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…