There is absolutely nothing wrong with being old, I assure you
Twice in 2 days someone else decided that I was old. What a nerve! Surely I’m the one to decide whether I’m old or not? I went across to the gym yesterday after deciding that I really should get back to exercising. That’s a sign of youth, right? They were pleased to see me. “We’ll just fill in this form and get you back into shape in no time.” Mr. Muscle-man starts filling out the form copying information from the computer screen. They haven’t erased me even though I stopped going at the end of last year for economic and not health or age reasons. All of a sudden he puts down his pen and starts laughing, I mean really laughing. “Look at this mistake with your date of birth! 1933!” He thought it was a great joke. I told him to stop laughing and that it had been a great year.
Then a doctor of all people
This morning was my regular check-up at the urologist. “Everything seems fine. No more PSA tests for you.” Why not, I ask. “At your age it’s a waste of time.” I sat, stunned into shock. Six months ago I wasn’t too old, but today I am too old? In all fairness he was probably quoting the instructions of the health fund. Well, whatever it was, I was furious. Not because they won’t do the tests any more, but because they have taken the responsibility of determining my arrival at old age. I actually don’t care what they think. I’m the one who makes the decisions about my age. Or am I being ridiculous?
A bad story
I recently heard a bad story about this kind of thing. An ‘older’ man, which I take to mean that he was over, say 65, had been having dialysis at the hospital for some years. One day he arrived for his session and was told that there was no place for him because the unit was full of younger men and they had preference. He said to the clerk, “are you telling me to go home and die?” The clerk wept, the old man was in shock; all in all a bad story about growing old.
In many ways old age is unfair. If one is healthy and all systems are operating in accordance with the user manual, the senior person is just like anyone else. He may move a little slower and probably does react more slowly, but he or she is right up there with you when it comes to thinking.
It’s what you make it
Like many things in life, old age will be how you make it. Expect the worst and you will probably get it. Ignore it and hope it will go away – I’m not sure this will work, especially the ‘go away’ part, but ignoring it will certainly reduce its impact on your life.