest of those who are feeling like they are suddenly the "older generation", we need to get over it, accept it, and live with it . . . and enjoy life and each to the fullest at the age we are at.  I hope I'll learn that in the next couple of years because for some reason I am struggling with 60!

 

So, PP, the next time you go to the pool, don't look for someone older than you . . . just look for someone who looks older than you feel inside smiley!

 

 

MikePaterson's picture

MikePaterson

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I've been "old" since I realised AGE was the reason I wasn't get jobs that, at long last,  I felt qualified to do…  I've been "old" since my "experience" turned into "past history", and 30 year-olds began impudently assuming I know nothing about computing.

 

So I now enjoy being "old": I can pretend to not hear idiots speaking and ask them to please repeat what they said more loudly until other people standing around get how stupid they are.

 

I don't have to power-dress or worry about "image".

 

Prefacing remarks with "In my day…" lets you make harsh, unsubstantiated judgements about irritants like television, i-pods and phones, manners, attitudes, values… almost anything you want.

 

I can be "distracted" when I want to spend some time with something beautiful that's caught my eye, and even "trespass" to look at someone's roses without getting shouted at or arrested.

 

I can tell irritating people who sit beside me on aeroplanes more than they ever wanted to hear about arcane subjects like rennaisance bagpiping until they feign sleep and let me read my book.

 

I can call police officers "young man" or "young woman" with impunity and forget to tip taxi drivers.

 

I can "mis-hear" people who irritate me in public places and accuse them loudly of swearing at me. "Did YOU swear at me, young man?" is a great line.

 

I can express some of the cynicism I've long cultivated as a way of tolerating the unconscionable tenets of the society I was born into… and I can be "tired" when all I want is a sleep in, or escape present company.

 

I can carry a lethal weapon if it looks like a walking stick.

 

I can "forget" to do things I simply didn't feel like doing… and, if the tone of voice is right,  even ellicit sympathy for it.

 

I can laugh louder and let my imagination wander; I can sit in the seniors' seats on the bus and talk to people I don't know — and who don't know me — without them thinking I want sex or money from them.

 

Most of all… I can delight in quality time with my grandchildren.

 

"Old" has its drawbacks… but it can deliver a lot of pleasure!

 

 

Heavens — you can even get away with overly-long posts on Wonder Cafe....

crazyheart's picture

crazyheart

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First, I thought i was looking at my mother in the mirror.

 

I hate the wobblies under the arm.

 

The worst thing I hate about getting older is that inside I feel young and outside I look old.There must be some way to reverse this.

 

Did you notice that people seem to condescend to you. Hold your arm, call you dear, yell thinking you can't hear or saying "you are too old to like this. "

 

Well, whoop on you all. hohohohohohoho

gecko46's picture

gecko46

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I'm not feeling "old" yet, but then I'm delusional.

 

I avoid mirrors whenever possible, especially in the morning.

 

A couple of years ago I went snowtubing with a friend who was 10 years younger.  As we waited at the top of the hill for the next run, I surveyed the group and decided I was the oldest one there.  We had  a blast anyway tubing with younger folks, and hooking up with 3 guys who were rather tipsy for one run.

 

"Old age, eat dust."

 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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Chemgal,

You poor possum, you've felt old already, and yet I see by your profile you're in the 18-29 age range????

 

At your age I was still looking forward to "growing up"..........

 

 

 

Come to think of it, that still hasn't happened. I'm Shirley Temple imprisoned in this old biddy's body.

 

(Pity Alfred Hitchcock is no longer with us - he could make a horror movie with a script like that.)

 

 

I've been invited to a 60th birthday party on Saturday, so went with my friend to buy some new shoes. We both ended up with shiny black patent shoes .......

 

It dawned on me I've come full circle.

 

As a small child my "best" shoes were shiny black patent.

(Although I'll give the white sox with the lace tops a miss!)

 

 

 

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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Well, I'm only middle-aged (now, that will change with time, LOL) but I have these moments every now and then where I realize that there really is quite a bit of water under the bridge already. A couple recent ones:

 

  • The other day, one of my church's pianists posted on his Facebook that the number one song when he was born was "Don't you want me" by The Human League. Sigh, I remember my brother buying the 45 of that. Sigh. I actually remember buying 45s. Do kids these days even know what one is?

 

  • A week or so ago was the 30th anniversary of Commodore announcing the release of the C64 computer. For two of my friends and I, that was our first personal computer and mine got me through two years of high school, a BA, and many hours of gaming.

 

Mendalla

 

 

seeler's picture

seeler

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Chemgal - I remember when the WonderCafe first started, and the 'target age'.  Someone at my church told me that I shouldn't be posting because I was outside that 'target age'.   I was already on the other side.  You aren't old - you are just beginning.  

 

I remember a young teller at the trust company where I worked.  She was describing a customer whose name she couldn't remember.  "Brown hair, average build, middle-aged, probably about 35."  

35?  Middle-aged?    What did she think we folks in our fifties were?  

 

I liked being 65.   The government started sending me a cheque every month.  But I could still do almost anything I wanted - cross country ski, bicycle, put up my Christmas lights, build a snowman.   I planned for next year, in a couple of years, when I have more time.  There was still a future.  

 

Then I hit 70, and developed a tremor in my arm.   At about the same time one of my friend's husband died. Another friend is almost housebound caring for her husband.  Another friend had to give up bowling this year because of arthritis in her right shoulder.  And Seelerman is slowing down.    In addition to our daughter dealing with a life-threatening medical problem.   And my sisters showing their age.    I have to admit it:  I'm old.   And I don't like it.  

 

MistsOfSpring's picture

MistsOfSpring

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I was actually very young the first time I felt old.  I was 16 and I was babysitting some kids who didn't know who the Fonz was.

chemgal's picture

chemgal

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Mendalla wrote:

 

 

  • The other day, one of my church's pianists posted on his Facebook that the number one song when he was born was "Don't you want me" by The Human League. Sigh, I remember my brother buying the 45 of that. Sigh. I actually remember buying 45s. Do kids these days even know what one is?

 

No.  I had a pretty good idea, but I had to google to make sure I was right.  Some kids today don't know what cassette tapes are.

chemgal's picture

chemgal

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Pilgrims, there are times I also feel young!  Other than a lost youthfulness feeling I get I guess the other feeling I have is one of being grownup.  We call people adults when they reach 18, but there's a huge difference in the stage of life I'm at now compared to when I was 18.

 

Lost youthfulness is thinking back to my first day of university, it doesn't feel that long ago.  Then I see the incoming 1st year students.  They look, dress, and act very differently than me.  There's also the people in my lab.  I don't always feel so different from them, but then some popculture reference comes up, something like what Mists mentioned.  Makes you realize all the sudden that you are older!

 

Being grownup is thinking about my carreer, planning for retirement, deciding if it's a good time to buy a house, not wanting to go out all night (or feeling horrible the next day), etc.

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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MistsOfSpring wrote:

I was actually very young the first time I felt old.  I was 16 and I was babysitting some kids who didn't know who the Fonz was.

 

I remember going to my little brother's wedding and meeting old friends of his that I used to babysit in my teens and twenties and being introduced to their wives. I wasn't all that old at that point (maybe late thirties?) and it made me feel old.

 

Mendalla

 

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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chemgal wrote:

Mendalla wrote:

 

 

  • The other day, one of my church's pianists posted on his Facebook that the number one song when he was born was "Don't you want me" by The Human League. Sigh, I remember my brother buying the 45 of that. Sigh. I actually remember buying 45s. Do kids these days even know what one is?

 

No.  I had a pretty good idea, but I had to google to make sure I was right.  Some kids today don't know what cassette tapes are.

 

Actually, we still have some around the house so Little M can manage that one. He has no concept of what it's like to listen to vinyl, though, except from my descriptions of my old record collection.

 

Mendalla

 

chemgal's picture

chemgal

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Mendalla, you don't still have them?  My dad loves his!  The stereo system my parents have (although I don't think it's used very often anymore) consists of a record, tape and radio player (and maybe connected up to the tv at one point).

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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chemgal wrote:

Mendalla, you don't still have them?  My dad loves his!  The stereo system my parents have (although I don't think it's used very often anymore) consists of a record, tape and radio player (and maybe connected up to the tv at one point).

 

To be clear, I meant that we have cassette tapes around the house. While I do wish I'd hung on to certain of my vinyl records (both 33 1/3 and 45 rpm) at times, I don't have any right now.

 

EDIT: when I was a kid, Dad still had some 78 rpm records (which had long been out of production by that point) and one of our record players could play at that speed so I did listen to them just out of curiousity. I think that's how I got into Glenn Miller, IIRC.

 

Mendalla

 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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MikePaterson wrote:

 

I can laugh louder and let my imagination wander; I can sit in the seniors' seats on the bus and talk to people I don't know — and who don't know me — without them thinking I want sex or money from them.

 

 

Yes!

This is one of the best things about being old.

 

These days whenever I catch a bus or train there is the thrill of anticipation for an interesting conversation with a complete stranger.

 

I once saw a businessman doing a sudoku puzzle on the bus. As I walked past I whispered, "Be careful, they're addictive."

He laughed.

When I sat down a woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I did cryptic crosswords?

The young woman beside me asked me what level of sudoku I'd reached?

 

When we got off the bus in town their smiles brightened my day.

 

 

On my last trip to Canada I sat next to this very charming handsome young American man from Sydney to Los Angeles.

It started with him placing my bag in the overhead locker - and before long we were sharing our life's experiences........

Like Gecko, I was getting delusional - I'd almost convinced myself that Crazyheart had sent the roofer along to keep me company...

 

At the end of the flight he shook my hand and wished me a pleasant holiday - adding how much he'd enjoyed my company.

 

 

Possums, I blushed like a schoolgirl......

kaythecurler's picture

kaythecurler

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Maybe we just decide how old we are? 

 

Five years ago I went to a lake with  my daughter and her hubby, the kids and inlaws.  After a short bit of chatting at the campsite we headed down to the beach for a swim.  Who went swimming?  Hubby, me and the grandkids.  I wasn't surprised about son in law and his parents - I already knew that none of them had bothered to learn how to swim (but they all go out in a boat without wearing lifejackets sad).  Daughter though always enjoyed swimming and was good at it. 

The kids begged her to join them - she siad "No, no - I'm too old for all that now".

My hubby laughed - "How can you be TOO OLD when your mom is having a blast in the water with the youngsters?" 

Her reply was based on body image - she was fat now, she had an ugly bulge of tummy etc......

I just rolled my eyes as I wondered if she was embarrassed with her 'twice as fat' mom playing and splashing?

waterfall's picture

waterfall

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I haven't noticed myself getting old at all.......but my friends, poor dears, look ancient!

 

Pilgrims Progress, I think it's time for you to rent the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" and sit back and relish Kathy Bates, in the parking lot scene. Whenever you start feeling "old", remember TOWANDA!!!

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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seeler wrote:

 

 

I liked being 65.   The government started sending me a cheque every month.  But I could still do almost anything I wanted - cross country ski, bicycle, put up my Christmas lights, build a snowman.   I planned for next year, in a couple of years, when I have more time.  There was still a future.  

 

Then I hit 70, and developed a tremor in my arm.   At about the same time one of my friend's husband died. Another friend is almost housebound caring for her husband.  Another friend had to give up bowling this year because of arthritis in her right shoulder.  And Seelerman is slowing down.    In addition to our daughter dealing with a life-threatening medical problem.   And my sisters showing their age.    I have to admit it:  I'm old.   And I don't like it.  

 

 

Seeler,

I empathise with what you're saying here.........

 

Being widowed, and aware of serious health concerns in the older members of my extended family and friends, I'm very conscious of this small window of opportunity to "have a future".

 

 

That's why, in these last few years I've said "hang the expense - I can't take it with me - if I want to do it, I have to do it now".

 

I'd love to get on that big ol' plane this year also - but I'll be more involved with looking after my mother - so will just have to hope that an opportunity presents itself, if only for a short time.

 

 

 

gecko46's picture

gecko46

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Also, "Grumpy Old Men" and my favourite "Shirley Valentine."

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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.

waterfall's picture

waterfall

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gecko46 wrote:

Also, "Grumpy Old Men" and my favourite "Shirley Valentine."

 

Oh I wish I could embed the "boat scene" from "Shirley Valentine" for Pilgrims. That movie is priceless!

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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Mendalla, I bought 45's. I remember realizing I didn't have to save up for a whole album (tape by that time), that I could get just the song I liked for only $2.50 or something. I still have them, they're special songs to me. I have (off the top of my head):

 

Everything Counts by Depeche Mode

Hey Men : Men WIthout Hats

Union of the Snake : Duran

Be With You : The Bangles

Shame : Eurythemics

She Bought Love : John James

It's Alright : Pet Shop Boys

You'd Better Be Home Soon : Crowded House

Hot Hot Hot : The Cure

...uuuummm... Well that's a start. And they all have great sleeve art, except the first one.

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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waterfall wrote:

Oh I wish I could embed the "boat scene" from "Shirley Valentine" for Pilgrims. That movie is priceless!

Waterfall,

I loved both "Fried Green Tomatoes" and "Shirley Valentine".

Er, I'll have to get the videos out, I can hardly remember them now......

Reminds me.....

Me:" Mum, howzabout I give these old Agatha Christies to the Salvation Army? You've had them since I was a kid, you must have read them years ago."

 

Mum: "Don't you dare touch them. I still read them - I can never remember who does it."

 

 

seeler's picture

seeler

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My goodness - you kids feel old!!!?      Many of you are just getting started.  Try imagining yourself at double, triple, four times your age - that might be when you are getting old.  

 

I not only remember 45s.  I remember when they were a new invention.  They replaced the old 78s - remember them?  

 

And I remember the Second World War.   And one room schools.   And when the first phone lines came to our village and a few lucky people got phones that hung on the wall and were operated with a crank - and people 'listened in' on the party line.   And when the first 17 inch black and white TVs arrived and we would go to the neighbour's house after supper (the roof top antenna only picked up one station and it only broadcast for a few hours in the evenings) and watch the Ed Sullivan show.  

 

And there was a whole future ahead of me -----  opportunities for work, study, travel, a job, a family, new friends.   Wow!!!!   

 

And now it is living day by day, thankful for what I have.   Yes, I hope to be around and kicking for a few years yet - maybe a decade or two.  I have friends in their 80s and 90s.  Seelerman is out right now having coffee and congratulating a friend on his 96th birthday.   But the writing is on the wall - if I want to do something I should plan to do it soon.    So I will soon finish the novel I am working on.  I will try to spend more time with my grandchildren.   I will accept opportunities to serve in my church.  I will value the friendships I have now because the day might come when I will lose them or they will lose me.   And I will take nothing for granted.

 

 

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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No, we never had any 78's in my house. But yeah, I do mostly feel young, and not having a right to post about feeling old! Sorry folks.  I know I'm not old, but I have noticed my aging, maybe that's a better way to put it. I'm surprised Mendalla doesn't still have his 45's. ANd surprised that the 80's tunes are considdered forgotten now, I mean really! They're still cool to me! Nobody tosses out my youth!

 

Hugs to you older ladies. I look forward to having so much history to look back on, and the calmness and perspective only age can bring. And I look forward to being retired!

kaythecurler's picture

kaythecurler

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I had access to 78's and 45's and friends had a reel to reel tape recorder.  My childhood home had no tv, fridge, phone, washer, dryer, freezer, microwave, vacuum cleaner or car.

 

 I went to school during a time when it was considered shameful and embarrassing to be unable to read by your seventh birthday.  I had lessons in English (grammar, creative writing, spelling, comprehension), math, history, geography, science, art, music, religious knowledge (not just Christianity) , biology and phys ed (that included tumbling, ball games, dance, field events and swimming).  Children walked or rode bikes to school and clubs and activities.  Public transport was also used for longer distances. 

 

I have ridden on a steam train (a real one in regular service, not one at a tourist resort or museum). I didn't eat a resturant meal until I was fifteen. 

 

We lived in a small but adequate family home (not a real estate investment).  The kids clothes were rarely purchased new, they were mended, used until they were too small and then passed on to someone else.  We all had (and used) bikes without gears and my parents never bought me a new bike.  I had handed down roller skates with metal wheels and a key.  I used the same tennis racquet that my mother used as a child.  I sometimes camped in the backyard using a tent that my father bought when he was a teenager. 

 

Now that I am apparently 'old' I sometimes wonder why young people complain about how hard life is! 

seeler's picture

seeler

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Today I almost cried at bowling and considered quitting something I've enjoyed for fifteen or so years.   Why?   Because the tremor in my left arm has progressed to the point that it is sometimes more a constant jerky movement,  I was bowling poorly, and I mentioned to a close friend that it wasn't my bowling arm that was troubling me, but this other one.  "It gets on my nerves." I told her.  She patted my hand and said "I know.  I know."   

 

I don't want to be old.  I don't want to give up the things I enjoy.   I want to continue on being 'me'.   But sometime between 65 and 90 or so, it seems that old age catches us unawares and unprepared.  

 

It's no fun.  

 

I did recover.  No one but my close friend noticed my upset and she didn't realize how hard it was hitting me.   Of its own accord my tremor settled down some.  I was able to get back into the game - bowl my 'new average'  which is 10 pins lower than last year and 15 lower than the year before.    I gathered the score sheets at the end of the day and brought them home to calculate the averages and forward the stats to my bowling partner so that the top bowlers will have their names in the local paper.   I also took my turn keeping score and continued my duties as team captain.    Down, but not out.   

 

Tomorrow is another day.

 

 

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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I like to bowl, but unfortunately, hardly anyone else in this town does, and our bowling alley is one deadbeat sleepy building that is always closed. Pity.

graeme's picture

graeme

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I was seventeen, and visiting my old, scout camp - Tamaracouta. A boy of twelve or thirteen came to ask me a question. He called me "sir'.

At twenty, I was a supply teacher when I heard two kids talking in the hall.

"Who you got today?"

"Oh, it's old man Decarie."

Curiously, I don't feel old at all now. But the public perception has been moving in that direction since the day that twit of a boy scout called me, "sir.."

mrs.anteater's picture

mrs.anteater

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I felt old when sometime after I turned 40 I had to start making an effort to remember where I parked my car.

I believe that one's body image gets stuck somewhere and just the outside gets older. I think of myself somewhere in my thirties. The one in the mirror is logically me- but it's not how I feel myself.

So I had the idea one day that it isn't really surprising that people who have developed dementia sometimes get scared or agitated about that "woman in the mirror". I don't think we ever feel inside as old as we might look.

seeler's picture

seeler

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Elanorgold - if you lived near me I would welcome you into my league.   Generally we have a lot of fun.   I do notice that each year we have fewer and fewer bowlers.  The older ones die off or are incapacitated - and baby boomers in general are not joining. 

 

mrs.anteater - you might fool yourself for awhile thinking that while the calendar says you are in one decade you think of yourself in the previous one (or two) but eventually you may look around and realize that your friends are old.   You will realize that you don't just come to the seniors' group at the church to help out but you are one of them.  And your body will tell you that you are 'old'.

 

 

 

 

carolla's picture

carolla

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I am reminded of the words attributed to the indomitable Bette Davis ...

 

"Old age is not for sissies" 

graeme's picture

graeme

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I'm so old, I remember carpet bowling as a prime activity in United church basements. Does it still happen?

ninjafaery's picture

ninjafaery

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I'm not old -- am not, am not, am not. (Fingers in ears) La la la I can't hear you.....

 

Denial is great!

seeler's picture

seeler

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graeme - at St. James United in Montreal we didn't carpet bowl in the church basement.  We had three regulation sized lanes for duck pin bowling.  Each Friday evening before the YPU meeting we had three young teens to come in as pinsetters (yes, I'm old enough to remember when pins were set by hand).   We also had floor shuffleboard and a pool table in the church basement.   Some people said that they were put in during the war years to provide recreation to young soldiers who were in the city awaiting ships to transfer them overseas. 

 

 

Beloved's picture

Beloved

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Elanorgold wrote:

 

Mendalla, I bought 45's. I remember realizing I didn't have to save up for a whole album (tape by that time), that I could get just the song I liked for only $2.50 or something.

 

 

I smiled at this . . . we bought the 45's for a dollar smiley.  What goes around tends to come around, just in a different format . . . today the youth by one tune wonders on i-tunes for 1.99 or something, I'm not sure the exact price.

 

Beloved's picture

Beloved

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seeler wrote:

 

I don't want to be old.  I don't want to give up the things I enjoy.   I want to continue on being 'me'.   But sometime between 65 and 90 or so, it seems that old age catches us unawares and unprepared.  

 

It's no fun.  

 

 

I hear ya about the "no fun", and not wanting to be old . . . but dear seeler - you will always be the wonderful "you" that you are smiley!

Beloved's picture

Beloved

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carolla wrote:

 

"Old age is not for sissies" 

 

 

This quote of Bette Davis'  has started to be my "new quote of the day", carolla smiley.

 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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seeler wrote:

 

I don't want to be old.  I don't want to give up the things I enjoy.   I want to continue on being 'me'.   But sometime between 65 and 90 or so, it seems that old age catches us unawares and unprepared.  

 

Seeler,

You have articulated so well here the inner feelings and anxiety that prompted me posting this thread..........

 

"I don't want to be old. I don't want to give up the things I enjoy. I want to continue on being "me" "

 

I've been mulling over this some more.....

 

 

What will stop me being me?

 

 

Full on dementia?

 

Yes, but then I won't have awareness of who "me" is - so in a sense it won't be a problem, will it?

 

(I saw  "The Iron Lady" during the week and Meryl Streep's portrayal of Margaret Thatcher brought home to me the anxieties to be confronted from the initial onset of dementia - so, nevertheless, for a period, this is still a "biggie".)

 

 

Sooo, if my mind is still capable of functioning reasonably well - it will be the loss of physical capabilities that will have to be faced......

 

On reflection, providing that my pain levels aren't too bad, I'm reasonably confident that I'll cope here.

 

It's about making adjustments to "what is" - reality - and finding more suitable activities.

(I don't play hopscotch anymore - and I can't say I miss it!!)

 

 

 

The important thing will be to live in "the now" - whatever that entails.

 

Something I've noticed about being "old" - those that live in the past, rather than the present, have, in a sense, already died in spirit.............

 

 

And yes, "old age ain't for sissies"  -  but it sure beats the alternative. 

 

 

Beloved's picture

Beloved

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Pilgrims Progress wrote:

 

(I don't play hopscotch anymore - and I can't say I miss it!!)

 

 

I don't play hopscotch anymore either . . . I think I kind of miss it smiley.  But there are other things I can't do and don't miss so much . . . I don't miss riding a bike much, . . . I don't miss playing ball as much, . . .

 

I agree with you about living in the past . . . for many it is hard to give up the "glory days" . . . there is much in my past I'd like to forget - so I try not to go there too often smiley.  How does the saying go . . .

 

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why it is called the present"?

 

It is hard living in the here and now, especially as one ages and begins to have concerns for the future and what it holds.

 

 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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Beloved,

Just a brief sojourn into the past.............

 

Now about hopscotch -

I can still remember the moves (especially when you come to the end - and you have to do that nifty reverse jump!) - but it's the bending down and picking up that wee stone that's the problem.........

 

By the way, what do you call that thingie you pick up? I remember here in Oz it sounded something like a "tore" ????

Beloved's picture

Beloved

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We just used a piece of glass . . . so we just called it . . . a piece of glass smiley.  I can't remember it having a name.  Our house was in the middle of a rocky area . . . rocks all around . . . so there was always broken glass of some sort.

 

 

graeme's picture

graeme

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Ah, Seeler, are you old enough to remember when St. James United in Montreal had the annual New Year's service for all the Sunday Schools in the city? We used to pack the place - and it's seating was immense.

The last time I as in St. James, I had my daughter with me, then about four. She had to go to the bathroom - and didn't want ot go in alone. So I had to take her to the men's bathroom. (The church was almost empty at the time.)

A woman who saw me coming out of the men's room with a four year old girl stopped in her tracks, then rushed into an office to call the police.

I guess that wa another day when I felt old.

kaythecurler's picture

kaythecurler

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My partner had the same type of difficulty when he had to take our four year old into the Mens at a Mall.  I wonder why people get so uptight about it when they take for granted the stream of women taking boys into the Ladies?

jlin's picture

jlin

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The first time I felt too old I was 19.  I have always looked about seven years younger than my age, but that didn't matter, in fact it exacerbated the situation as I have always been more mature than my years but younger looking  so that

 

When I realized that I was 19 and didn't have the kind of direction and answers required of a mature person who matured too early but looks to young, I realized that the people who I looked like were going to benefit from my failures and that I would be thrown out to seed.  That happened.  Was it self-fulfilling profecy or was it just an apt perception.  A little of both, of course and a variety of other things.

 

Anyway, the great thing about it happening at 19 is that everytime since then, when I have felt "too old" or even get accused of it, I know it is just a mindgame . . . my own or someone elses . . . it doesn't change anything.

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