But Nobody Told Me!
Telling my adult children about aging feels important to me.  My mother was 84 when she died. She never talked about what it felt like to grow old - the good, the bad and the ugly - so here I am at 67 with no road map, and much of what I have encountered has been unexpected.   Here is some of what I have learned so far: The Challenges 1. I have learned that growing old gracefully is a lofty (and for me unattainable) ideal. How can I possibly embrace the aging process with grace when the image in the mirror stares back at me mercilessly, as it taunts me with its drastically thinning hair, ubiquitous age spots, and face that is rapidly migrating south. If I'm supposed to embrace my aging appearance, I’m failing abysmally. [gallery columns="1" ids="2125"] 2. I have learned that short-term memory is ... well ... short! and, as we age, fades into oblivion. In the (probably futile) hope of warding off dementia, I engage in sundry forms of brain exercise, but it doesn’t seem to make a dent in my memory difficulties. Thoughts and ideas that enter my mind often disappear in mili-seconds, lost forever unless I am somehow able to quickly scribble them down. And if – during a conversation - I have to politely wait my turn to speak, I forget what I wanted to say – and then get stuck trying desperately to remember. 3. I have learned that the greeting ‘How are you?’ takes on a whole new meaning for seniors. Just when we begin our long-awaited retirement, medical issues lie in wait, ready ...
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