ELDER MUSIC: Toes Up in 2019
A TGB READER STORY: Rings and Things

Crabby Old Lady Cuts Loose

Crabby Old Lady has had enough. She has lost all patience with age denial.

If you've had a face lift or Botox, get out of Crabby's way. She doesn't want to know you.

If you shave five or ten years off your age, who do you think you're kidding? You have made yourself ridiculous.

If you say things like “age is just a number” or “you're only as old as you feel” or “gee, you don't look that old”, stop insulting Crabby's intelligence. Anyone who uses those phrases is, by definition, old. Get over it and enjoy your great good fortune at still being upright. Many people don't get the chance.

Old women (and some old men) rightly complain of becoming invisible to people around them. Workers older than 50, and even 40 sometimes, are often fired in favor of 20-somethings and just as frequently, aren't hired in the first place.

More, old people are almost never included in drug trials which makes your physician's prescriptions a by-guess and by-god proposition. And don't even ask Crabby about abuse of elders.

So hear this now: There are more than enough people willing to treat elders badly. We don't need our own kind piling on.

Although it is not an excuse, Crabby understands that your behavior may stem from having lived your entire life in a culture that dislikes old people so much that comedians, greeting cards and even television commercials routinely debase and devalue old folks without objection from anyone.

Facebook, for example, bans hate speech. Here is how they explain the policy on their community standards page:

”We define hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability.”

So you can't say anything nasty about Jews or women or people of alternate gender on Facebook but age is fair game. What else is new.

In truth, Facebook is just one of hundreds, or likely, thousands of publications that publish or allow to be published every day material that maligns old people.

None of this is good in general nor for old people, but for Crabby the worst aspect of ageism is the old themselves who are complicit in the disparagement of elders.

They laugh at the mean jokes and refuse to join their local senior center because, they say, it is full of old people. Mostly, they are supremely unhappy about being old and infect anyone nearby with their sour feelings.

A couple of months ago while discussing aging, a woman Crabby had just met asked how Crabby seemed to be so easy with growing old when she lives with cancer and COPD.

Crabby will tell anyone who wants to listen that limitations caused by old age health issues can be time-consuming, exhausting, irritating and frightening. But when were they not so? At any age?

Crabby doesn't recall childhood being a bed of roses, and teen years? Does anyone really want to go through adolescence again?

There have always been obstacles great and small in life. There is no reason old age should be different.

Worse for Crabby Old Lady are certain of her contemporaries - the people who take all the fun away explaining how old age is a constant misery. And it is little consolation to learn they have always been with us.

Greek tragedian Euripides knew the measure of these folks about 25 centuries ago:

”Old men's prayers for death are lying prayers, in which they abuse old age and long extent of life. But when death draws near not one is willing to die, and age no longer is a burden to them.”

Comments

Ronni, you have distilled into honest, heartfelt and eloquent language the many thoughts and feeling swirling around in my head about living in this stage of life. Thank you. Sending a virtual hug and wishing you continuing love of life in the new year.

It's so easy to pick out the people who've had vanity surgeries. I just don't get it. Accept reality and remember that no one will tell you when you're face looks like a plastic doll but they might be laughing behind your back. How is that any better than aging gracefully? I know some do it to try to compete in our youth obsessed job market and I am sympathetic to them. Anyway, this topic makes me crabby too!

Old song: "Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven But Nobody Wants To Die."

Exactly! But I pity all those who think aging is hell - if they're young, they don't know; if they're old, they aren't comfortable with who they are. Sad.
I realise that I have enjoyed every age more than what preceded it. I'm more contented now than I have ever been. More comfortable with being me.
I would never want to be teenaged or young again! It was awful, always needing to please others.

I'm not old, just slower and have more impediments to my goals. My body doesn't respond as it used to, I hurt more than I did. On the plus side, I sure do enjoy all the experience to draw from and I like getting checks every week. When young, my body was far more responsive and healed quicker. Now, I have to move slower (with caution, at times!) and a cold may linger longer. Would I trade? No, I am enjoying my time now and I could never trade the experiences I had. Each day is fun, doing all the things I put off for over 60 years.
Projects take longer, just more to savor them. I am hassled by the limitations my body puts on my mind, otherwise I really enjoy being older. Note, I didn't say elderly. Elderly is for those who really are old in mind AND body. B

I am 95 and proud of it.
It beats the heck out of the alternative.
The Ole Guy

Thank you for speaking up & out. Your column has been a great source of commonsense for me. I'm 65, not always enjoying the challenges but thankful that I'm still here to live them. And I'm thankful for the benefits that I'm allowing myself to experience
We do need to stop sabotaging ourselves as older individuals and stop supporting society's denigration of our age group. We will remain invisible if we don't push back.

The truth is that the oldsters who are complicit with disparagement of elders are often the same people who have been crabby their whole lives. The topic of what the complaints are about simply change. You continue to value the life you have. I am in agreement with those people who feel like I am happier each passing year than I was the year before. Aging has a lot of benefits and continuing to live for today and the future is more beneficial to the individual and to society than living in the past.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

Well said Ronni and Euripides!

My most recent experience of feeling betrayed by another member of this great wave of people who are beyond age 60 was when I recently saw an ad for a particular online learning program advertising a class taught by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Her face looked like she was about 30, but enlarging the photo I focused in on her hands and they looked more like mine -- knobby, veiney and much older than those of a 30 year old. I've been a fan of hers for many years, and while her cosmetic changes certainly don't change my estimation of her work and talent, I am sorry that she felt the need to capitulate to a practice that reinforces age-ism and the harm that inflicts on individuals and society at large. I would have hoped she could rise about that, but we all know it's driven by a pretty powerful force and I suppose even more so when your livelihood may depend upon maintaining an illusion of youth.

Recently I used the word "old" in terms of myself and was scolded (!) by a younger, and believe me, one of the wiser women on planet. Told I should, you know, change my thinking. Trying to talk her new age language, I told her I am embracing my old age, and let it go, and she gave me a massage for which I forgive her everything.

"Elder shame" is real, much to my amazement, and I'm working it. Hearing aids don't really do it, so I miss a lot of what people, especially in a group, say. I'm contemplating what I can say to these groups to set all of us at ease, I don't have to fake it, they don't yell. We can just enjoy each other however it shakes out.

Well, this is a BIG topic, Ronni, and a good one to explore, thank you.

I’m old and I’m proud, to paraphrase James Brown.

At years end, going through my folders and keepsakes, and then reading this, it's all good, thank you Ronni for your words today, loved the line "Crabby doesn't recall childhood being a bed of roses, and teen years? Does anyone really want to go through adolescence again?" So, here we are, and up to us to make it a better day, Happy New Year 2020. May it be a good year, like the vision Opt. speaking 20-20 Good Sight.

Um…. This couldn’t have come along at a better time. I follow several people on youtube—a couple who live in an RV (and document their travels), a young man who offers investing tips, another young man who reviews movies currently streaming on Netflix, a few others.

But it’s those first 3 I’ve mentioned, that in just the past month or so have made some pretty disparaging remarks about 1) effing Boomers 2) selfish Boomers 3) please no comments from the Boomer Gallery. What the--I feel like I’m getting all this blame heaped on me, simply for being a ‘Boomer’?? How is my life anymore privileged or better than these angry millennials? The frustrations they’re dealing with now are pretty much the same I dealt with when I was their age.

This post was serendipitous. I see so many articles about aging women, and how I can be more socially visible, have the time of my life, dress to kill, and demonstrate I'm not old.

It's exhausting. What if I just want to retire from all that? What if I don't particularly care how I look on any given day? What if I'm tired of being visible and enjoy the peace of being overlooked and feel no need to scream, "Here I am" through outrageous clothing or behavior.?

I had a necklift about seven years ago; it's nobody's business but my own. No one comments on it, though it was suggested when I returned to work that I looked well rested. Don't think I'll be having any others as I no longer work and have more important health issues with which to cope.

Thanks for your post.

Doug, we boomers have been a HUGE target since infancy because there are so many of us! I sometimes feel like the same 35-year-olds who were writing trend pieces in the 50s about how we swamped hospital maternity units and broke school districts are (some magical way) STILL 35 years old and STILL writing trend pieces, only now they're about how we ruined [insert food/institution/social norm here]. I've only had the chance to say this once or twice but it was worth it: "You can criticize boomers all you want the day you purposely choose the longest line in the grocery store or bank or DMV." Of course no one EVER chooses the longest line anywhere, and we didn't--and would never--choose this. But here we are, and no one would argue we were perfect. But the Greatest Generation didn't get a reputational makeover until most of them were gone, so ...

We all approach aging in our own way. I wish you all well no matter what path you choose. Please be tolerant of others who have chosen a different path.

"Of course no one EVER chooses the longest line anywhere, and we didn't--and would never--choose this. But here we are, and no one would argue we were perfect. But the Greatest Generation didn't get a reputational makeover until most of them were gone, so ..."

Oh well said, Paula! I hadn't thought about it that way before...

I think you’re getting too upset by all this.
I agree that the Botox plastic surgery group are shallow insecure fools, but who cares! There are fools everywhere.

So what if people younger disparage us old folks. They will be old someday too and sing a different tune, just like us.

Old is old..let’s face it. Enjoy the life you have now, be yourself and try not to give a sh— what other, usually clueless, people say.

Discrimination is rampant in our society on many levels and this is not going to change ever.

So enjoy your family and friends, eat some fine food, drink some fine wine, watch a good British TV show, go to a lecture, find like minded friends on and off line, enjoy the beauty of nature and be thankful that we are probably soon to leave a world that has gone mad and we lived in the best of times. We are fortunate.

Screw the rest of them. We had it the best!

Paula, thank you--so well said! I'm half-tempted to get a baseball cap with some catchy Boomer slogan, but I'll let my gray hair and laugh lines speak for themselves :)

My hair is grey, made more prominent by the brown spots visible here and there, the darkening undereye skin, and the oft-gotten red bruisings of gardening. My personal improvement goals are inside, unseen. Heart and brain haven't changed, but muscle, skeletal structure, nutritional knowledge have. And a good deal of time is spent on those. They give me pleasure to feel my self, to learn and be actively involved in aging as I choose.

Far from perfect. And good enough.

This year, 2019, I've shed another layer. That being makeup, except for formal times. There were 3 this past year. And why not? Would I be impressed by or attracted to men whose faces had makeup? Am I offending anyone by going au natural on my face? Sometimes between makeup and clothing I felt like a contortionist of sorts. So off it's all come, save for lipstick, plucked brows and well-nourished skin.

This is not a judgement of others who also get to choose their own type and level of focus and comfort.

The thing I've gotten through the thick skull is that I've choices, and #1 in my book is my being, my attitudes, my way.

It’s true that we become invisible in modern society as we age, but the advantage of that is that we fly under the radar. A fellow recently told me not to say “old” but rather say “older”. Ok, whatever. I’m old, he’s older (which is true). Happy New Year folks!

I'm 83. I'm mostly healthy and of relatively high energy, despite bits of arthritis. My younger friends think of me as a role model, although this makes me cringe just a bit. So when I say that I'm old, and I do say it, people express great discomfort. Of course, I'm old! Being old is just part of being alive, and I hope to remain old for a great many years to come. Although, there's no telling. So to calm people down, I explain that I'm only old from the neck down. This doesn't always satisfy them. One can be old and still connected. One can be old and still open to life. Old is not a 4-letter word. It's a reason to celebrate. After all, consider the alternative. Keep on telling them, Crabby!

Being old is NOT a constant misery. It's just hard, as has been engaged living at any age. May I say to too many: "Grow up!"

Hey, some of us aren't even boomers or from the Greatest Generation--I'm a late member of the "Silent Generation" at 75. I know I'm "old" but certainly don't feel, or often act, in a way I would have imagined suitable for my age. As Gary says, we all approach aging in our own way. My hearing aids remind me my body is aging, but, otherwise, so far so good. I'll take it!

I have to say I am with Gary, above, who stated more eloquently than I would, "We all approach aging in our own way. I wish you all well no matter what path you choose. Please be tolerant of others who have chosen a different path."

I have not had cosmetic procedures, even though I'm saggy and baggy and do not like what I see in the mirror. But I would never speak ill of, or look down upon, those who have. I'm sorry to see that "Crabby doesn't want to know you." I do want to know you, whether you're nipped-and-tucked, or saggy like me.

Oh Ronni, once again, your wisdom is showing! Ageism is alive and well (sick)? (epidemic)? in our culture. I choose to laugh at my accumulation of years...It's taken me a long time to get here, after all. Just like my aging car, my "check engine" light is on...Here's a poem poking fun at our aging I wrote a few years back..hope you might enjoy it:

Continental Drift

I've discovered of late that there's a certain
yin and yang to growing older...
As my breasts journey ever southward, my belly
expands northward and outward to greet them.

Breasts and belly united, they are content in their continental drift
But I, fighting gravity, defying Newton, hitch my bra straps higher.

Nestled, snug in their cozy cotton igloos,
breasts bide their time, bear the separation,
resting through winter's gloom and gray
perking up at Spring's song of sparrows.

For soon come the sultry days of summer,
When I turn them loose to meet their friend.

My belly smiles, winks
to welcome their return,
united, content once again.

Forever friends.

Who am I to keep them apart, my happy round pals?
Drift and float; be free, go where you will.

Newton knew.

Gravity overcomes vanity.
It's not physical,
only physics.

--Patricia Frank copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Patricia Frank

I dearly love a good rant.

And Crabby Old Lady is one of my favorite people. 

And the subject of ageism gets me boiling too. 

That said, I think we need to interject a bit of nuance here, particularly when it comes to how old people choose to alter their appearance. 

People of all ages mess with their looks.  They cover themselves with tattoos; pierce every body part that's remotely pierce-able; color their hair green and purple or shave it all off or grow it down to their butts; get their teeth straightened or capped or whitened or implanted or whatever.  And when some of their body parts bother them, they have them surgically changed.  All of this is part of modern reality and familiar to all of us.  Why should it be any different for old people?  

Despite the wide-spread conviction that cosmetic surgery means either stupidity, absurd vanity, hatred of ageing or all of those together, I don't think that's true.  Some people care about how they look at all ages and some people don't.  Some people are blessed with remarkably good looks at all ages (and you are one of those, Ronni Bennett) and others aren't so fortunate.  If they want to make themselves feel better by changing how they look, who gives a damn?  It's totally their thing and none of my business.  And it doesn't mean they're stupid or pathetically insecure.  Think Helen Mirren, given we all know who she is.  Feisty, smart, outspoken, funny, brave. And pretty clearly a client of very good, subtle cosmetic surgery.  So, who cares? 

Where I live, on a busy corner of a west coast Canadian city, I can look out my kitchen window and see every sort of human being standing below me at the intersection, waiting for the light to change. There are old people, young people, fit people going for a run next to people stumbling along with canes and walkers, people in $3000 suits standing next to people dressed in grubby jeans and old jackets, people with white hair, black hair, purple hair, no hair, people of every possible ethnicity and lifestyle. They're all standing together and they're all completely oblivious to the different-ness of the people around them.  I love it.  That's my ideal of how societies should be. 

Old people should be protected from ageism.  They should also be free to look however they want to look.  And we should all be fine with that.  That's this crabby old lady's opinion. 

You do sound a little crabby today, Ronni. I have howdy-doody lines that make me look sad so I have used fillers on those lines and will continue to do so.

Thank you. Lots.

Now a favor: I’m guessing you feel like lots of us with the announcement of pancan in Rep John Lewis.

The news felt like a punch to the gut, a kick to the heart, a drain on my emotions.

Yeah each person is different. He’s survived so much.

Oh the favor: if you and RBG, still kickin’ after living longer could get your methods to him, would you? I don’t want a world without any of you but without him??

So up those vibes outward please.

I am a boomer. While grey and clearly aging, I take pride in how I look. I keep my body fit. I use makeup and have a good hairdresser. I also dress well. I see nothing wrong with maintaining standards so that when out and about I look as good as I can even if I don't feel good. Allowing myself to be lazy about my appearance is not for me.

However...here is where I think we can all learn-it's ok if someone chooses to do it differently than I! No judgement. Some folks have terrible pain and fatigue and other challenges and different economics. We all cope in our own way. We get to pick that path.

My way of dealing with pain is to push hard and ignore it and that is not what everyone can do so I don't like to condemn others for how they are doing their senior hood.

Each to their own.....I love this blog for that, I get to see how others are living their lives which is very interesting.

Happy New Year to all, and a special one to you, Ronnie,

Karin

I love a good rant too, Katie. Witnessing one makes me feel like my thoughts and opinions have just been through a martini shaker and poured into a fresh glass! Ronni's right - those earlier years were not a bed of roses. Being older isn't either. All of us at every age deal with the unpleasant offerings of life. As for me, I like being older. It's hard to understand how wonderful it can be until you reach a certain age, and it's not something you can explain to a younger person. They'll be able to see it all for themselves if they're fortunate enough to get there someday. Cheers to you all, with appreciation!

You go, Ronnie!

Lots of different and worthy points of view here. For me, the basic problem about pretending to be younger than you are is two-fold. One, mostly for women, is the assumption that they have little worth except their beauty and sexuality/fertility. The other, for everyone, is that old people have no contributions to make to society.

They are both stupid and false assumptions.

I dropped makeup except for big occasions (my son's wedding) about 12 or 15 years ago. I have been lucky to be pretty and have good skin, so it was less of a big deal for me. I've always been outspoken, cursed a lot, and felt free to compete with men. Also not much bothered by being outside trends, group-think, etc. etc.

I have seen old(er) age as an opportunity to become freer of cultural expectations. I don't care what others think of my looks, especially whether men think I'm attractive. I'm over being nice just so I don't rock the boat. I have much more confidence in challenging authority. I feel free to do what I want to do instead of what others want me to do. I am pleasant to people while I do the above, and am not troubled by their reactions.

I feel free to be fat, have grey hair, and use a cane because of my arthritis. Looking back on those "dating and mating and mothering" years makes me feel really tired, not nostalgic. I've been well acquainted with women who have gotten various plastic surgeries, dyed their hair ("in my workplace you have to"), and dieted and exercised like fiends to be slim and young looking. They are still old. I actually think older women look better with a bit of extra weight - it plumps out wrinkles, for one thing.

Aging is like death. It is a completely natural process and no one can avoid it except by dying young. I also wear a DNR tag and have an Advance Directive. I don't want to suffer, just go naturally. Life really contains SO much bullshit!

Normally I agree with everything you say Ronni, but not the bit about older adults who don't join senior centers because they're "full of old people."

I'm 75 years old and still in good health thankfully. The reason I don’t join senior centers, or attend any events at one, is that their programming holds zero interest for me. Most of the ones I’m familiar with feel like refuges or retreats from life as it was when its members were younger—not engagement with the broader, heterogeneous communities in which they continue to live. That may work for some people, but not for me. All of my peers feel the same.

I’m reminded of something I wrote several years ago about a dispute that arose between management at a McDonald’s in Queens, NY and some older adult customers who gathered there every day for coffee and socializing. It wouldn’t have been a problem except for one small detail—the informal meet-ups went on for hours and deprived other patrons of seating. A compromise was eventually reached but not before news articles revealed why this spot was preferred to the senior citizen center just a few blocks away: the septuagenarians (and above) wanted to be where the action was.

I’m much more in favor of community centers whose programs address the needs and interests of all ages, places where all generations come together in a spirit of common purpose. This society does enough to separate older adults from everyone else, and that is exactly the wrong direction we need to be going I think.

Glad you brought this up, Ronni.

It generated good ideas, convictions, etc. from readers. And will likely reread all tomorrow, after I've aged another day. For my own clarity, self-reflection and enthusiasms which bubbled from those expressed opinions.

You definitely energized this ol' group!

Want to mention Katie's paragraph, "Where I live..." which is so well written.

These lines from Wendell Berry express it well.

VII
by Wendell Berry

I know I am getting old and I say so,
but I don't think of myself as an old man.
I think of myself as a young man
with unforeseen debilities. Time is neither
young nor old, but simply new, always
counting, the only apocalypse. And the clouds
—no mere measure or geometry, no cubism,
can account for clouds or, satisfactorily, for bodies.
There is no science for this, or art either.
Even the old body is new—who has known it
before?—and no sooner new than gone, to be
replaced by a body yet older and again new.
The clouds are rarely absent from our sky
over this humid valley, and there is a sycamore
that I watch as, growing on the riverbank,
it forecloses the horizon, like the years
of an old man. And you, who are as old
almost as I am, I love as I loved you
young, except that, old, I am astonished
at such a possibility, and am duly grateful.

"VII." by Wendell Berry from Leavings. © Counterpoint, 2010.

Alan Goldsmith's McDonald's story reminds me of the grocery store story of my youth:

When young, working at least 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday, 8 to 5, I had limited grocery shopping time. I usually went after work or on Saturday, and I would always be coming across elderly shoppers who would either stand in my way in an aisle, or move so slowly going in or out of the store that it hindered my shopping. The elderly surely had all day, every weekday, to go shopping. Why were they in the store at rush hour or busy weekend shopping days?

Once, when complaining to someone about this, the other person wondered if they just wanted to be out with younger people. My husband even chimed in and said his elderly mother shopped at those times so as to see and be seen.

So, my young self vowed that when I became elderly, I would not grocery shop when working people would be in the store. I have kept that promise, however, life has changed since I was young. Work hours are no longer Monday through Friday, 8 to 5!

Two books I'd recommend to y'all:

This Chair Rocks : A Manifesto Against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite.
Happiness is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old by John Leland.

A dear friend is beoming dangerous in her constant effort to look younger. She refuses to wear the glasses that her licence demands so I don't go with her if she is driving as it a long series of near mosses. She dyes her hair am unnatural carrot colour and outlines her eyes clownishly because, again, of her bad sight. Further she forgets about the crown of her head which is always flat and white haired. I feel terrible for her as frequently she is asked where she gets her wig (by nice young non-critical people) and is a lesson in non-acceptance of the aging process. She is a kind and loving person but Holy Hannah and I wouldn't hurt her for anything.

But she truly is a living example of how not to age ungracefully.

Like you Ronni, I embrace it fully, grey hair, chin stubble, incontinence, health issues too numerous to mention. I'm just happy to be alive in this one wild and precious life.

XO
WWW.

I recently watched a made for TV movie and was surprised and shocked when I read the credits, and saw that one of the actresses, who most of us know from her TV appearances, was unrecognizable after plastic surgery. She didn’t look younger, just like a different person. I could understand an actress having some minor work, but this was too much.

I continue to appreciate Crabby Old Lady's perspective on ageing ever since your words first resonated with me years ago. I didn't really think of myself as old then, though in terms of years I certainly accepted that fact and knew I was. What has intrigued me most is the language aspect of ageing and how its use affects the perceptions of other generations, medical research as you note, as well as corporate and governmental issues., so this is no matter to be relegated simply to a matter of our personal appearances.

Lightly dismissing the language of ageing topic merely to how we look and are perceived through the lens of others is only one small aspect of the issue. However, that language in advertising, predominating news stories and other media presentations may influence the attitudes and choices some people make about how they should be in life as they age. To each his own, but I for one prefer natural aging and live my life in just that manner.

I wholeheartedly agree that age discrimination continues to be a critical issue as it has been for too many decades, adversely affecting employment for too many people, for one thing. Language and words matter.

Thank you crabby old lady.
So glad you are here. No internet since Nov 10th and a delight that you are still crabbing away. Rep John Lewis has pancreatic cancer like you. Send him some prayers to live
as long as he can bringing love into the world.
An interesting talk by Cornel West at the Oregon Convention Center for free- and you have
to get a ticket from Eventbrite. Date Jan 18th, 2020 7-9 PM. Tell all your rabble rousers
about it. This rabble rouser will be there. A delight to hear from you Ms. Crabby.
Ellen Greenlaw

I agree with everything in this post.

However, I'm still going to write silly, self-deprecating stories about getting old - so, like it or lump it.

I haven't worn makeup in at least 30 years. I suppose I have been blessed with supple skin, because I still have very few wrinkles at the age of 73. My face has moved downward, but there really isn't anything I can do about that. I would never consider plastic surgery unless my face has been mauled in some tragic incident. Although I wouldn't go so far as to completely avoid those who have gone under the knife, I do think it's mostly motivated by vanity and insecurities. Oddly enough, the women I know who have had cosmetic surgery were once among the most beautiful when they were young. Now they look very strange indeed, instead of aging gracefully. Sad.

Perhaps my earlier comment didn't post or maybe was removed. Either way, that's O.K. I realize I'm in the minority on TGB in not fully embracing old age. I do accept it (what alternative is there, after all?). I have absolutely NO desire to be in my 20s or 30s again but as I approach 83, I'd happily settle for 65! I'm not a fan of cosmetic surgery and haven't had any, but getting old is what it is.

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