There are those who say living with young people, will keep you young. There are also those who say, the earth is flat or that real butter will kill you. Obviously, they don’t know what they are talking about.
I’ve also heard it said that living with young people will age you before your time. Bah-loney! -------- only if you allow it to.
I live with a forty-ish daughter and a 15 year old grandson. Or they live with me, depending on how one looks at it. I guess it is safest to say that we just live together. They spoil me outrageously, which I encourage, and I do pay a greater percentage of the costs.
When I was 62 years old, my husband died from bone cancer. I lived alone for nine years. I got along pretty well after the initial adjustment, but as time went on, I began looking for other arrangements. I simply didn’t need a big, five bedroom house, large swimming pool, and lawns that I kept manicured. I looked for a two or three bedroom condo, in the same general area of Augusta where I lived, near friends and my niece and her family.
At about that same time, Dee adopted a little girl, from Russia.. Long story/short, we decided I would sell my home in Augusta and Dee would sell her nice condo, here in Atlanta, and we’d buy a house together, here. That’s what we did. Then Dee adopted a ten year old boy from Kazakhstan; her daughter grew up and left home; and here we are.
Getting old is not all bad, I’ve learned. What one has to remember is that it is perfectly OK to accept a little help, now and then. My daughter takes exquisite care of me, as she should. But that’s the kind of family we are. When the shoe was on the other foot, I did the same for her. When she was living alone, a few years ago, she had wisdom teeth pulled. Her brother, my son, drove all the way from Columbia, S.C. to be with her and he is a pretty good nurse.
One way that I give my kids full credit for helping me age more slowly mentally is through making me accept electronics.
While still living in Augusta, Bruce and Dee asked if I would like to have a computer. I said, absolutely not, no way. They ignored me.
My son arrived a few days later with a computer and - this is important - he said if I broke it, he’d fix it – “So just go ahead and give it a try, Mom!”
I did the computer a go, and even took a course up at Augusta State that was incredibly boring. I have a good time with my computer; stay in touch with 30-40 folks, depending on the season or who is on vacation. I research all kinds of people and everything else that interests me. When I can’t sleep, I often get on the computer for a little while until I get sleepy again.
Three close friends got computers about the same time I did. Not one of them enjoyed them or even learned to use them easily. I attribute that partly to the locations (they put them in back bedrooms, upstairs etc.) My first computer was placed on my desk, in my kitchen, along with my phone and small TV. I could check messages while the chicken was frying and answer the phone at the same time. (I have about the same set up here, in my bedroom.) All three of my friends got rid of their computers. Two woman became alcoholics before they died, and the third is depressed because she says no one pays any attention to her. A fourth, close friend died this past year also but she stayed active until nearly the end. Interestingly, all four long time friends were 83 yrs old last year, and they were all widows.
Last fall, Dee asked if I’d like to have a Kindle. I read all the time. Of course I said no because I love books and the feel of them in my hands. She ignored me. So I received a Kindle for Christmas and I am loving it. Have more to learn but have read two books so far and have about eight more loaded and ready. Mike is my “go to” person on the Kindle, and actually gets me out of trouble on the computer as well. I do have a cell phone for any emergency, but normally just use the house phone which is portable. Presently I have no need for all the other gadgets.
You know that thing about being only as old as you feel? That’s a bunch of whale poop! Actually, you’re only as old as you feel mentally! Physically, I feel about sixty-five , oooh maybe one or two hours per week. Other times, I’d say, somewhere between 78 and 95 ! My health is not perfect but problems are being controlled and I’m not complaining… (most of the time)
You know, I have a theory that other folks can tolerate a little grunting and groaning, once in a while. But a person who feels sorry for herself is a royal pain in the ass! When one is old, all the same rules we were taught as kids still apply. Kindness and reaching out to others still matter.
On my own, I decided to stop driving. I’ve never had even a fender bender or any kind of ticket. I am a good driver and, even my husband said I was a good driver. I used to enjoy driving my old Caddie and, later, my brand spanking new blue Toyota Highlander. The problem is that I have arthritis in my shoulders and knees. I’d grown uneasy that my response time, in case of even a small emergency, would be too slow. I’d never forgive myself if I hurt someone because I was too proud to stop driving.
Interestingly, Dee’s car died at about the same time so she now drives mine.
I enjoy doing crossword puzzles but seem to lack the time at present. I had written a dictionary, two volumes, but they got misplaced when I moved here. The title was, Words I can Never Think Of or Spell…… kind of tongue in cheek.
So that’s my take on aging and living an active life. Dee always says “Mom is sharp as a tack!” and she’s right. I am also never bored. Next time you hear of a senior who is depressed and/or bored with life, get them a computer or a Kindle, and show them how to use it!