Reflections on Aging

Last Update: June 15, 2022

I recently read a blog from Deelillah titled, "When Age Does Matter." It set me to thinking on my own old age, and what I've learned in the process of aging.

I am 83, and will turn 84 on July 26. Up until I turned 80, I always had the unrealistic idea that life ended at 80. Once I reached that age, I realized I'd need to do some rethinking.

My mother died at 84. However, she had a reason for her demise. She had emphysema. Mother never smoked a day in her life, but second-hand smoke from the horrible cigars my father indulged in daily did her in. He smoked them constantly, leaving the house reeking with the odor.

He used to like to take us on little rides in the car. I always had to ride in the back seat. My father, of course, smoked his ever-present stinky cigar as we rode, and inevitably, I would get car-sick.

After they stopped to let me do my emergency retch, I'd feel much better. Then they would seek out the closest place to buy ice cream, and I'd be treated to a chocolate ice cream cone. It made the retching experience almost worth-while, and the ice cream seemed to soothe my stomach.

Funny thing -- I never got car-sick after the ice cream. Would I have still gotten sick if they'd given me ice cream before traveling?

So, now I know that there is life beyond 80, and I'm really not ready to leave the planet yet. In thinking over my life, I've come to believe we should have the opportunity to live longer. After all, it took me the first 50 years to gain some grasp of how the world according to Fran operated.

Before reaching age 50, I learned many things and made far too many mistakes. After 50, the learning and the mistakes slowed down, but they still marked my days, going forward.

Now that I'm this old, I've found new ways to apply all I've learned as well as finding new opportunities to use my knowledge to move me forward. It's just not fair that it takes so much time to learn some of life's important lessons, and then we are taken away before we have a chance to apply all we've learned.

In this sense, WA has been exactly what I needed. It's given me a whole new way to interact and to apply my hard-earned knowledge. At the same time, WA has given me new lessons, learning about the internet and how to use it.

It's also awarded me with my long-time dream of writing as a profession. I love to write, and through the years have developed and used that skill. Now I write about cats -- creatures I love -- and I offer jewelry in an eCommerce boutique.

Yes, of course I'd like to earn some good money, but money becomes a secondary goal. I believe that if I write well enough and get my website in front of enough people, the money will come. If not through affiliate marketing, it will come from sales in my jewelry boutique.

For many years, I sold jewelry to make my living. Now that I've retired, I still have a good selection of individual pieces from my days of owning a large shop. Though the jewelry sales have slid from a river to a tiny trickle of a stream, my boutique now gives me a chance to sell my left-over stock.

Besides having the opportunity to sell some of this jewelry, I thank WA for allowing my aging to be rewarded with new experiences and a new chance to learn. These wonderful new learning layers seem to keep my mind young, at least, even as the body grows older.

I feel so fortunate to have been rewarded a long life. The sand in the hourglass still flows slowly out, but none of us knows, really, how much of that sand is left. It's my intention to celebrate my aliveness, and to enjoy every last bit of life that's left to me.

I feel that gratitude for the gift of life must be something we offer up continually to the universe and to whatever deity we might recognize. For my part, as long as I live, I will offer up that prayer of gratitude every day.

Aging is a privilege, and I feel so fortunate for my many years.

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Msclipp33 Premium Plus
Love this post! I also had a 'smoking' dad. If you walked into our home on a weekend, You would see a cloud from the ceiling to about a quarter of the way down. It was crazy!

I would go open my bedroom windows and watch the smoke leave because we weren't allowed to be in the house with the front and back doors open. In that day, we didn't know just how detrimental second hand smoke was. I just didn't like smelling it. My Dad's demise was a result of smoking as well. My mom never smoked a day in her life but I believe her demise was as a result of the second hand smoke.

I too, have taken a different look at my life since I have come to the age that I always looked at as OLD. I finally started loving my LIFE and doing it from a different perspective.

Thanks for your post and your wisdom.
FKelso Premium Plus
I like the line that tells us, "I'm not old; I'm classic." That's a better way to look at it.

Glad you liked the post.

Linda103 Premium
The way we age is as much about the mindset as the number, I think Fran.
I've seen some in their 50's who are already on a downward slope. Staying curious, a desire to keep learning, mainly eating healthily and an interest in life all help to keep us going and enjoying life much longer.
FKelso Premium Plus
I agree with you about are right on...
deelilah Premium Plus
Ah, curiosity, there is the key.
Linda103 Premium
Yes. If you stay interested in life, interested in gaining knowledge, interested in people and their quirks, then people like that tend to live longer.
Zoopie Premium
Thanks Fran for a great blog, I was only going to respond with a few words, however my fingers got carried away. Lol.

Both sides of the family, Grandparents I’m talking about and the men and women, lived to their late 90’s. And the great thing about that was they had all their faculties and were still physically robust ( for their age).
It was great to sit with my Grandfather especially, as he use to have a big bottle of beer ( he was in his late 80’s at this stage) and me a lemonade. He use to tell me outrageous stories about his life.
Both sets of my Grandparents came from a farming background and I think with the fresh food and physical labour it helped them enjoy a full life.
I have read that it will soon be possible to live to 150 years of age. I think that would be remarkable as the help you could provide over the course of those years would benefit everyone.
Thanks for your blog. Longevity is a topic I am very interested in.
And you are 100% correct, aging is a privilege not afforded to many.
FKelso Premium Plus
Wow -- 150 years would be great! Think of what a website we could build in that much time!
FKelso Premium Plus
P.S. I think you are right about the benefits of the farming background. My 20 years on my homestead on Spruce Island is, I believe, a factor in my hanging in there so well. The physical activity of the lifestyle helped strengthen my body. Now I'm working on strengthening my mind.
Zoopie Premium
Good environment and good stock as my Grandad use to say.
deelilah Premium Plus
Yes. I’m a farm girl too, chief chicken plucker and other fun, not so favorite things. But the whole milk, cream, and butter sure were.
ValerieJoy Premium Plus
Age is just a number but in some circumstances, it is not recognized as just that.

Many years ago, I severely disliked being not old enough. I was the younger sibling of two daughters and I intensely disliked
being "too young". It felt as though I would never be old enough!

In my first year of employment as the junior shorthand typist at the Education Board, I was without a doubt treated as too young to
be included in office chit-chats etc!

The years have rolled by and I'm at the other end of the spectrum! Oh, if only I knew then a little of what I know now!

Thanks for the reminder about Gratitude, Fran. I used to start each day with gratitude. Recently, I have overlooked that practice, but thanks to you, I will put Gratitude back into practice!

I love your websites, especially the Cat one. I've watched the videos. They are amazing.
FKelso Premium Plus
Oh, Valerie, thank you for the nice comment. If you like the cat website, please become a subscriber. Just fill out the very brief form in the right sidebar of the website. Then you will automatically receive a copy of each new post as it is published.

Which videos? The ones on "The Alaska Mystique?" Surely not the YouTube videos...they are hardly amazing, although I'm very pleased with my thumbnails. Thank God for Canva!
Steadfast1 Premium Plus
Hi Fran, So nicely said, I believe we are not as old as we feel because I am 65, and my body aches and creeks. But as long as I don't look in the mirror, I still think I am 40. But occasionally, when I pass a mirror, I think (when I see the wrinkles), "Oh my, where did all the years go?"
Even with all of the aches, I love my age. There is something liberating about getting older. I love the knowledge and not caring what others think anymore.
Your words got me thinking about age, and although 65 is nearing older, I am still young.
Thank you for your words. You are still young at heart, my friend.
FKelso Premium Plus
Yes, indeed, young at heart and hoping to last a few more years. We are as old as we feel, sometimes. And,yes, I agree that there is something liberating about growing older.