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Old 03-24-2010, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,648,620 times
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Whenever my sisters and I hear "a happy attitude" is the key to a long life, we look at each other and crack up laughing. Our mother lived to be 94. I can't remember any time at any age when she wasn't complaining, finding fault with her kids (and later grand-kids) and henpecking my father. She ate mostly meat and potatoes and never exercised. She was a text book example of what all the books say a person should not do to live a long life.

She was a force to be reckoned with. All throughout her life her health was not stellar but at age 94 she was pretty darn healthy in comparison to many of her contemporaries. Although a fall rendered her wheelchair bound in later years, it never slowed her mind. She was sharp as a tack and beat everyone at cards, scrabble and even (I think she cheated) gin rummy.

Genetics? Maybe. But her parents died in their 60's and 70's and as did her sister. My mother defied all the reasons and wherefores as to why a person lives such a long life. I figure I am just going to live reasonably and let what will be to be.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,667 posts, read 33,667,394 times
Reputation: 51854
I don't know what aging gracefully means or why it's something to aspire to.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:17 PM
 
9,676 posts, read 15,849,412 times
Reputation: 16013
How to age gracefully

SUNSCREEN! Lots of it!
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
5,142 posts, read 11,470,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
I figure I am just going to live reasonably and let what will be to be.
I agree!
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,723,738 times
Reputation: 32304
LauraC wondered about defining "aging gracefully". To me it means remaining interested in others and the world around us, maintaining a more or less happy and pleasant outlook and attitude, a refusal to focus exclusively on our own problems, the avoidance of chronic grumpiness, the avoidance of isolation by having meaningful activities and contacts with others, the maintenance of the ability to get around by being physically active, and so forth. (I am aware that my list is somewhat repetitive and over-lapping.) Why is gracefulness something to strive for? Because we will enjoy life more and others will enjoy being around us more (the two go hand in hand, it seems to me). A former colleague of mine was a chronic complainer when he was younger. Now, in retirement, he is worse. It is the opposite of graceful, and it works in a vicious circle to drive people away. (The more he is negative, the more people shun him, and the more he gets shunned, the more negative it makes him.)
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,478,001 times
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I have a part time job 3 days a week that supplements my pension. The majority of the people at this job are all over 50 and into their 70's. Most are nice and pleasant but a number of these people are extremely angry and confrontational at work. There isn't a week go by that several of them have not been called into the office because of arguments, or just plain mouthing off at each other. It says alot about the professionalism of the company to put up with this, and to put innocent workers with these people. I honestly would quit the job because of their behavior, but there really is nothing else part time for someone my age around here. I feel lucky to have this job at age 60.

I think these people I speak of are not aging gracefully, because they are very unhappy people that were unhappy when they were younger. It has caught up with them and now it's destroying them. I can feel somewhat sorry for them but only to a point. I really do not care to spend time with them and I must because of the job.

I think one has to keep active as we age. Perhaps volunteer or exercise or as I do part time work. Although my job is not bringing me much peace with these clowns, but the extra income sure is nice. I think happiness comes from within and not some medication, that so many seem to turn to so they can feel more at ease. Aging gracefully is a choice unless one's health has deteriorated to the point that their quality of life just isn't there. Even then some still seem to age gracefully. I know my parents did even in their last days.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,404 posts, read 5,917,359 times
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Minervah, I have to say I laughed out loud when I saw your post (about your Mom living to 94 despite the "unhappy outlook"). Yes, every time I see someone 90 or 100 interviewed about their secret to a long life, the advice is always different: "Don't drink" -- "Have a couple glasses of wine a day" -- "Have a positive outlook" -- "Exercise, stay active" -- blah blah blah. I get particularly annoyed with the exercise thing, because my mother at 87 has such physical problems that exercise is impossible, even walking is difficult. Yet her mind is sharp as a tack, she still reads the paper every day and fires off Letters to the Editor on political issues. She wishes she could do the things she used to do (go to art shows, go to the beach, eat out, etc.), but she can't, and she's happy with the things that she can do. My cousin recently visited, he's an outdoors guy and was trying to get her out to walk a bit. I know he meant well, but she doesn't want to, it's too much effort and pain, and darn it, she should be allowed to do whatever she wants (or doesn't want) at age 87.

At age 60, I'm in a similar position, with health issues that severely limit my physical capabilities. I do what I can, and keep my mind active, which I think is even more important in "aging gracefully".
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:10 PM
 
Location: The US of A
253 posts, read 713,537 times
Reputation: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
LauraC wondered about defining "aging gracefully". To me it means remaining interested in others and the world around us, maintaining a more or less happy and pleasant outlook and attitude, a refusal to focus exclusively on our own problems, the avoidance of chronic grumpiness, the avoidance of isolation by having meaningful activities and contacts with others, the maintenance of the ability to get around by being physically active, and so forth. (I am aware that my list is somewhat repetitive and over-lapping.) Why is gracefulness something to strive for? Because we will enjoy life more and others will enjoy being around us more (the two go hand in hand, it seems to me). A former colleague of mine was a chronic complainer when he was younger. Now, in retirement, he is worse. It is the opposite of graceful, and it works in a vicious circle to drive people away. (The more he is negative, the more people shun him, and the more he gets shunned, the more negative it makes him.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
I have a part time job 3 days a week that supplements my pension. The majority of the people at this job are all over 50 and into their 70's. Most are nice and pleasant but a number of these people are extremely angry and confrontational at work. There isn't a week go by that several of them have not been called into the office because of arguments, or just plain mouthing off at each other. It says alot about the professionalism of the company to put up with this, and to put innocent workers with these people. I honestly would quit the job because of their behavior, but there really is nothing else part time for someone my age around here. I feel lucky to have this job at age 60.

I think these people I speak of are not aging gracefully, because they are very unhappy people that were unhappy when they were younger. It has caught up with them and now it's destroying them. I can feel somewhat sorry for them but only to a point. I really do not care to spend time with them and I must because of the job.

I think one has to keep active as we age. Perhaps volunteer or exercise or as I do part time work. Although my job is not bringing me much peace with these clowns, but the extra income sure is nice. I think happiness comes from within and not some medication, that so many seem to turn to so they can feel more at ease. Aging gracefully is a choice unless one's health has deteriorated to the point that their quality of life just isn't there. Even then some still seem to age gracefully. I know my parents did even in their last days.
Well said.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:34 PM
 
26,075 posts, read 28,473,598 times
Reputation: 24783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
Are we supposed to pick four of the six? (LOL) If so, I'll eliminate #1 and #3.
Sorry, I guess it was more than 4 things
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:13 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,982,050 times
Reputation: 6248
I think it is part genetics, part mental health, part determination, part curiosity and part genuinely liking people. My 82 year old spouse has eye disease, skin disease, heart disease, lung disease yet this is the most gentle person I ever met. Rarely complains, insn't grumpy despite the fact the last 25 years have been riddle with heal issues for both of us. You learn to cope. You learn to adapt as grcefully as possible.

One day I was preparing gourmet meals and the next i was learning how to prepare meals that were low fat, low salt and low cholesterol. My ancesters were in Western Europe in the 1500s. The only way I could read the records was to learn enough Dutch to read them; I was 65. I was 50 when I got my first computer. I learned to repair them and build them. Now I have 5 networked at home. We remodeled and flipped houses despite a failed quad-bypass. We are going to flip one more house.

We traveled. It's amazing the interesting things America has to offer that is not on an Interstate. What is in your own back yard can be amazing too. I'm in a flyway near a US wildlfe refuge, and not far from an amazing archaelogical dig, a fish hatchery, a riverfront park, and 12.000 acres of reclaimed land that rivals the size of the Florida Everglades. I am surrounded by farm and ranches and annual events that are awesome.

I live in the middle of nowhere yet we have a little hospital that has an awesome triage urit and flight service. It is a good thing for almost every week there is a medical crisit at home. I can whine and boo=hoo but it won't change a thing except make me miserable. I learned long ago that depression is self-created. self-fed and self-perpetuated. It takes a lot of energy to do it.

Aging gracefully is a mixed bag. . .
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