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I’m Uncomfortable Growing Old
Growing old is not for sissies.
When I was in my 40’s I knew I would grow old, or at least hoped I would, but I didn’t know the actual costs of being in my 60’s and that is probably a good thing.
As we age it gets harder and harder to stay young.
Working out is more difficult. Things that worked with no effort suddenly need help. Stretching used to be a bonus now it’s a must.
But the more difficult aspect of growing old is the idea of relevance and how people treat you.
In my 50’s I quit my career and started a new one. It was tough but I was in my 50’s so I still had time. It was probably the worst decade of my life, honestly.
In my 60’s “things” are starting to catch up with me and I don’t like it.
My latest ego deflater was a visit to the Costco Hearing center to learn I have moderate to severe hearing loss.
So, yes, I’m now wearing hearing aids.
Admit it, when you see someone with hearing aids the first thing that pops into your head is “old.”
I know, I do it too.
I found these “Eargo” aids that fit deep in the ear so you can’t see them.
Yes, that is my “Eargo-Ego” being preserved for a few more years. LOL.
I know that may not sound like a big deal and some will say, “hey that happens in your older age.”
But you see, I wasn’t supposed to get older at least not like that….hearing aids…that screams OLD MAN.
Why is this topic rising to the surface now?
Kathy and I went to the movie “You Hurt My Feelings” starring Julia Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies. The audience review almost kept us from going but the critics loved it and so did we.
The movie, for me, shows how the aging process causes us to question our viability and makes us ask hard questions like “am I really good at what I do” or am I aging out?
As we age people do treat us differently. At first it’s subtle because denial allows you to look in the mirror and see one thing while people meeting you see something else.
Moving to a new area exacerbates the issue. In Oregon people grew old with you so it wasn’t as big a deal. Now, you are stepping into a world where you are your age and there’s little historical forgiveness.
This is not a mid-life crisis, I had that and survived in my 50’s. This is a 3/4 of a way through your life brick wall that needs to be climbed, broken down or at least acknowledged. At 60 you think you’ll live another 30 years but statistics are against you and if you are careful, healthy and lucky you may get to 83.
In the movie Julia is a writer who is trying to stay relevant and Tobias a therapist wondering if he’s really doing a good job. Julia over-hears her husband telling a friend he really doesn’t like her new book. The movie explores honesty and how we sometimes tell people they’re okay when they are not and asks why we do that. But that is a topic for another conversation. As I was sitting in the theater watching the movie my mind and heart decided to acknowledge my age and the idea that I’m struggling a little with the aging process.
Tomorrow we take off for a week in Nashville attending a leadership conference with Dave Ramsey and Jordan Peterson. Realistically, Kathy and I will probably be some of the older folks at this conference. One thing I do know about growing old is if there is a fountain of youth it’s found in continuing to improve yourself and find ways to be relevant and involved in the world around you.
So as I look in the mirror I’m reminded of a former boss who told me in my 40’s I was starting to look old and needed to stop being so expressive with my face to prevent wrinkles on my forehead. How does one be less expressive? I didn’t listen instead I lived my life and ended up with much deserved wrinkles. I guess my personality is to blame for the lines on my face. LOL.
Ironic, recently a talent agency out of Miami contacted me to see if I’d be open to doing some “work” for them. The agency find’s talent for commercials, magazine ads and modeling work. He told me “The Silver Look” is big right now and I think we could get you a lot of work. So let’s milk the age for all it’s worth for as long as it works.
I will slip my hearing aids in, let my gray hair flow and try to change my attitude about wrinkles as age lines and look at them instead for what they are, part of my story and a roadmap to what is was and what is to come.