Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.

COUNTDOWN: DAYS HRS MINS SECS

Not old…vintage!

Age is so much more than adding up years

I knew each birthday was getting me closer to old age. I knew I qualified for senior citizen discounts. I knew I was walking slower and sometimes I forget a name.

Still, I didn’t think of myself as being “old” … just aging, kind of like fine wine. And then one day a middle-aged gentleman asked me if I needed help getting up a few steps as he held his arm out to me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh my, he thinks I am an old lady!

I asked myself, how can I be an old lady? I still enjoy romantic movies on Hallmark, I giggle at a silly joke, I love popsicles and playing crazy eight. My heart still races when my hubby winks at me. I blush when I receive a compliment and I love to hear Chubby Checker sing “let’s twist again, like we did last summer.” When I am home alone, I sing loudly as I twist away, staying clear of windows. My mind still thinks I am young, but my body gives me away.

There are numerous positives about aging. The older you get, the less likely you are to sweat the small stuff. It just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t mean we have lost our fiery passion; it just means we are mature enough to let it go.

Growing old with one’s soulmate is a beautiful experience. When I sit across the table from my hubby of 55 years, I still see the young man I married; but his hair is thinning, he is losing some of his muscle and his hands show how hard he worked throughout his life. In his eyes, I see the love and wisdom of a man who has raised his family. In his words, I hear his kindness. It isn’t about a handsome face or body, but about a beautiful heart and soul.

I have learned that growing old is definitely not for sissies. I am blessed with good health, yet sometimes when I wake, I wonder “what will work today.” Some days my legs hurt or I am still tired because I didn’t sleep well. When it is humid, I find it is harder to breathe. Hair is beginning to grow where it has no business growing. Thank heavens for tweezers and magnified mirrors.

I just hooted at a comment one of my “senior” Facebook friends wrote. She said, “I got a pimple this morning. Doesn’t that sound youthful? It’s right where your third eye would be. Very beautiful.” Keeping a sense of humor is critical as you age. It’s either laugh or cry.

When you are younger, you don’t necessarily think about some of the aches and pains your parents or grandparents may have. Most older people try to hide or ignore their pain. Seniors, for the most part, don’t want to be coddled or pitied, but they do want to feel loved and respected.

It makes me incredibly sad when I witness someone talking rude or showing impatience to a senior citizen. The other day I was in the grocery store. An elderly gentleman was walking slowly down an aisle. A very rude young girl said, “if you can’t walk faster old man, then get out of my way, I don’t have all day.” I saw the pain in his eyes as she rushed past him. Either she didn’t know or didn’t care how she made him feel. Such blatant disrespect.

When you grow older, you realize material things are not nearly as important as they once were. It is family and friends who matter. We seniors know someday we won’t be around for a graduation, a wedding, a birth; but as long as we are here, we want to share in the lives of family and friends. Making memories is important.

Seniors generally don’t mince words; we tell it like we see it. One day last week I heard a conversation with one elderly gentleman saying, “I don’t give two hoots about all this political correctness crap.” We are not as concerned about how others view us as we once were. We don’t mean to be offensive; we just say what’s on our mind. We speak from years of life’s experiences openly and candidly.

Many senior citizens stay active. They belong to card clubs, do volunteer work, go to exercise class, fish, belong to a quilting club, etc. However, some senior citizens are house bound. Perhaps they have some physical problems or maybe they need to take care of an ill spouse. Have you ever thought about how long their days must be, how lonely they are?

When people age, they lose lifelong friends and family. Some elderly people have very few people left in their lives. Think about the older people you know. They would love to hear from you. A phone call, visit or note would make their day. Make the time, someday you will be glad you did.

Question: The City of Shawano is old too. How old is it?

Answer: Shawano became a city in 1874. It is 145 years old.