All posts tagged: aging

Looking for Puppy Faces

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – Winnie the Pooh (by A.A. Milne) – Six years ago I wrote a post called A Perfect Storm – The Motorcycle Accident. It was the story of the day (Friday, July 13!) that The Car Guy and the Harley abruptly parted company – both landing in a farmer’s field, both with considerable damage. I reread that post yesterday. I also reread all the comments left on posts then and after the event – words of encouragement, concern and prayers for a speedy recovery! Thanks again, from the bottom of my Canadian heart, to all these kind bloggers who reached out to me during those dark days: The Cvillean Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings Virginia Views Before Morning Breaks Joys of Creating The Other Side of 55 Mark Armstrong Illustration Coming East composerinthegarden Year-Struck Nylon Daze MountainMae From the Drawing Board Fear No Weebles Bless Your Hippie Heart k8edid The Sandwich Lady Winsomebella I Need a Play Date …

This is my Crone Voice

On one of my recent ‘wanderings’ I came across the word ‘Crone’ or more specifically, the Crone Archetype. Initially, I had a not so pleasant vision of a ‘Crone’, but further reading made me realize that some might say I AM a Crone! Perhaps you are too. (If you are a man, then your corresponding Archetype would be Sage.) If you are a woman of a certain mature age, have abandoned the need for ‘properness’, are up front, and don’t mince your words – you might be a Crone. If you are seen as a being a straight talking mentor, occasionally a trifle crabby  and perhaps even  a bit flirtatious and sassy – you might be a Crone. If you have found an inner peace and accept who you are; if you are realistic and have practical expectations – you might be a crone. I ticked off a lot of the ‘You might be a Crone’ boxes. When I reviewed the content of my blog, my ‘Crone Voice’ was evident in so many of the …

The Upside to Absent-mindedness

For some reason there is a malfunction, some disconnect, between my imaginary hello and, well, my actual hello… Just know this: if you have ever passed me in the hall and I appeared to ignore you, it actually wasn’t like that at all… – Stuart McLean, The Vinyl Cafe Notebooks – An imaginary hello. Yes, that describes the greeting I sometimes don’t give. It’s caused (they say) by a condition called absent-mindedness (also spelled  absentmindedness or absent mindedness.) Often, I don’t even know that I’m being absent-minded. On other occasions, it is quite apparent: I search for my glasses and find them on the top of my head or I walk into a room but forget what I came there to do. I don’t think it is something to be stressed about. On the whole, my memory usually runs fairly smoothly and  I’m fairly adept at focusing when I need to. I see the shift into absent-mindedness as something that sets me free to think in abstract or creative ways – (that’s my story, and …

The Quippery

When Do You ‘Put Your Affairs in Order’?

Unless your Doctor has given you notice that your ‘Best Before Date’ is rapidly closing in on your ‘Expiry Date’, you might not have thought about the most important thing you can do for yourself now AND leave for your loved ones when you depart this world. This important thing costs no more than a sheet or two of paper, but it is priceless. It is a List of All the Things you know now – but might not remember later. It is a list of things the Executor of your Estate won’t know until they have rifled through your desk, file cabinet and all sorts of places obvious and obscure – so that they can wrap up your estate and deliver it to your rightful heirs. Think about this: Do you keep your documents in obvious locations like your desk, file cabinet or a shoe box under the bed? Does your family know you also stash important papers in a fake cabbage (or lettuce) in the fridge, a former box for fish cakes in …

He said, “I Don’t Want the Chicken”

I’m helping my Dad downsize. He will probably be moving to smaller living quarters in the not too distant future. The ‘weeding’ process isn’t easy for him. He has a strong attachment to just about everything old in his apartment. His bonds to the distant past grow stronger, as the memories of the near past fade. If he is willing to let me remove anything, it is only because he is very certain that a family member will take ownership of the item and treasure it as much as he does. Everything I have carted off so far is now safely stored in The Car Guys Garage, pending resettlement somewhere. The pile is fluid. Some of the things I put there last week must now go back to Dad’s place – a change of heart and mind. As I was getting ready to haul another load down to my car yesterday, he suddenly said, “Take the chicken. I really don’t want that chicken.” That surprised me. The chicken, (more accurately a Portuguese Good Luck Rooster, …

Give Me the Good Old Parking Meter, Please!

You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said ‘Parking Fine.’ – Tommy Cooper – I’ve become the family chauffeur since The Car Guy had his motorcycle accident.  I don’t mind driving, though it would be much more pleasant if all those drivers who never do a shoulder check would stop trying to occupy my car’s geographic location. Arriving safely at our destination, and finding a parking spot is always a relief. The true challenge comes when it is time to pay for the parking. Gone are the days when I handed my ticket and money to a kindly attendant in a little booth at the exit or plugged my coins into a friendly machine that looked like it could dispense jelly beans. No, today I am faced with the pure evil of electronic ticket machines. They are the silent but efficient guardians of the place where I will abandon my vehicle in order to sit in a Doctor’s office for eternity plus a 3 …

lady laptop

Scanning my Mind and Computer for Memories

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don’t have film. – Unknown – Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could plug one end of a USB cord into your ear, the other into your computer, and download every memory that resides in your brain?  A nifty little software program, like an Access database but far easier to use, would sort the memories by year, topic and any other category you wanted. Then a Scrapbook program would create wonderful photo journals of your life. I mention this because I believe the memory bank in my brain needs to be defragged. Bits of information keep getting mislaid. I found the date of my next Dentist appointment filed with the trip to Galveston in 1979. And The Car Guys office phone number is mixed in with the cost of my car in 1984. Retrieving information can be a challenge some days. It would be nice to have the contents of my brain on my computer – it has a much better search function than my head does. I’m not …

The Quippery

Good News for Seniors – Not Everything about Aging is Bad

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. – Will Rogers – The Crabby Lady from the Complaints Department was in my office when I arrived this morning. “It’s a conspiracy!” she cried. “They are trying to kill us all by scaring us to death! Look at this headline in today’s news!” I looked at the paper she had shoved under my nose (The Paranoid Times). The headline read, “The Dangers of Breathing for Seniors“. “It’s part of their series called “A Danger a Day”, and I tell you, they want to scare us to death so that the Government doesn’t have to pay out Seniors Benefits. Yes, the Government and the Media are in this together…” Before I could duck, she had slapped another yellow stickie on my forehead, and stomped off. I peeled off her note and read: “Give me some good news about aging. I’m tired of all the negative crap.” This jolted me out of my happy world of Sunshine, Daffodils, Paddling …

candles birthday cake fireman

A Fiery Birthday Story

It would be quite all right for me to take the day off today and not write in my blog. It is my Birthday, and I believe a birthday should be a day of indulgence. But I enjoy writing and I like my blog. It is akin to having a child that isn’t ever going to be a teenager. Or owning a cat that doesn’t shed or claw the furniture or choke up fur balls. Or a job I can do from home in my pajamas. Or a car that never needs gas… (Actually, I have a car like that. My  Spousal Unit, The Car Guy, is very good about keeping my car clean, serviced, and gassed up.) So what else have I got planned for the day? I’m not sure yet, but it certainly IS NOT going to involve a birthday cake. The candles are getting so numerous that they pose a fire hazard. I’m not going to talk about getting older either, because, there is no upside to thinking those kinds of self …

teen school

Am I Old Enough Now? Aging and Baby Boomers

Did you know that there was a time when there weren’t any Teenagers? The term is one that was coined and came into popular use in the 1940’s. Up until then, older children might be called youths, but by the time they were in their early to mid teen years, many of them were finished with school and had entered the work force. They were adults. This would have been due to the fact that life expectancy at that time was about 64 years, having increased from an average life expectancy of 51 years in 1900. A shorter life span meant a shorter amount of time was spent being a youth. My Grandparents were certainly never teenagers. My Grandfather and his brother were in the trenches of France in World War I when they were 16 and 18 years of age. My parent’s generation were more likely to stay in school for a longer period of time, but many were in the workforce either part time or full time before they had exited their teen …

pie chart dementia

Alzheimer’s Statistics in Canada – They Make me Nervous

How are you with Statistics? I get nervous whenever I see a bunch of them hanging around. I wonder what they are going to try to tell me or sell me. I know they are not liars, but I also know they aren’t exactly telling the whole truth either. For example, last week I browsed the Canadian Alzheimer’s Society website. With statistics and prophesies, they paint a picture that suggests Alzheimers and other dementias are on the rise, and it will be a huge economic burden in the future. The society asks the reader to donate money to “keep providing vital services to people with Alzheimer’s disease, their families and caregivers and to continue searching for a cause and cure for Alzheimer’s disease.” I don’t part with money easily, so I skipped to their financial statements to see how they use the money they collect. In 2010 they took in about $10 million from public donations. They spent $2.9 million on research funding, $1.8 million on public education, $3.6 million on fundraising and $1.2 million …

The Quippery

Alzheimers – What is the Future?

Last Monday a member of our family passed away. The dear lady was an Alzheimers patient in a Caregiving Facility. Her condition was not yet life threatening, so the family was surprised and shocked by her death. But they also took some comfort in the fact that she had been released from the ever increasing indignities of this disease. There is no question that Alzheimers is on the rise and that it will continue to do so for some time in the future. This is because it is a disease of the aged, and people are living longer. A large group, the Baby Boomers, are just entering the first age category where Alzheimers begins to become more prevalent, so the number of patients will increase. But the big jump in death figures will come in 20 years when the Baby Boomers reach the age of 85. Alzheimer death rates rise dramatically after that age. Considerable research is being done to cure Alzheimers. While this won’t change the fact that large numbers of people will still …

retirement guests

My 52 Friends Plan for Retirement

We lived in the Middle East for 3 1/2 years. When we left that part of the world to return home to Canada, we were entering a new phase of life – we were retirees! It was a leap of faith. We hadn’t lived in Canada for 5 1/2 years, and could only guess whether our new economic situation was going to be adequate. We had made quite a few friends as expats, so before we moved home I came up with a cunning plan. If in fact there was going to be more month than money, we could sponge off visit our friends, on a rotating schedule.  If I could find 52 friends who would each host us for one week,  we didn’t really even have to have a home. I called it my 52 Friends Plan. The roll out of my plan took place at our Going Away Party. We invited lots of people. Many of them were going to be retiring to places we thought we might like to visit. When they …

man dollar bill

Movember – The Month of Moustaches

My Spousal Unit, The Car Guy,  joined a team last week. The membership fee was quite steep – he had to remove his moustache. He started growing his moustache about the time our youngest daughter was born, 34 years ago. So it was emotionally a big deal. Actually it wasn’t such a big deal when you think about it. It is not like the moustache was composed of the original hair he sprouted 34 years ago. And in a few weeks it should be almost back to normal. The moustache shaving and/or growing of, is all part of the fund raising event called Movember.   Movember’s primary campaign objective is: To raise awareness of men’s health issues, specifically cancers affecting men. We want everyone to know that most cancers are highly curable if caught in the early stages- including prostate and testicular cancer.  Movember aims to increase early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment, as this will ultimately reduce the number of deaths from cancer. Not all the participants in Movember have a moustache to take off. Some will be growing a moustache where …

man moth

Baby Boomer Backlash – Their Retirement Years Will be Unique

I didn’t ask to be born, but if I had, I don’t know if I would have chosen to be born during the Baby Boom of about 1946 to 1964. I think I would have chosen a different time period – had I known how many of the ills of the world would be blamed on the Baby Boomer Generation. A better fit for me would have been my parent’s generation – the Silent Generation. They were conservative, hard-working and they lived well below their means throughout their careers. In retirement, the Silents are by no means ostentatious or big spenders. That pretty much sums up the way my Spousal Unit and I have more or less lived our lives so far, notwithstanding the new Harley in the garage. The Boomers are just starting to enter Retirement, and large concerns loom over how the economy will adjust to the impact they will have on Pension Funds and Health Care costs.  The Baby Boomers, and the social fabric they have created, are much more free-wheeling with their money than …

The Quippery

Age – What is Good About Getting Older

The stereotype for aging is not always very complimentary. Articles, advertising, cartoons and jokes often paint a dismal picture of what it is like to get older. It is as if people have perfect lives, and then wake up on their 60th birthday (insert the age you think is “over the hill”)  to discover they are old and unhappy. People age differently. Some will reach a ripe old age with their bodies and minds more or less intact. Others won’t. But what usually changes the most when a person gets older is that their mirror no longer reflects the person that their mind remembers.  And society starts to treat them differently. Sometimes it is good differently, but often not, I’ve found. So, what is good about getting older? I’ve looked at dozens of websites, and this is what people are saying: Freedom to do what you want to do; time to ‘smell the roses’. Probably don’t have to worry about how your career is going to turn out. Earlier bed times. Dressing for comfort. Fewer hormonal driven, emotional decisions. …

elderly man woman

Aging Woman and the Invisibility Factor

There was a column in the National Post this morning called 10 Ways to Make Canada More Senior Friendly. It appears that the piece was written by National Post Staff members Joe O’Connor and Jeremy Sandler.  It is a very good example of what the term “Ageism” means.  In short, the article is a derogatory depiction of a group of people based on a prejudice against that group. The “10 Ways to Make Canada More Senior Friendly” is simply a list of  ten of the more common stereotypes that brand Seniors as being tired, broken down people. It isn’t a funny column. It doesn’t contain anything original. It is offensive. These National Post Staff members were commenting on the fact that Statistics Canada is predicting that people over the age of 65 will soon outnumber children under the age of 15. No surprise here – the Baby Boomers are becoming senior citizens. While the young staff writers of the National Post are looking forward to a rapid diminishment of Baby Boomer power,  Baby Boomers will likely not oblige them. Baby Boomers have always considered themselves to …

Allergic to the Gym – Fitness and Aging

I’m Allergic to the Gym. I don’t break out in hives or anything. I just don’t feel right when I am in one. Not that I have spent much time at a Gym.  I’m just not comfortable with the concept of driving somewhere to do something that I don’t like, with machines I don’t understand, surrounded by a group of people I don’t want to know. I’m not totally unaware of the benefits of exercise, which is why my fitness regime, if you can call it that, includes walking. I either do laps around the available countryside, or I occasionally spend some  time with my treadmill. But mostly, I am committed to the notion that my forefathers lived into their 80’s and 90’s without ever engaging in any formal “exercise”, so there is a reasonable probability that I will too. The caveat here, of course, is that I have to live a relatively unsedentary lifestyle, similar to what my forefathers would have lived… As I age, I have become keenly aware of which parts of my body are inclined  to not live up to my …

fish in glass half full or empty

Half Full or Half Empty. How Full is Your Glass?

There seem to be at least two types of people in the world – the glass half full types, and the glass half empty ones – the optimists and the pessimists. I like to think the glass is a metaphor for life. My viewpoint is that the glass is empty at birth, and totally full at death. Each day adds something to the contents. With age comes a fuller life and a fuller glass. People who are fearful of ageing might view the metaphor as being one whereby the glass is full at birth, and empties as we age. Contrary to what the beauty industry would like us to believe, we aren’t going to be able to stop the hands of time. Regardless of what our appearance may be, we just keep getting older. The only choice we have, really, is whether we think our lives are enriched with time, or degraded with it. I know what I choose. Quotes and other thoughts about this: Is the glass half full, or half empty? It depends on whether you’re pouring, …