A woman told me she goes from one pain and physical limitation in her life to another. It has become a theme of aging for her, and she is angry and frustrated about it. When one problem begins to subside, another replaces it. She said that when her partner comments on the beauty of her smile or something she is wearing, she cannot fully feel the pleasure of a compliment as she is in physical pain. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Physical limitations
Natalie Gelman's blog
The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to live with physical changes that challenge our daily life. Our bodies take longer to heal, our ability to compensate for limitations diminishes, and we tend to experience fear more. I recall when a woman I knew went through the following:
Judy began to have major pain in her joints. It began in one joint and debilitated her. That pain would diminish and another joint would hurt. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and put on mediation. It didn’t work and it was subsequently determined that there was damage to her spine. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Physical challenges
Another prevailing theme in our lives as we get older is how our bodies are changing. We pay more attention to visual signs of aging and are more focused on body stress and pain. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Body changes
The discussions about preparing to die prompted me to come home and look at my will. When I went to get it out of my safe, it was not there. Eventually I surmised that I had accidentally disposed of it in the process of downsizing when we moved to California a year earlier. I went to an attorney and prepared a new one. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Preparing for death (part two)
Our concern about dying, awareness of who is dying and the significance of those losses is not the only way this theme plays out in our lives as we get older.
For one month I facilitated a discussion group on aging at the Mastick Senior Center here in Alameda. The center's services are available to anyone over age 50. I was interested in enhancing my awareness of the aging process. For one hour a week people would come to the group, and I invited them to say what they were interested in discussing. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Preparing for death
The awareness and focus on people I was familiar with who died continued as a theme in my life.
In 2012, I wrote this:
Marvin Hamlish died yesterday. He was 68. He died of an undisclosed illness that he had for three years.
It caught my attention. I do not often think about dying and feel sad or scared at the prospect. And sad or scared are words that are too strong to describe how I felt. The best description is that is made me think about me dying too. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Thinking about death
I called a woman I was very close to when I was growing up to make arrangements to get together when I would be in Florida, and she mentioned that she had just turned 70. “It was not an easy number to accept, especially since I have a 30-year-old brain in a 70-year-old body," she said. "The body is not holding up as well as my mind.”
Nora Ephron, a writer who died in 2012, wrote the following: Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Words from the wise