Saturday, January 14, 2017

      When I was in my teens, I thought 30 was old. When I was in my thirties, I thought 50 was ancient. When I reached 60, old age became “relative.” Now that I am even older than this, I look at aging differently. I consider myself wise, mature (most of the time), “active,” spirited and young at heart. The “Seven Dwarves of Old Age” see me differently, and, unfortunately, so does most of society. We don’t revere or even respect old age in this country. In some countries, like Japan, the elderly are looked at as almost heroes by their families and friends. Wouldn’t that be a welcome luxury? 

      I would like to defend the little guys below. So here goes:

Nappy:  Taking naps has proven to rejuvenate, even improve the brain’s function and make people more cheerful. I take a nap to shut off my creative juices. If I don’t, I will drown in them.

Wrinkly:  There is nothing one can do about the condition of one’s skin by the time they are 60+. So the best we can do is accept it, and try to stay fit. We can minimize the wrinkles by smoothing out our dispositions.

Squinty:  There are cool glasses now, and cataract surgery that will restore our sight to 20/20. I have never worn glasses, and I still don’t. Some people even look younger in glasses. Furthermore, sometimes it’s better to see less.

Rocky:  If we enjoy a rocking chair, that means we know enough to slow down and relax. It takes some of us a lifetime to do this, and if a chair helps, I say, “Go for it.”

Saggy:  The simplest remedy for saggy is good posture. Some people can’t stand up straight due to pain or stiffness. Those who can, however, often don’t just out of habit or laziness. Walking tall tells people we are confident and secure in our skin. Yes, gravity pulls hard after 50, but staying in shape is a choice for most of us. 

Farty:  This is not an old age problem. This is a condition encouraged by mothers of boys from age one.

Leaky:  ??

I would add a couple of elves to the Old Age Equation:

Smarty:  People who have aged gracefully can teach others what not to fret about, how unimportant certain “problems” are and how a perspective of years lived can lower stress. The problem is that people don’t want to listen. 

Hearty:  Most people who have lived long lives have learned that a compassionate heart will heal much better than drugs or alcohol. They have learned that relationships of the heart are more valuable than things and that connection is everything.

Humbly:  People who have gained wisdom through the years know that humility is the most important quality to teach one’s children. 

Giggly:   Old people know the value of laughter. They know laughter heals, it soothes, it keeps us young, and it connects us with people who don’t even speak our language. It is a universal language which always brings a smile to even the saddest face. 


“la vieille”