Archives for posts with tag: old age.

It’s amusing to me how excited I can get over learning something new, even the simplest thing.  Approaching 69 quickly, I work to keep my brain power as sharp as possible by playing games that make me think, reading, getting outside, and hanging out with people as much as I can.

Watching the students, all 21 or older, whom I am working with this year, use their computers is inspiring.  The first computers I was around were in a math lab at the elementary school my children attended.  They were simple machines that were used in a lab for the students to do math.  I remember that the screens were black and the numbers were white – I think.  Anyway, I decided that if kindergartners could do this, so could I, and I embraced the computer age.

What amazing changes there have been since that time, probably 40 years ago.  Shoot, there are amazing changes every year, month, week, and day now.  What you thought you knew is updated so quickly.  People grumble and curse the new ways, but I’ve found that most of them are pretty spectacular.

Today, I taught myself how to do something on the computer, something so simple that I won’t give details because I wouldn’t be surprised if my 5 year old granddaughter could have taught it to me.  I was beaming to myself with pride at learning this skill that my students assumed I knew.  It takes so very little to make me proud of myself these days.

Oh well, onward we march.  Now I’m going to concentrate on getting the rest of my body as sharp as my brain.  It’s going to take the whole package of me, brains and body, to conquer this latest challenge of approaching the truly elderly ages with more than a sigh and resignation.  After all, I’ve sworn to keep up with my grandkids for as long as possible.  By keeping up, I mean being able to do active things with them, even if I can’t possibly move as fast as they do.  At least my brain is up to the challenge…so far.  Sigh…

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One of the college seniors I’m working with asked me how I stay so hip.   Flattering?  Well, sure.  At least I hold my own with younger people to some degree, but I’m not trying to be anything but what I am.  I’m not sure I’ve ever considered myself hip, come to think of it.  I may be as hip as I’ll ever get right now and it’s taken me a long time to get here.  Made me think – and I’m grateful that I still can.

Here’s my list of ways to stay kind of “with it” as you get older.  Take it or leave it – just my random thoughts.

1.  Don’t try to act younger than you are.  When people tell you that you look 10 or 20 years younger than you are, just say Thank You.  The truth is that you look good for your age.  That’s all we can hope for.  We are what we are.  Oh yes – dress your age.  You should have found your own style by now.  I always heard that if we’d worn some fad style before, then we shouldn’t try and do it the second time.  Think bubble hairstyles or bell bottom jeans.

2.  Don’t be judgmental.  Younger people, all ages of younger people, do things differently than we did.  That’s ok.  I don’t agree with some of it, but I remember that my parents probably didn’t like some of the things I did either.  Today is different than yesterday in so many ways.  Don’t sit there going Tsk! Tsk!

3.  Don’t be afraid to try new things or to dream of new things.  What have you got lose at this point?  Time’s a flyin’ and it’s now or never.  Make that bucket list!

4.  Keep up with pop culture – to a degree.  You don’t have to know the name of every music group or the latest young star or slang, but you can have a familiarity with some of it.  Listen to some new music.  A lot of it is great.  Remember how shocked our parents were at what we listened to?  It’s the same now.  If you hear something you don’t get, look it up on the internet.  It may shock you, but at least you won’t be clueless.

5.  Keep up with technology.  We’ll never be as fast or as knowledgeable as the generations after us, but there’s a lot that’s wonderful and makes our lives more fun and easier.  If you don’t like it, don’t use it, but don’t act superior about it or turn your nose up.

6.  Enjoy people of all ages.  Don’t complain that children are noisy or teens are disrespectful or your grown children are living the wrong lifestyle.  We used to be them.  Enjoy where you were and where you are now.  We all have to go through it.

7.  Don’t be disappointed in how your life turned out.  Everyone has something happen they didn’t expect, whether it’s about jobs or marriages or children or health or any number of things.  You don’t want to be one of those old people shaking your cane at the universe and how unfair it’s been to you.  Don’t be a curmudgeon!

8.  Smile a lot, laugh a lot, surround yourself with friends and family and people as much as you can.

You can choose to be happy and happiness is probably what makes you hipper than you would ever dream.

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