[EDITORIAL NOTE: I am out of town for several days this week. In my absence, are stories from five elders and/or bloggers who have contributed to what I am calling The Oldest Old Project. They had to be at least 80 to participate and I asked how their lives had changed in the 20 or more years since they were 60. Today, Millie Garfield, who blogs at My Mom’s Blog.]
In January 2007, I wrote a post titled, My Trip From 65 to 81. I'm 83 now and have reread what my thoughts were then and where I'm coming from today.
I'm still the same confident and independent person I was then. Being independent is even more important to me now. The few times that I've needed help, it was there for me but I realize that the more help I would get, the more dependent I would become. It's nice for someone else to drive you where you want to go, do your shopping for you and make your meals, BUT I would lose my independence. Better to work a little harder and be able to do for yourself.
Years ago when someone invited me to join them in some activity, I would be quick to accept. Now I seem to be more selective about who and how I spend my time. I'd rather stay home than be doing something that gives me no satisfaction. I thought we mellow with age and are not as critical of others but I have become more aware of how and who I spend my time with.
Recently I was with a group of ladies and the subject of age came up. One of the women asked me, "How come you put your age on your blog?”
I was surprised at the question! My answer was, “I'm comfortable and proud of my age." When I was in my late 20's and not married I would not advertise my age because at that time girls were getting married in their early 20s and I was considered "an old maid."
One lady said she wished she was 16 again, another said she's like to be 50 again. Forget that, I wouldn't want to go through all that again.
There is a lot to say about how health effects a person’s life. When I made the move from my home to a condo, I was 71. Looking back at it now, that was a good time to make the move. I could adjust to my new surroundings and start a whole new life.
For a while, I had been considering moving to a retirement community; as a matter of fact I have been on a wait list for the past year. As time goes, by my thoughts have changed. It would be too much for me to deal with now - new surroundings, new people and new adjustments.
Friendships are affected by health too. One friend is now in an assisted living facility - we talk on the phone. Another friend has many limitations - we talk on the phone. And so it goes.
I eat right, take my medications but the one thing I don't do is exercise - that has always been my downfall, BUT hopefully that will change: I just signed up for an exercise program at the local community center. I'm always interested in trying something new, so this should give me a new challenge.
The days, weeks, months and years fly by so fast.
When I first started taking medication, I had this small pill box. Then I needed a larger pill box. Before I turned around, I had to refill the pill box so often I bought another one - filled two weeks of pills at one time. Now I am going to buy a third pill box - fill three weeks of pills at one time!!
[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Georgie Bright Kunkel writes about her remarkable cousin in Ninety-Seven and Counting.]