My parents are avid theater goers. Though they live in the suburbs, they maintain two theater subscriptions for theaters in Manhattan. My parents are 82 and 79, and my Father recently asked my Mother to start getting matinee tickets instead of evening. The 8pm showtimes and the ensuing hour trip back home was beginning to get to him.  My Mother’s response: No- that’s what old people do.

Last week I attended a show with my Mom- my Dad had no interest in a one woman show about her issues with her family. Showtime: 8pm. Curtain up about 8:03. Mother asleep about 8:10…

She pretty much slept through the show.

I understand that falling asleep can happen to anyone at anytime. We’ve all nodded off. But this is not the first time I’ve attended something with my Mom and heard her snoring before intermission.

My friend J comes over to watch Netflix with me. When we sat down to watch “The Irishman” I had the TV on volume 10- what we normally use. She asked me to turn it up. And turn it up…By the end of the movie, the volume was at 35. Remember- there’s maybe eight feet between my TV and the couch.

After the movie J, who’s 70, looked at me and said- “Maybe I should check into hearing aids…I guess I really didn’t realize how bad my hearing has become. The thought just makes me feel….” and she just shook her head.

We can buy creams and lotions, have plastic surgery. We can deny that things have changed- we can fight it…But how ever you look at it, things change as you get older.

The current mantra is to fight aging. Buy this, do this, try this. There are a thousand things that we can do to fight aging. But is that the best use of our time?

The bottles that line my medicine chest all bare names that have to do with aging. I get it…but think about my Mom- she’s missing the shows. Her vanity of needing to see shows at night because that’s what young people do ends up being a very expensive nap…Look at what’s she’s missing by not accepting that she is tired at night?

My friend J: not accepting that her hearing is not what it used to be is probably stopping her from fully enjoying the things she likes most: movies and television. How can you enjoy a show if you can’t hear everything?

I was formulating this post in my head last night when I turned on Grace and Frankie- without giving anything away- let’s just say that early in the second episode you see that Grace is not accepting aging well either…

Aging is not all about trying to maintain what we had when we were younger. Take care of yourself- that’s a given. But deal with the changes that nature has brought you. The goal is to live our fullest life no matter what stage we are in.

Remember: aging is a privilege, not a right. Not everyone gets the opportunity to age. Do what you can to maintain what you have, but realize that things do change, no matter how much we don’t want them to…

72 thoughts on “We Don’t all Get to do It

  1. You’re absolutely right, as usual. Aging and death are inevitable, and we only limit ourselves when we won’t make our current situation better.

    Perhaps denial is the most popular coping strategy against change? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Blah. 😶

    I choose to drive less at night when it’s raining or snowing because I don’t like the glare or teens telling me I’m not driving fast enough. It makes me feel old but I know my limits and unless I have to, I choose not to.

    Same with dinner. I find my digestion is improved by having the heavier meal at lunch and a lighter fare at dinner. People say, lets go out to dinner at 8pm. I say, too late for me. This makes me feel old.

    Your mom should be made aware of the $ wasted when she’s napping through the show. This would change my parents’ mind easily enough. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mother will deny she falls asleep….I’m not the only stubborn one…😉 the dinner thing…I know…730 is the latest I can eat….not easy in this city….

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  3. Even if we remove how society and the media push the ideal of vibrancy and youth from the aging equation, the fear of getting older and the fear of death cannot be overlooked.

    Humans age and humans eventually die, but that end is a very difficult thing for most to accept. Some believe in a spiritually related eternal life, others believe that death is clearly an end.

    The mystery of what really happens after our bodies stop is too much for a majority of people to contemplate or deal with, so pushing it away in any way possible seems to be the only control they believe they have.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Brilliant! I was thinking I was totally with your mum at first when she wanted to be like the young people until you said she fell asleep – that made me laugh. I guess we do have to accept that things change as we get older. My hubby drives me nuts in the opposite way though. He keeps talking about being old and he’s only 47! What will he be saying in 20 or 30 years time?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Having lived with someone who refused to accept that he was hearing impaired, I swore I would get hearing aids as soon as I need them. But hearing tests and aids are expensive, and I don’t think they’re usually covered by insurance. Still – planning to grow old disgracefully means at a minimum staying in the loop…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That was an excellent post LA! My mother refuses to get a hearing aid, so I bought her a $150 PocketTalker with earphones and a microphone on Amazon which allows her to hear the TV when someone else doesn’t want it on that loud. Fine for home, but too bulky to take out. But I find she misses a lot of the conversation when we go out to dinner in a group. When you start not to participate in conversations, people start to ignore you. I don’t know why people are so stubborn about stuff like that, other than the price. You’d think with all the technology today they could invent a good cheap hearing aid.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent post! I am reading it as I recover and heal from extensive abdominal surgery. (After 4 rounds of chemo my doctor removed multiple tumors successfully). Now in a few weeks I have more chemo and hope remission is waiting for me at the end of that. So, as a person fighting cancer the reality of aging is now very different from what was a few months ago. Back in April of last year when I turned 70, I was more concerned with aging or looking old. Being fRom the generation who felt forever young the thought of aging was terrifying. Now I think of it as a gift I hope to get to enjoy. At my 70th bday I assumed I’d have decades left. Being diagnosed with cancer changes things and one’s perspective . You realize the frivolities of people who deny that they may need hearing aides or can’t drive at night, or can’t stay awake late anymore. They seem so silly to deny helping themselves enjoy life don’t they?I noticed my younger sister,who sleeps over after each chemo to help me deal with side affects, is getting hard of hearing. She’s healthier, more spry than I, but her hearing is going. I’m not sure she realizes just how much she can’t hear. I have a friend down visiting from NYC who stopped by to check in on me and see how I was recovering. She commented that she is suddenly starting to have difficulty driving at night. She commented “I guess I’m old!” I reminded her how lucky she was to be getting older and for a moment she was taken aback. I told her that if all I had to do was rearrange a few things to accommodate the natural course of aging I would gladly do so. I pointed to my bald head and reminded her that taking an uber at night was a lot easier than going through surgery and chemo. She then burst into tears. Which was certainly not my goal. People do like to deny aging and dealing with their mortality. But we can never forget to embrace to gift of enjoying that growing older journey. You are correct that it’s about about losing control. We all hate that feeling. I’m in a situation beyond my control so I’m seeing things differently. If I’m given the change to beat this disease, I’d get afternoon theater tickets in a second so I don’t have to drive at night. And I’ll get my hearing checked ASAP . I did check it a few years back and it was fine but you never know. Plus, when my hair grows back, I’ll let it be natural. Wherever I highlighted it blonde might very well be gray now. And I’ll embrace it. Thanks for an excellent post. You always make people think! Good going!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So good to hear from you! Was sending you love and healing vibes!! You’re right..we like to deny things that we don’t like…but denial takes up so much energy and time. We need to just be the best we can be this moment in time. The worst tragedy in life is not needing to go to a matinee….just enjoy the show….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly! In fact I’m going to borrow that line. It’s a great metaphor for life. When people ask me about being sick I’m going to tell them I’m just going to enjoy the show! We can’t worry about all the other stuff or deny things… we all just need to enjoy the show! Thanks for sending healing vibes and love. All very much appreciated. Xoxo.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Aging. Can’t say I have not struggled with a few things here and there. Aging is a privilege for sure and sometimes can be humbling. At 53 I had my first major “I’m to old for this” experience this year. I gave up my favorite winter activity. Downhill skiing. Why? It wasn’t doing it for me anymore. My son lives in Colorado so each winter I meet him to go skiing. In 2018, I struggled to get to the lifts and had a fatigue like never before. I had never struggled with skiing before. Albeit a few months later I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism which could have added to the fatigue but now that I’m on the right amount of med that’s all better. Last year I went to ski and it didn’t happen due to weather. So this year as I was planning I decided I’m done skiing, which is so not me. Part of me wants to go to prove to me I still Got it!! Then I remember 2018 and it was not fun. For the first time ever I’m afraid of falling. I don’t fall but suddenly I started thinking what if I do? What if I fall and get hurt and can’t hike?? I hike all year around and only ski one day a year. So skiing is out, not worth the stress I put on myself. It is very humbling for me to think I just don’t want to ski anymore. So I ponder to myself, am I getting old or just getting wiser?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve just changed what’s important to you. It’s neither good, nor bad, just different. And it’s ok to stop doing something that doesn’t bring us joy. You had years of fun skiing, but now it’s not how you want to spend your time and disposable income. And that’s ok

      Liked by 1 person

  9. People used to say that they were aging gracefully. Since being graceful was never part of my make up I guess I will have to do it sensibly. My husband leans into aging on some issues and ignores it on others. I know that I am doing better than my mom at the same age and she was better than hers, so I guess with every generation we improve? If it is an issue that I can improve without plastic surgery I will try to improve. To me it isn’t a question of fighting aging it is more of improving the way I live. Yes, I take a statin and can’t eat the way I used to, but I might be healthier than I was in my 20s (even though I am not that skinny anymore!), I know that I am caring for my body inside and out in a more mature and educated way. Still wish I was at my 20s weight though.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aging is not a bad word, even if too many people consider it to be. You’ve hit on it here with your belief that it’s HOW you live that counts. We can’t control time, but we can do ourselves a favor by using it wisely.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I know two people (both of the Y chromosome variety) who decline to acknowledge that their hearing is going, and will not get hearing aids. Both miss portions of conversations and sometimes ask a question about something that has just been said, creating the impression that they are either not paying attention or none too bright. It is a shame. I sincerely hope that as I age further, I will accept help when I need it, whether it’s hearing aids, a walker, whatever. But who knows? We all think these effects of aging won’t happen to us.

    Because my older sister died at age 33, and never made it to 35, let alone 40, 50, or 60, I have a distinctly different take on aging. Yes, I resent my pleated upper lip and my crepey neck, but I also realize that I am so lucky to be here, and that every day on the green side of the grass is a good day.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Maybe J uses closed captioning at home? I got hooked on it while living with a hearing challenged person and now have trouble watching TV without it. Maybe I wouldn’t even realize if my hearing was going???

    Possibly there’s a way for you to tackle the sleeping in the theater topic with your mother? Maybe present it as a type of compromise with your father?

    I think aging sneaks up on many of us, as if we thought those symptoms were things that only happened to “other people.” I enjoyed this post and the many thought-provoking points of view in the comments.

    By the way, I love Grace and Frankie and just got started on the new season last night. I’ll be interested to see where all of this goes…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wonderful post!
    You know, we have theater subscriptions here and they’re almost always matinee tickets. Not because we’re old or not old, but because we like having the time to do things after the shows.
    Aging is a much newer situation in the grad scheme of things, and (if we’re fortunate) will continue to be. We’re living longer now than ever before in human history, we might need to adjust our attitudes about it sooner than later. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now. I think part of the reason we find aging so challenging is the way older people are portrayed in media. Usually, they’re seen as crass, outside of the times, or just plain cray.

    Of course, I agree, though. We would be better served to accept our aging bodies, so we can continue enjoying life.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I can see both sides of this. Wrapping your head around some concessions takes time. I’m sure both your mom and your friend will eventually come around, but maybe they’re just holding out for as long as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That’s such a funny story about your mom!

    Now, take my knee…please. Seriously, doing this at 58 is painful and grueling – I can’t imagine doing it at 70, but people do. I’m giving up what used to be full range of motion, but the trade-off is being able to walk and hike again. Seriously, not being able to walk the dogs down the road for the rest of my life was unacceptable! When it comes to wrinkles and gray hair, though, I’m just going with it. At least I can still hear!😆

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Very well said! Yeah, aging comes with loss of our phyical attributes but i think we gain wisdom which is nice. I’d love to have both at the same time but nature finds a way to balance things out. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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