Aging: Some points to ponder

What to call this period? Today I am 72. I am not middle aged. I am not old old either. Yet I am different from when I was in my 50s or 60s. I have this keen sense about the onrushing end, that I have perhaps 15 years or so, and not likely more, of active life ahead. That changes things. I see myself well  within the last quarter of my life. But who knows? That is one of the issues of this stage.

Some factors I reflect on --

* Men continue to be able to sire children into old age; for women, menopause marks the end of reproduction -- how does this affect the last quarter? 

*There are so few places to see bodies showing age, other than in our own mirrors. Media images of older women see absence of signs of aging as success, presence as something to be clucked over. "You look so young" is a compliment, as if to look old were a mark of failure. Why should I not look my age?

*We are different at this age than our mothers were. At 72, though she would live another 8 years, my mother was older than I am now. Her health was poorer; her life less active.

*Having a sense of where the end lies changes things.  Ambitions and desires can continue to develop, but now there is the knowledge that there likely will not be time for everything. How to prioritize? And how to handle it when flagging energy and physical resources make some long-held ambitions no longer attainable?


© Cheryl Fuller, 2018. All  rights reserved.