I think it could be a state of mind. If you think younger, you can stay younger longer. But that is a contradiction isn’t it.
I think of the story Peter Pan and how he never wanted to grow up. So, he went to neverland where grownups were not allowed. Yet even while he was at neverland, he heard the stories that Wendy read to her brothers every night. He felt like he was missing something.
Why do some people enjoy life so much and others are so miserable? Your attitude and outlook are very important. I remember growing up and watching the Beverly Hillbillies where grandma always sat on a rocking chair outside on the porch.
Is that what growing old is? Getting to a certain age and just sitting and rocking and let life pass you by?
Our bodies were made to grow and hopefully our minds also. We want and need to experience what life has to give us. The first day of school, your first kiss, falling in love, getting married, having a child, your first grandbaby.
Our bodies were never meant to be alive forever. Our hearts and lungs can only stretch so long before the elasticity quits. Loot at a rubber band and stretch it over and over again until finally it snaps.
But our minds are different. We need to be careful what we put in our heads. We can harbor hate and greed which only seem to make our bodies grow old faster and our faces sour looking much younger and longer. If money or power is what motivates you, remember you can’t take it with you when you die. And the big question is ‘Are you happy.’
We can be humble and kind which will put a smile on our face along with the others we are helping. We find that we have more energy due to the excitement we hold onto for the next day. We take each day as a blessing and make the most out of it enjoying our job or families.
Growing old gracefully, is something we have to work at. I remember at the age of forty, I thought wow I am in a good place. I want to stay here forever. I am still young enough to look young yet, and have lots of energy and my mind was on top all the time. Then fifty came along, and I tried to keep up with everything I did when I was forty. The lines started showing around my eyes, and my body would not move the same anymore without aches. Of course, like all of us, I was in denial, I am not getting old, it is just a state of mind. But when sixty came along, I could see the changes. Wrinkles down my cheeks and I can’t jog like I use to without getting tired or pains in my knees.
Old age caught up to me, overnight, I don’t think I saw it coming. I decided I had to do something to try and grow old slower. Haha Putting creams on my face to try and soften up the lines. Get some extra sleep to help my mental abilities. And of course, to keep up my energy, exercise. I ride my bike now instead of jogging. It is easier on the knees. I find that as I make myself exercise, I am also giving myself more energy. My husband thinks I am crazy, why would you get up in the morning and jump on a bike for six miles when you really don’t feel like it.
What do you do to grow old gracefully?
To grow old gracefully, we think of our skin. We look into the mirror and notice the lines that form around our eyes and mouth. Wrinkles under our eyes are a natural part of becoming old. There are so many reasons that this happens. One reason is it is from the sun. If you live say Washington state where you don’t have so much sun your skin will be whiter and less lines, but if you live in Phoenix where the sun is never ending you will have more lines on your face and of course a tan on your face.
Facial expressions can cause lines on your face. If you frown or laugh a groove develops and finally stays. And the collagen production slows down as you get older. Your skin losses the ability to spring back. Well, I am in trouble now because I laugh all the time and I do notice the lines on my cheeks around my mouth and the crows’ feet on my eyes which appear more often when I laugh.
If you are a smoker the lines will appear around your mouth, sooner than the one who doesn’t. Of course, it is also because of the lack of collagen.
Those of us who sleep on our sides or stomach will produce wrinkles faster than the one who sleeps on their back. Dehydrated skin, which is lack of water will show more pronounces lines on their face.
I have a sister that sleeps on her back. She was in a car accident as a teenager and for 3 months she had screws in her head keeping her body one way only, supine. She had no choice but to learn to sleep that way. She is very young looking at 60 yrs. of age. Me on the other hand, sleep better on my stomach and when I get up, I see all the wrinkles from the pillow. They seem to be staying longer each day.
So, what is the secret of getting old gracefully? What does that really mean?
Some people might be mistaking growing old gracefully for the fountain of youth. It is written that in 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon stepped onto a beach in Florida. That is where the fable of The Fountain of Youth came alive.
Florida is the land of life-giving water, and geography features the largest concentration of springs in the world. When Ponce arrived, about 350,000 native people made Florida their home and they considered many of its springs to be sacred sites. A brave warrior Coacoochee once spoke of a dream in which his dead twin sister visited him from the land of souls, offering him a cup of pure water from the spring of the Great Spirit. ‘And if I should drink of it, I should return and live with her forever.’
In the 1900’s There was and maybe still is streets that continue to bear his name. It is written that there are stories told by natives of a miraculous fountain where waters would restore your youth. Florida took off with this and a statue of Juan Ponce de Leon was in Brevard County where some historians thought maybe this is the landfall in La Florida near Melbourne Beach where Ponce came with his ship.
Florida took off with this putting The Fountain of Youth in comic books, like House of Mystery showing and old woman who became young. The saying ‘See If you drink this magical water, you, too, can become young. A comic book The Adventures of Jerry Lewis: where Jerry is selling water with a sign saying Try our Fountain of You Water 5cents a glass and regain your youth. A police officer comes to arrest him and as he takes a drink of the water he turns back into a young child.
Different companies made advertisements using The Fountain of Youth as a selling point, like Tootsie Roll and Cap’n Crunch.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century the costal towns of St. Augustine and Key West attracted tourists looking for better health and wellbeing. Health Spas were developed along springs and rivers taunting it healing powers. At these spas this miraculous of water coming from the springs in Florida were said to cure everything from consumption and jaundice to rheumatism and syphilis. Large Hotels like the Hampton Hotel with the saying Hampton Spring Water, The National Health Resort were devoted to restore health.
The flow of water seems to have been adversely affected by nearby phosphate mining. By 1950 a newspaper article read ‘The Spring That People Killed.’ Some springs have vanished and others have diminished water quality.
So unfortunately, this is only a fable, The Fountain of Youth’ and we are back to growing old gracefully.
I have read that sleep is important for the body. Our mind and body, our nervous system, muscles and consciousness are temporarily suspended for a few hours. Sleep allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you awake and alert for another day. Healthy sleep helps the body to get rid of diseases and remain healthy. It lets your brain recharge for another day.
How many of us have trouble with that? We may have a job that makes you work through the night and you try to catch up on that sleep during the day. Or you have so many responsibilities at home that your sleep is interrupted all night long.
When I was first married my husband and I both worked midnight shift. It was fun. We slept during the day, even on our days off and we stayed awake all night long. On our days off we would even go grocery shopping at the wee hours of the morning. Since we made this our routine and we shared it we were able to pull it off.
I remember when I had my five children and I would wake up during the night for a different child that maybe crying. I actually took naps with them during the day to try and catch up on the sleep I lost during the night.
I looked up; can you catch up on sleep: It says even if you sleep in a morning, that may make you feel better but it is not enough. It can take up to four days to recover one hour of lost sleep. Well, that is an eye opener.
But the hardest time was when I was working the midnight shift. I would come home and see my kids off to school and then try and catch some sleep before they came home from school, have dinner with them and go to work. Each day was the same and then on weekends I would try to live normal, be awake all day with activities with the family and sleep at night. I will admit I looked like death wore over me. I had black circles under my eyes and my concentration was terrible.
Working as a paramedic our shifts are usually 24 hours. Sometimes you get to nap and sometimes you just work. I got use to sleeping 4 hours at a time and function. It was just my new way of life. I actually thought sleep was over rated. Even on my days off, I hardly ever slept through the night being use to such little sleep. But the effects on your body you can’t take away. Your mind is sluggish, and your face starts to wear a little faster.
By this experience I must say you have to have your sleep to grow old gracefully. What are your thoughts?
Let’s start with how to keep your heart young. What does that mean. If you look it up, it says: Reduce your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol level, don’t smoke, maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, be physically active.
But what I am talking about is being young at heart. First feeling young at heart may help you live longer. Keeping a good attitude, and a positive one. Trying to keep a youthful prospective attitude. Letting things go in your life that will bring you down.
They say the average American starts feeling old at the age of 47yrs. And of course, like most of us we feel it in our bodies at around 50yrs. Our knees begin to hurt. It is hard to sit on the hard ground and cross your legs. We are having pains and aches that we never had before. Watching our parents before us who seem so old and complain about every little ache, we begin to see what they are talking about.
And of course, we are too busy with our jobs that we forgot what fun exercise can be. No one has the time. We go to work, come home, eat and watch TV. But if you can remember when you were young, you would go to school and come home and play. We forgot what play is.
Do you remember what play is? A kind of recreation for enjoyment. As an adult we are not playing kick the can, but we can enjoy life as if we were still young. We can go on fun walks, or ride our bikes with our kids or grandkids. We can take hikes in the woods or mountains. Or maybe get on a sports team.
And as we are enjoying ourselves, we are keeping ourselves young. Now that doesn’t mean, we won’t have sore muscles or wrinkles on our face. But the heart is what counts and we want to keep it young.
Of course in doing this fun exercise we are also we are trying to lower our blood pressure, and keeping our cholesterol down without even trying.
What are you doing to try and keep yourself young?
Would you like to live on till you are one hundred years old? What is your definition of living? I looked it up. Definition of living: The condition of being alive. Conduct or manner of life healthy living. What a person has to have to meet basic needs.
My grandma lived until the ripe old age of 104. She was moving slowly, took lots of naps, sometimes would forget things, needed help with everyday living and I think until 100 she could slowly ride a three-wheel bike. I consider her one of the lucky ones. Her kids did put her into a nursing home the last year of her life and that is where she died.
Her face was full of wrinkles but her eyes were so blue like the ocean and her smile radiant. Her fingers were bent and they hurt her. Whenever I told her she was beautiful she would give such a cute laugh while saying ‘no I am not’.
When ever we are asked about our age, we tend to shutter, and don’t tell. We are afraid to say that we are getting old, forgetting that some never get the chance to meet our age. But now I am going on a different tangent.
What the question was, is how do we get ready for old age? And may I add the world gracefully. How do we get to old age gracefully? I looked up old age. Old age: is called a senescence, in human beings, the final stage of a normal life span. Sixty to sixty-five years of age or older.
I have seen some women in their sixties who look so beautiful, with the help of cosmetic surgery. I have also seen them with wrinkles, but their laughter and their personality seem to make them younger in my eyes.
I have seen some women in their fifties who look like they are in their eighties. What happened in their life to make them grow old so prematurely?
So what is the secret of growing old gracefully?
So, I am thinking of a new book to write. I think the title will be 'Nothing Gets Us Ready For Old Age.'
I mean think about it. When we are small, we are so excited to grow up and go to school. When we are in school, we want to be teenagers. When we looked at someone in their thirties we thought, 'boy are they old.'
When we finished high school, we were excited about going to college or just leaving home and living on our own.
As the years went on, we were looking forward to the next thing life was going to give us, our new adventure.
But then it happens, and we turn sixty years old. When we are not looking into the mirror, we don't feel sixty. Yet when our eyes sneak a peek, we see the gray hair and the wrinkles on our faces. How and when did this happen?
No one really gets us ready for old age. The big question is ‘What is considered old’? I remember when I turned 65 and started on Medicare. That I think is what struck me that I am now in the same club as most of my patients. You see I work on an ambulance, general transport of course at this ripe old age, I am now done with 911. I mean it was exciting to go on car accidents and finding people dead in their homes, but I have decided I don’t need the adrenaline rush anymore. Most of my patients are 60 years and up now. They all have their interesting stories of their past life. A lot of them are sad now. They can’t move like they used to, or think as clearly.
I was born in the 50’s and cigarette smoking and beer or wine was the big think in high school. Some kids never grew out of it. Those are the ones I am transferring now with diagnosis of liver failure or emphysema. And of course, the ones who didn’t like going to school, let alone college. They did get married and had a family, but when the kids grew up, they really didn’t like their home life let alone their parents. Now these people are living in establishments where you are told when to go to sleep and get up in the morning. Lots of wheel chairs fill the hallways and canisters of oxygen sitting on most of them.
How do you get ready for old age? Looking for your thoughts and thank you.
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I am the Author
a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and still believe in the power of love &