Get Old


Have you seen this?  “Get Old” by Pfizer?  Not sure what it’s all about, but I went to it and read some entries.  All these upbeat positive people.  Made me want to vomit.

Really people, that’s how you really feel about getting old?

“I’m more comfortable in my own skin now”  Sure you are.  It fits so loosely it’s like a warm up suit.

“I don’t worry as much”  You don’t worry as much.  You can relax more?  You’re not relaxing, you’re stuck inside because you don’t want to be seen using a walker.

“I don’t get my periods any more.”  This speaks for itself.

“I don’t even think about sex.”  Why not?!

That makes you feel good about being/getting old/er.  All these things make me feel old, not good.  Sure I’m a little wiser now than when I was 20, but were the past 30 years really necessary?  Oh, sure if not for the intervening years I wouldn’t know the things I do now, and there’s no possible for me to go back and do my 20s over.  I have so few memories of my 20s, 30s, it’s all just a blur, very few specific memories.  A couple of birthdays, a few holiday memories, but nothing else.  Is it because I never really did anything exciting or even interesting that there just isn’t anything to remember.  The predominant theme of my life has been colored by my long underlying depression.

Or is it possible I had a great full life and my memory is so bad that you could tell me I took a trip down the Nile and I’d never know the difference.

But I remember most of the last few years, buying a house, getting another dog, lunches with friends.  Why?  Simply because it’s more recent?  No, it’s been since I started living, which I sort of stopped doing when I got married.  I think a lot of women do.  We get absorbed by our significant other, and devoured by our children.  At least that’s the way my family seemed to operate.  My youth not only passed me by, I have no recollections of how good I used to feel.  How easy it was to move when I was 20.  I could dance in high heels all night, then get up and go to work.

How is my life better now that I’m older?  I understand why things have happened the way they have and I don’t really want to live my life over.  I just don’t want to feel bad reflecting on it.  I don’t like saying “I used to,” or “I remember when I was your age…”  I don’t like turning off one of my favorite songs because it makes me want to be 20 again.  I feel I cheated myself out of some memories by marrying and older man and having a child right away.  Husband has always said I would one day regret marrying him.  I don’t regret it, but I think the timing could have been better.  I always told him he saved me from a bad life of alcohol and drug abuse, though I was far from an addict, I felt I could have been.

After 30 years you grow apart as lovers.  Sex becomes another thing you used to do.  You just don’t have the stamina.  The meds take their toll in side effects.   You start to live like roommates.  I don’t want that for me.  I’m only 51!  If it’s this bad now, how bad will it be when I’m in my 70s?  Will husband already be gone?  He’d be in his 80s.  Who will take care of whom?  The thought of getting older only means negative things to me.  Most days I’m ok with it, but if I let myself think about it I get angry and then sad.

This getting old shit, is getting old.  Maybe because of my last trip to my neurologist.  I had suddenly developed a problem with my ankles.  They stiffened up, lost all flexibility if I sit down for half an hour or so.  She raised my zanaflex to  8mg up to three times a day.  That’s about the max.  The condition will only continue to worsen.  Right now it works and I realized how stiff I was already walking.  It’s incredible what you fail to perceive happening until suddenly it doesn’t happen.  My ankles had been stiffening up for a while, they had just gotten worse.  On the higher dose my ankles feel great!  But I don’t want to take the highest dose at the highest frequency already.  That just means it will stop working altogether at some point sooner than later.  Do I take the dosage and feel great for a year, or limit the dose and feel ok for three?Wheelchair

Maybe getting older doesn’t always mean becoming disabled, and getting old certainly beats the option, but becoming disabled is far more realistic a future for some of us.  I want to reach a peace with my anger at my body.  I want to age gracefully.  I want to use a cane with grace and style.  But I’d really really love to be 21 just for one day!

12 thoughts on “Get Old

  1. So profound and poignant beyond my poor words. You give voice to the thousands of us who would relinquish their claim to Heaven’s halls for one more perfect Spring day, free of pain and the specter of old age. May God give you the strength and courage to face all your tomorrows with dignity and grace.
    Your words DO make a difference to all of us. Hugs, Randa Lane

  2. I would never want to go back to being twenty and having to face all those hurdles . . . I would, however, like to have the twenty year old body. I’m 36 and reported some neck problems and the doc said I was just getting old. WTF? Ugh. If I could go back to twenty knowing what I know now? I dunno. I hated all that uncertainity – who will I marry, will I marry, having babies – good gosh I would never want to go through pregnancy again.

    But I’m with you. Relentlessly positive people freak me out. What is with that?

  3. i think people who have somehow failed to enjoy the rest of their lives rue old age. i feel quite happy with the advantages of matured age. old age is yet to come but i have a feeling that i will enjoy it.

  4. I can identify with the getting older…I did a blog on it also. I’m a lot older than you as I’m 67 and some days I wish for the days when I felt stronger and like you to walk in high heels and dance…It was one of our favourite things to do. But then I realize that while I’m past that I am for the most part content with living those years and now living a more quiet lifestyle. MS does rob you of some times and things earlier than others…and makes it easier for ‘depression’ to slip into our lives. My hope is that you can find some joy in ‘some things’ ..perhaps different things but something to make you smile and feel not too bad about where you are now. …Diane

    1. I do have days I don’t feel so bad, that’s when I talk politics and religion. Fun topics.

      I guess I have my regrets over the way I’ve lived my life and have to slowly make my peace with it. I’m getting closer to contentedness. I hope I find it before I’m 60. lol

  5. the thought of getting older is quite appealing to me! i think of my grandmother and she never complained of getting older and to me she just got more beautiful and loving each year. illness has aged my body and in some ways this is a betrayal, however, the thought of living to see 60 is so enticing i find the rest of it insignificant.

    wishing you peace of heart, and soon:)

    1. I truly appreciate your good wishes. I’m working with a meditation of acceptance. I feel better now than I did two years ago about being 50+. Now that I’m looking at 52 I’m getting more comfortable, but it still makes me angry sometimes.

  6. Oh, getting old, yes! Sometimes we feel good about it – there are pluses. Eventually you stop struggling and I think that can feel good. But wHILE you’re struggling, that’s when you hate old age. Rage against the dying of the light?

  7. I have a hard time reconciling with being 57 and my body telling me its 90. My mind, heart & spirit are not a day over 25, just old enough to be slihghtly taken serious,a nd young enough still to have grace.

    There are things that were more meaningful at age 29 then today at 57, not because its impossible but because I am making better choices that are for me , not someone else’s need. That is the other thing.. I am still young enough at 57 I can take care of what this Baroness wants and needs now ..no more sacrificing for all the poor & wrong reasons. ~No more what I SHOULD do or SHOULD feel.

    I honestly am loving being 57 except for the physical side of things taht on most days is doable. Mostly.

    Happiness has its own sweet rewards.

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