Thursday, July 19, 2007

Growing Older

I'm older than most people think I am. At my high school reunions I always win the award for the most NOT changed. I kid people by telling them I have an aging portrait that I keep in the attic. My house does have an attic, but it has no floor and I never go up there.

When I was in graduate school one of the questions the professor asked us was to name some things that technology had made obsolete. My small glass of thirteen frowned and scratched their heads. I rattled them off like jelly beans. His comment, "You're a lot older than you look."

Same thing happened with a doctor when I went for a colonoscopy (now you know my age). He looked at me and said, "Why are you here?" These comments made me feel good. If they couldn't tell my age by looking at me, I must be doing it right.

I believe I'm growing old gracefully. Of course, I don't know what my real hair looks like because I keep having it done and redone. But why not? It makes me feel good and I'm the only one that I need to please. I've long since stopped doing things to please other people. That's a strong statement and I don't mean I'm a mean person, but if there is something I want to do, I don't need approval to do it. That's the me that's pleasing me.

I'd say growing old gracefully runs in my family. My parents died at young ages, but some of my aunts and grandparents lived long lives. Now that I'm equal to or older than some of them who have passed away, I can see that at the same age, I look as good or better than they did. I exercise (walking two miles a day) and try to eat right, although I didn't even think of resisting the chocolate at the recent Romance Writers Conference. I don't think that's all of it, however.

You just gotta be lucky.

And since I think I got gipped on the long hair and boobs genes, I at least got the good skin, weight control and non-dimpled thighs ones.

Getting older does worry me some. I have so much I want to accomplish and I'm afraid I won't get to do some things. I have a five year old to raise and educate, and I pray that she's an adult before I pass into the next level of creation.

I plan for the event by keeping things in order like wills and insurance and making sure my family knows where they are and how to get them. I also make sure they know that I have collections of value that they may not realize, like my first edition Nancy Drew novels and a huge non-DVD record collection, the vinyl stuff. Some of those are worth a lot of money.

All any of us can do is take it one day at a time and live it as if there was no tomorrow. And being romance writers, we all believe there is another day to live and love.

Speaking of living and loving, I love that song from RENT about 525,600 minutes. The end of the song says there are 525,600 minutes of love in a year. What a wonderful thing for anyone!


aromagik said...

I wish more people would think about planning for the inevitable; it would save their families so much extra grief at a time when they're already dealing with a horrible loss. My parents have already paid for their funeral expenses (including a headstone), and I that's incredibly thoughtful. No one likes to think morbid thoughts, but the reality is... it's going to happen eventually. There's no avoiding it.

Sorry this turned into a "downer", but after a recent death in my immediate family I've had to face some tough issues & I know first hand that anything that can be done to make it easier is a very good thing.


Shirley Hailstock said...


You are so right, although I have not gone that far. I've seen how families can act at that time and it is not pretty.

Because I have a 5-year old, I need to plan more for her than my older children. But there are things I want done and I don't want the government getting a share of my estate.


bettye griffin said...

Gee Shirley, you just reminded me . . . it's time to schedule that procedure, now that I've entered that "colonoscopy age" myself!

Bettye Griffin

Virginia said...

It must be nice to grow old gracefully. I show my age and I don't have any weight control and never have. It is just not ment to be. I exersize daily with no luck of looseing weight. I think all I have to do is look at food and gain weight.

We have not planed for the inevitable, but I only have one child and I let everyone know what I want when I am gone. Just keep it simple.

anne said...

I believe that it is extremely important to plan for the future. In other words, make all the arrangements, the will, and everything in that vein. I have and it is vital. My sister just lost her husband, and she is left with barely anything. She teaches and has that income. She is a widow at 56 and he was a 56 year old husband and father. Anything can happen. It is unfortunate but true. I look after myself, exercise, live a healthy regimen and hope that this will allow me to enjoy life.

Susan said...

I don't look anywhere near my age, although there are days when I feel much older!

Fortunately everyone in my immediate family has made arrangements for the inevitable.

deseng said...

Wow you sure are lucky having the growing old gracefully genes! Don't we all wish we had that! I color my hair every so often when my gray starts showing so my hair is about the same color as when I was younger. I have auburn colored hair.

Yes my family has planned for the inevitable also. It really is the smart thing to do.

Debra said...

That is the way life goes to a natural conclusion. And one never knows. So I ike life for each day and have fun.

Shirley Hailstock said...


Go ahead and schedule it. Don't put it off. We're so busy these days that picking up the phone to make an appointments takes time or by the time we get to it the phone the office is closed.

Don't wait. Mine was painless (I was asleep) and when I went home from the procedure (the same day), I slept a very contented sleep.


Shirley Hailstock said...


Even if you only have one child, you need to plan. You want your wishes adhered to and if it's in writing, there's no question. It's the last bit of control you'll have and it might prevent a family fight.

As to weight control, I used to feel that way. I'd follow the rules and lose nothing. Then I cut down on meat (actually, I cut it out) and only ate fruits and vegetables. No limits on them. I lost 30 pounds.

If you like meat, then I have another diet I created myself. I called it the chocolate cake diet. I'd eat a small breakfast, fruit or yogurt and no sugar in your morning drink or any drink.

Lunch was a salad with regular dressing (not diet), but I didn't over due the salad dressing and a hunk of chocolate cake. Dinner was one of... Whatever we were having for dinner, I could only have one. If it was the meat, then I had meat (no limit). If I chose veggies (one vegetable), then I ate that. Again I lost weight and I was not exercising.

When I started exercising and watching my food intact, I lost a lot more.

Tabulating also works. Using an Excel spread sheet write down the calorie count on everything you eat and I mean everything.

At the bottom of the sheet write in the calories burned, both from exercise and your normal daily routine. You should lose weight if the amount of intact is less than the amount burned.

Two pounds a week is normal. You didn't gain it all at once, you should try losing it that way either.

It works for me.


Shirley Hailstock said...


Whoo hoo, I applaud you. I try to do the same.


Shirley Hailstock said...


We all have those days, but as Whoopie says, we get over them. I have more "young" days than "old" days.

Sometimes I amaze myself at how much I cna get done and still feel good.


Shirley Hailstock said...


I color my hair too. I see no reason not to look as good as you feel. Some people look good with grey hair and look young.

I look better with darker hair, so I do a lot to hide the grey.


Shirley Hailstock said...


Good attitude and wonderful method of living. I have a beautiful robe I bought years ago. It was so beautiful I never wore it.

Now it doesn't fit. And I look at it wondering, what was I saving it for. I keep it to remind me to live for today.


Pat Cochran said...

Time does march on, doesn't it? There are only three members left of my mother's side of the family and three from my father's side. After they leave us, then my siblings and I (and our cousins) will be the elder generation of
the family. This could be a
dismal time for us, or we can
resolve to make sure that we enjoy
all that life brings us. I choose
the latter and will encourage our
family to do the same!

Best wishes,

Patricia Cochran

Shirley Hailstock said...


I remember an aunt telling that as she got old, old got older. I thoroughly understand what she meant now. I don't look old, feel old or act "old."

I act my age (I hope). I'm past dressing in the latest style. I have my own style and if the latest trends are not for women my age, I don't wear them.

I too choose to live and capture as much happiness as I can. Smile as often as I can and remember to take in the beauty of my world.


Kari Lee Townsend said...

Well said, Shirley. I try to keep myself looking and feeling young, because I truly think half the battle is mental. Do whatever you have to, to feel good about you. That's my motto;)

I have four children and my youngest is four. I keep meaning to create a will and get all my affairs in order as well, but I tend to keep putting it off. Thanks for reminding me how important it really is.

Shirley Hailstock said...


Glad I could help. Good luck with four children.