and share it with you.
THE REALITY OF AGING
FOR US who have reached the age of from 60 to 70 we may have noticed that every time we look at ourselves into the mirror we don’t exactly look the same as we did the other day? Uhm! Funny or scary?
Yes, for our body changes every single day. Looking at ourselves, we see how fast time is changing. We feel we are not that young anymore.
Some of us who may have become conscious of ourselves have even thought of how we could hold on to that image of us some 25 years ago. A weird idea, indeed! The wonder of cosmetic surgery and/or medicine appear as something some might want to consider. Yes, it might tweak a little but that just it. In truth, it cannot.
We can’t turn back the time, hoping that by going under the knife we could be young again or at least improve our looks. Maybe even wish there could be a potion or an elixir that would bring us back to our youth. No way Jose! Aging is a reality we all have to face.
As we find ourselves on the threshold of old age, (yes 60 to 70 is old by any standard) drastic transformation keeps developing beyond our control as years go by. We notice that within our self, so much are changing that to some extent even bother us.
Like our hair is turning white. We’re losing a great amount of melanin or our hair is unable to produce enough of it. It has become more transparent.
Actually, our hair first turns into shades of gray as we aged with little flecks of white mixing with the dominant black here and there that appear like salt and pepper until everything morphs into a total white or similar to a Vet sin seasoning—a salt of glutamic acid used to enhance food flavor or what is known as MSG—eventually.
The graying of hair, so to speak, has made some of us uncomfortable (not necessarily ashamed or embarrassed but just plain uneasy), to the point that as early into our age, dying of hair has become something that some has resorted to bolstering one’s personal confidence or personality. Or are we so vain enough to be entertaining these ideas as Carly Simon had popularized in a song of vanity?
Some hair recedes or falls out in great amount into the ravine of death making way for a bald head to appear like helipad on the topmost part of a high rise building.
The forehead becomes exposed more than ever as demarcation lines appear drawn on it several times one after the other.
The eyes squint as it struggles facing the great sun with eye bags underneath pop out like as if one hasn’t slept a hundred years.
The ears of Spock seemingly getting a hold on us as our ears grow bigger simultaneously with our noses that protrude like that of Pinocchio’s or having a semblance of a telltale sign of how much lies we’d made during our younger years. Surprisingly, the ears and the nose are the only parts of the body that keep growing while all the rest are shrinking in sizes due to osteoporosis, joints getting worn out or the posture of age itself.
The skin in our chin seems to expand, doubling up and /or it simply slumps, failing miserably in defying the law of gravity. In reality, fats develop and skin sags that cause wrinkles in the area giving the illusion of double chins. Again for vanity sake, facial contouring or rejuvenation will do away with loose skin if we so desire.
We start experiencing pains, our intervertebral disc degenerates, bone spurs develop, shoulder becomes frozen, hands and wrist function decreases, knee cracks, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis set in. Our muscle losses control and go haywire in a disease called Parkinson. Then we start forgetting things like (I just walked into this room, now what do I need in here?) or our memory falters as an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Worst we might even suffer from both diseases.
We experience difficulty moving our arms, clenching our fists or curling our fingers. We have trouble standing up or even kneeling down or bending our body to pick up something on the ground. Our movement becomes very much calculated, feeling sluggish, and our strength diminishes. There are times we become sickly or lose interest in getting up. Omg, what has happen to us, we begin to ask?
For the first time we begin to notice that our family, relatives, friends and even those close to us are leaving one by one. They are not just going anywhere. They’re departing to the great beyond. Many times we become speechless as a loved one passes away.
If we hadn’t been a religious person during our carefree and younger years, we suddenly become one now at this point of time. Where before, we seldom pray, now we do. We pray before we go to bed and in the morning as soon as our eyes open, we thank the One above for giving us another life to live.
There are times we feel so upset or shocked with the passing of someone dear or known to us, that we couldn’t help asking who could be next? Reluctantly we embrace the fear that the next one could be us. For the first time we realize our own mortality.
The thing is, when we recognize the presence of an Almighty God we pray that should anything happen to us it is our desire that we go to Heaven but in reality we don’t want to die or are afraid to die–a contradiction of the belief in life after death. So how can we go to Heaven…a ver?
It is as if we want to live forever but that forever would not be possible as our body as well as our brain deteriorate with age. We can only live so much that the human body would allow.
We tend to sit more, talk less or appear so engaging, sometimes depending on our mood or simply we just want to observe what’s going on around us. We enjoy watching people as they pass by or doing their thing. In essence, we become a voyeur or a gossiper of the highest order.
We continue admiring attractive and beautiful people, echoing Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous line “if eyes were made for seeing then beauty is its own excuse for being,” which actually meant that “beauty in itself exists for our own pleasure to be seen by our eyes” never mind if we are cross-eyed or not.
Then we have that inner cravings (consciously or unconsciously) to satisfy our carnal desire regardless of whether we still have the stamina to engage in it or not. We feel we are still good at it as we wrongly assumed that in our minds we can still do it but our body or our age betray us.
In men, belly protrudes, testosterone declines, the guns of Navarone retracts, but the desire remains intact and doesn’t seem to diminish.
In women, belly protrudes too, estrogen level decreases, the Niagara Falls dries out resulting to a dip in libido, thus, a low in sex drive.
In both sexes moods swing; he turns grumpy, she, irritable.
There are times, we refuse to accept we are already old, that age is only a number that could be negated by what our mind tells us. But once we do a performance test, it opens us to a sad reality that age has finally catch up with us.
In food, we become selective, prefers veggie from meat. We choose wine over beer and liquor. We drown ourselves with water but hates relieving ourselves every now and then.
We turn ourselves into a small pharmacy, accepting all the medicine that the doctors prescribe, always on guard for any sudden uptick in our blood pressure and/or cholesterol pretending not to know that those medicine will kill us too in the long run.
Some of us do the Zumba exercises or perform the repeated sequence of steps of line dancing or go into more serious workouts, walk or run a mile or two, carry object we can lift, breathe heavily in between as we try catching our breath in the process like as if it would be our last.
We become conscious of our age more than ever. Where before we care less of what lies ahead, now we are always on the lookout if tomorrow our eyes will still open to meet another glorious day.
At this stage, we seriously feel we have entered the age of wisdom. We feel we are much better than the young ones. But on second thoughts, with the advent of technology and information on our fingertips, are we really much better than them?
However, we feel we have gain maturity through our years of experience in life. We are more positive in attitude. We are now more circumspect of our actions and decisions, cautious and guarded in whatever we say or do. We care less of what people say, we do what we believe is right sometime to the point of being perceived as stubborn but careful of not overdoing it.
We gravitate to sweet and soft music, avoiding loud voices and aggressive persons. We value more solitude, quietness or serene surroundings or environment. Even the manner of how we laugh has softened to a great degree.
We shun away from troubles or confrontations, which sometimes are misconstrued as us being weak or coward. We develop the attitude of diplomats, allowing the issue to stay for a while, avoiding a spurt of the moment decision less we regret it later on, with the exception of some who will never back away from a fight or a situation of confrontation. Those are the fighting marines we have in our ranks or the war freaks so to say.
We enjoy socializing with people of our age, sometimes with the younger ones too, prefer staying at home, glued on the television or pounding our computer, watching grandchildren, resting or sleeping most of the times.
Until someone comes knocking on our door and takes us away to a life beyond.