Monday, August 2, 2010

Aging Gracefully

I know I am 45 years old and all, but I am simply not prepared to deal with the rigors of aging. Not that there's a good alternative, of course! But this last year has been a little like the oft-referenced ride "to hell in a handbasket." It's downright unnerving! Suddenly, I'm falling apart. It's like someone flipped a switch.

It seems like only yesterday that I was adjusting to life with my first newborn. The sum total of my challenges was dealing with the transition from career to stay-at-home mom and how to adequately stimulate aforementioned baby's brain. As though he needed any help in that department! And then suddenly, here I am. Enjoying perfect skin. Flawless, even. Not because of my expensive skin care products and rigorous routine (as if!), but because I can't see a darn thing within 18 inches of my face.

And then there is a plethora of life-induced problems; a bad knee to limit activity, acquired food intolerances that cost me 6 months of pain to discover, the odd benign tumor that I have yet to deal with, and the increased pressure precedent to glaucoma to worry about. But really, the hard part for me is the wondering. I'm now, undoubtedly, in the second half of my life. Will I be able to live it abundantly? Will I be blind? Or will I be otherwise limited by my body? My long-time fantasy has been to avail myself of the generosity of the state of Utah by being able to take advantage of the "ski free" program for folks over eighty. The good news is that I still have 35 years before I'll qualify, and hopefully, my children will keep me "young" so that I'll be in good enough shape to avail myself of the program!

I'm certainly glad that I've lived long enough to learn a few things about what is important in life and what is not. I feel such embarrassment about the person I used to be. I'm sure I will eventually feel a similar level of embarrassment about my current maturity level when I look back on it from some ski lift in my distant future. I guess that is all a natural part of aging, as well. I'm sure a google's worth of people have wished they could match their older mind to their youthful body.

The title of this blog is a misnomer. Or maybe it's a "from my lips to God's ear" sort of title. Aging gracefully is something I'd like to be able to do, but have no idea how to accomplish. To me, it means remaining in control and not gradually amassing a list of things I can no longer do. How are the rest of you doing at this? Is your age beginning to affect your quality of life? What do you know now that you wish you knew "when?" I'd welcome your thoughts. :-)


  1. I was just telling my husband a few days ago that I had found a few gray hairs in my head. I know that it may seem shallow, but realizing that I now have some gray made me feel very old.
    My husband assured me that he thought it was attractive and that I would now 'match' him. (He is nearly all gray) We have just turned 39 this summer. I've had a couple health issues come up (Rheumatoid Arthritis) that has made me stop and think about growing older. How does someone in their thirties have RA? And will I be barely getting around by the time I'm 50? It isn't pretty to think about, but I am not going to grow old gracefully, I'll be kicking and fighting the whole way. :)

  2. We must be riding in the same handbasket.

    For now, my best defense is denial. I realized also in the past few years how I am more likely to notice changes and obsess on them. Now, when I'm sitting in bed at night noticing my heart skipping beats, I tell myself it was the ridiculous amount of caffeine I drank and not atrial fibrilation (which I diagnosed myself as having while researching the internet.) LOL

    Ignore, ignore, ignore. It will go away. Please don't bust my bubble.