“Elderly old?” I don’t think so. Not yet. in Daydreaming on the Porch

  • Feb. 13, 2021, 10:47 p.m.
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As I approach my 70th birthday, I sometimes wonder what it’s like to be old. I mean as in “elderly old” – white hair, slow reflexes, diminishing sense perceptions, pain popping up all over the place, such as arthritis, and near total invisibility to pretty much anyone under 50 or maybe even 60. Unlike in some Asian countries where the elderly are venerated and can walk around like sages, here in the US the “elderly old” who have trouble living independently, are shipped off to assisted living facilities and nursing homes, or otherwise ignored, for the most part.

Unfortunately, I tend to be in a hurry a lot, especially when I’m driving. It’s so unnecessary and so foolish to be in a rush. You’d think I would learn. I believe the city contributes It’s to this. The busyness, the bustle. The need to always “get”somewhere. So I become mildly or often very impatient.

I was coming up a busy street the other afternoon when I got behind one of those drivers I so fervently hope I never become. Sure enough, as is often the case, he was an “elderly old” man who seemed to have no concept of time. (Or maybe he has just the right concept, I don’t know.) He was so slow, and so deliberate, and so seemingly oblivious to anyone behind or in front of him, that all I could do was stew and fume in total frustration, and, yes, with boiling impatience, while I poked along behind. Mercifully, he turned left and I got a quick look at him. I kept going straight. Would it have hurt or caused me to be late if I had just relaxed, calmed down and adjusted to his twilight-zone time frame? Probably not. I CAN relax – if I want to. All I have to do is change my thoughts.

However, I don’t want to be like that “elderly old” man. I don’t want to get that way. I don’t want to keep driving until I’m a menace to the safety of others. I want to know when my time on the road is up. Will me and my car go “gently into that good night?”

I like to think I will be active and mentally alert well into my “twilight” years. That I’ll still be busy and engaged enough to be able to drive the speed limit and not cause potential accidents. But I will likely be just a slightly older version of the person I am now. But who knows? In just a matter of time, if I live long enough, I myself might turn into a calm quiet, maddeningly slow and oblivious, “elderly old” man. I wonder. Aging is a scary thing. Not to be trifled with.


Last updated February 14, 2021


Abritelight February 14, 2021

Some VOP luck out remaining sharp and clear headed and keeping in the here and now; I just turned 72. Things have started to slow down for me. It is a blessing how easily you can slip into new habits. And just pray for good health to be on your side. Very old person

Oswego Abritelight ⋅ February 14, 2021

The question is, “Do we really want to be “very old people?”

ConnieK Oswego ⋅ February 14, 2021

YES! As opposed to being dead!

Oswego ConnieK ⋅ February 14, 2021

Lol...it all depends

Marg February 14, 2021

Yep ageing is definitely not for cissies! The thought of having to give up my car just terrifies me - it’s so inconvenient and it would reduce my world in a drastic fashion instantly. I hope it doesn’t happen for a long time yet!

Oswego Marg ⋅ February 14, 2021

Yes, we are so dependent on our cars, especially here in the US. I have learned in this pandemic, however, that it’s not so bad staying home and not always feeling I have to get in the car and drive somewhere. I used to take a lot of 100 mile days trips and just loved driving out in the countryside. It’s been well over a year since I’ve done that, and frankly I don’t miss it that much. Besides out in the rural areas particularly are where all the Trump supporters are!! UGH!!

Marg Oswego ⋅ February 15, 2021

God yes you want to steer well clear of them! :)

Jinn February 14, 2021

Possibly your VOP knew his reflexes were not as good as they should be. I would much rather be patient with someone driving slow than take risks. However I have PTSD from the car wreck and fervently do not ever want to be in another .
As for aging; I have mixed feelings about it . If I can be like my Father; active , alert and busy I do not mind aging . If I become incapacitated any more than I am ; I hope I go in my sleep . :-)

Oswego Jinn ⋅ February 14, 2021

I’m learning to be more patient. Slow drivers are probably the last barrier o they! lol.

I just want to keep as mentally alert and physically mobile I possibly can be.

Jinn Oswego ⋅ February 14, 2021

Me too !

Sabrina-Belle February 14, 2021

I am 73 and I don't feel any different mentally apart from a little forgetfulness which I do find hard as I've always had a brilliant memory, but you develop strategies like keeping notebooks of what you need to remember.
I am driving less but that's because I have developing cataracts and my night vision is poor. I can't drive after my migraine meds either, which is a lot of the time, but it's been that way since my early 40s.
Your VOP was probably adjusting to his reactions. My Hubby and daughter both get very irritated with slow drivers but they don't bother me.

Oswego Sabrina-Belle ⋅ February 14, 2021

Interesting. My problem is that I have a million things I want to read and watch in print and on the Internet. Countless movies, articles, books, YouTubes... and on an on. I try to remember and prioritize them, so maybe this is keeping my brain sharp, that and all the brain boosting supplements I take ! 😌🤔

Kristi1971 February 14, 2021 (edited February 14, 2021)

Edited

Oh, hell no! lol. The people in my Nana's side of the family - even the men - live well into their 90s. My Nana did not seem old to me at all until she hit her strokes at 99.

I had an Uncle who lived until 96 or 97. He gardened up until he was 96 (and he had gardens people would come from away to see) and only died because he fell and broke his hip. And well, not being able to garden is what did him in.

See? Spry as can be. You are NOT old old or elderly. :) Because I said so, that's why. LOL

Okay. I re-read that and you never said you were old. But I still hold to my comment that you are not old or elderly. Happy Valentine's Day. Be well.

Oswego Kristi1971 ⋅ February 14, 2021

I so enjoyed this. Your family definitely has some powerful longevity genes! Lol.
True, I don’t feel or think I’m old at all. It’s a matter of keeping motivated to learn as much as I can about this miraculous life I’ve been given.

Kristi1971 Oswego ⋅ February 15, 2021

I think that might be one of the secrets to not growing old. Keep learning things and doing things. :)

Kristi1971 February 14, 2021

You are right. The elderly are treated terribly here in this country. Just put them in a home, so no one has to be bothered. Meanwhile, those same people they put away raised them from a baby, and that's no easy task either. I so love that you honored your mom the way you did. You are an honorable man.

Oswego Kristi1971 ⋅ February 14, 2021

Thank you for the kind words. I think of her every day and miss her so much.

Lady of the Bann February 14, 2021 (edited February 14, 2021)

Edited

Same age as you and not elderly old yet either, but some people our age are. Not being able to drive for a few weeks it felt a bit strange but as my foot has started to mend I have caught buses and trains and still managed to do things like gardening and cleaning. I am not ready to give up yet. And just waiting to start travelling again.

Oswego Lady of the Bann ⋅ February 14, 2021

To me here’s just so infinitely much to learn and explore by using our minds to the fullest that this is what keeps me young. Travel also greatly broadens horizons. I also hope to resume doing that.

ConnieK February 14, 2021

Our bodies betray us, but age brings wisdom. I'm good with that.

Oswego ConnieK ⋅ February 14, 2021

That’s a good way of putting it. But our bodies don’t betray us, they just gradually metamorphose into another form and then when the time is right, our souls take flight. 🤔

ConnieK Oswego ⋅ February 14, 2021

True enough. And energy has to go somewhere. I'm hoping mine will be surfing the skies. :)

MageB February 14, 2021

And a happy Valentines Day to you too.

Oswego MageB ⋅ February 14, 2021

Thank you and to you as well!

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