Growing Older

Growing Older

Getting older is not for the faint of heart. Why? Well one day you wake up and find out you can’t read the phonebook. Or that you need glasses you never needed before. Next, you notice you have aches and pains you never had before. There is gray hair, thinning hair, loss of hair, hair growing in places you never imagined, loss of hearing and weight gain. These are a few of the wonderful things that have happened to me -- thanks to my new friends called menopause and hormones. I’ll never pass up a bathroom because I’m afraid I’ll never find one in time when I must use it. Hearing loss? Well, that has come from a lot of things over my lifetime. Standing up or getting out of your car? Oh my stars, I need to stand for a minute before I take my first step.

These are just a few things that happen to women as we age. Over the past year, I personally have had to purchase hearing aids for both ears. I’ve seen two specialists for my eyesight and have had shots in my knees to keep me up and moving. What happened to me?

I’ll tell you what happened to me: I have, and I am living, a fantastic life. Hearing loss may be because I love loud music. At any concert I’ve attended, I was always up by the speakers, singing my Irish girl’s heart out. Yes, I was off-key and made up my own words, but it’s such a wonderful time.

I’ve had shots in my knees about every three months so I can walk because I did things like run with the kids in my neighborhood, rode bikes, took ballet, tap, jazz and tumbling. At one time I was limber enough I could wrap both legs around my neck. So, it was worth it to have injections in my knees.

Getting gray hair? Well, that doesn’t bother me. I’m not into coloring my hair -- never have been -- so gray is the new color of my future. I’m ok with that. But thinning hair I’m not OK with. I’ll do whatever I can to make my hair look halfway decent.

Weight gain. Well, I’ve never been what you would call thin, but menopause has kept me battling the bulge. And hormones? What can I say that hasn’t been said? The hot flashes are just wonderful when I need to defrost my car in the winter. Let’s just say these two are NOT my best friends. They have not been kind to me. Hormones are the mean girls of my future. As for running to the bathroom, any women who has given birth or has had a UTI knows about never passing up a bathroom.

As for my eyesight, well, some problems can be hereditary or just the process of aging. Contacts are awesome. Who ever thought a 50-plus year-old lady would learn to wear them and not have too many problems? For the few of you who told me it couldn’t be done, well I proved you all wrong.

As I age, I’ve done more things I should have done when I was younger, but never had the opportunity. So, for my 50th birthday I went skydiving with some friends and, quite a few years later, I did the Over the Edge event (courtesy of Jamie Bordas) to help raise money for the YWCA. I rappelled over Wheeling Island Casino & Racetracks Hotel and dropped like a hot potato. Little did Jamie know I’m terrified of heights, but I enjoyed every minute of both these adventures. Would I do them again?  All I can say is never say never. I know my Guardian Angel is probably saying “Who’s up next for this lady? I can’t keep up with her!” I think she cries and drinks a lot because of me.  

I have a living-my-life list, not a bucket list, because I don’t want to worry about doing them before I die. I want to do them while I’m alive and able-bodied and not worry about cheating death to get them done.

My family and friends have known for years I can go over the top when doing things and that I want everything to be perfect. Well, that’s something I’ve also learned: Most of the time you must go with the flow or just say “It is what it is” and move on.  

Getting older doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun. Whoever said it does? When you see an older person doing something fun, don’t think they are off their rockers. They are just having a good time and enjoying it.

I want to be in the nursing home putting vodka in IV’s, playing loud 80’s music, singing loud and off-key and making up the words I think should be sung instead of what was written. I want my family and friends to say “Oh Lord, here she comes. Wonder what she’s up to now?” (Which I think they already do.)

So, for all aging ladies out there, be yourself and have a good time with life. Growing old is a privilege many don’t get. So do what makes you happy and don’t worry about what others think or say.

Retirement should be like when we were kids, when all you had to think about was what to do with friends – and to be home when the streetlights come on.

Rock on People; Rock on.

  Today, Jeanne Dedo shares the joys of getting older and how to embrace it.