Saturday, 23 April 2022

The Ages of Man.


None of us has any way of knowing how many years are left for us, but, personally, I'm hoping for a few more. It was once proposed that everyone had only so many breaths, and so many heartbeats; but I think that theory has now been debunked.

Getting old is no fun. One spends most of one's life thinking 'That'll never happen to me'; then suddenly it does.

Those niggling pains no longer go away, one's legs will no longer allow one to run, and (perhaps most annoyingly) one can no longer eat drink and make merry as one once did. One's whole life changes, and slows to an annoyingly different pace, even when your brain tries to convince you otherwise.


Possibly my greatest enduring pleasure in life has been my time spent in France; firstly in a large farmhouse, then a huge village house, then in a much smaller 300 year old cottage. Nothing was more pleasurable than growing my own food, sawing and chopping my own wood for the fire, and walking or mushrooming with one or more of our dogs in the beautiful surrounding woods and countryside. 

I knew old age was approaching when I adopted an old and tattered Wing-Back Chair (above). No young person would be seen dead sitting in one; they are designed for the aged. Billy loves it too, but dogs have different reasons.

I suppose the most telling sign of approaching old age is when one starts to PLAN for it. The Aston gets traded for a Mini, the four story house is swapped for a bungalow, and one begins to appreciate level surfaces. That essential Winter heat now conveniently arrives at the touch of a button.  

Amongst all the negatives, I'm lucky to have one major positive; I was very fortunate to have been born HAPPY. I wake happy, I spend the day happy, and I go to bed happy. It's a natural trait that has treated me extremely well over the decades. When I look at those who wake angry, spend their days looking for conflict, or are ruled by jealousy and envy, I thank god my genetic make-up is as it is.

I may groan every time I get-up from a chair or sofa and my first few steps are always a bit unsteady, but I cope. I know the aches and pains are never going to go away, but at least I can try to laugh about it.

 

48 comments:

  1. Great life philosophy that - happiness.

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    1. I feel very fortunate that I was blessed with natural 'happiness'.

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  2. I hope you will have a feŵ more old friend
    Many more in fact

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  3. That's a brilliant photo - looks like an Old Masters painting.

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    1. I fear the chair may have to go; like me, it's seen better days.

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  4. Goodness,you look just like my stepfather in that photo! Yes, I was born happy too, I can't see the point in getting in a tizz about all and everything, life's a lot easier if you're more laid back, who gives a stuff? But don't start planning for old age...and never move into a bungalow or flat, it's the worst thing you can do, it's those stairs that keep you going. I try to run up the stairs every day. My theory being that if I could do it yesterday, there shouldn't be any reason why I can't do it again today... and so on. Or maybe I'm just lucky... and happy!

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  5. I think it's political. There's a lot of grumpy lefties, miserable tossers, never can see the funny side of anything.

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    1. You could be right, they always seem to be dissatisfied, and are always blaming others. Whinging lefties.

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  6. Are you wearing a dogwarmer on your front? This can save £100 pa in heating costs.

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    1. Not an Astrakhan collar, but a Border Collie collar.

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  7. Embrace old age with your usual positivity. We are fortunate to be living in a relatively safe and comfortable place so should make the most of all life's (legal) pleasures.

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    1. Thank goodness we're not a neighbour of Russia.

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  8. I'm with you in all you say Cro. I'm now 76, don't feel it in my mind but my body doesn't like it.lol
    I try to keep positive and happy and my hobbies keep me sane but I'm deeply annoyed that I can't walk like I used to and miss those country walks like hell.
    Our Coffee in Waitrose 2 or 3 times a week is something we both look forward to, that's how simple life is now.
    But I always think as long as I have my sight and working hands I shall be happy even if in a wheel chair. ha ha.
    Have a nice weekend
    Briony
    x

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    1. I'm the same. I was a great walker, and love the open countryside at our home in France. Sadly my walks are now limited to a mile or two.

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  9. A positive, mental attitude and a sunny disposition can add years to us. I was also born with a happy go lucky outlook and it has held me in good stead I think….. and, although old age has a few downers it’s far better than the alternative !!! XXXX

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  10. I was born happy too, although I have a day now and then when I get a bit 'down' I always bounce back. I haven't won the lottery, but overall life has been good to me. I can still run if I really need to, but I ache from it later so I avoid running most of the time, but apart from that I still function almost exactly as I did ten years ago, just an occasional "oof!' when I get out of my recliner. I'm younger than you though.

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    1. I can no longer RUN. Not that I wish to, but it would be nice to be able!

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  11. It is hard to stay positive in a negative world, but we all keep on trying.

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  12. Just how I feel Cro - at present I am trying to improve my mobility after a winter sitting about because I dare not go out with ice about. Today has dawned much colder with a strong east wind - at present it has called my bluff but shall soon go for a walk.

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    1. I'm having a good day today, all aches and pains manageable.

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  13. Re the fixed number of breaths in one lifetime, if they are allotted by a higher power, that's for him to know and you to find out. If you believe in fate then you know that you have a hand in your own. If you believe in destiny you just relinquish any control over your on fate. Low caste Indians do that a lot.

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    1. I always liked the idea of a fixed amount of breaths and heartbeats. It had a totally illogical logic about it.

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  14. I am a worrier but yet I have always had a good sense of humor. So even when something is bothering me, I find a way to laugh or joke about it and that keeps me going.

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    1. 'Laughter is the best medicine'; I think there's a lot of truth in that!

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  15. I fully understand. Can you send a note to Mum and explain this ageing business to her?

    I wake up slightly hung over, whether I have had drink or not, and I feel happy. Hey, I have woken up. Life is good.

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    1. I don't think I've had a pukka hangover for over 30 years. A sure sign that I'm getting old.

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  16. You are to young to die. My late uncle lived to almost 100. He gardened, had lots of friends, drank wine and martinis in the summer and brandy in the winter. He managed his diet (low salt) and took a diuretic for high BP (nothing else worked effectively enough). Reducing fluid might reduce bothersome pains as well. He died of cancer in his home. Your wing chair looks lovely. Does it have a matching foot stool? You will push through this!

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    1. I think the chair may well have died. It was on its last legs before we left France, and I cannot see it having improved for when we return.

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    2. Susan, sorry, no one is "too young to die". I know because I am still alive and some people in my life died at birth, age five, seventeen, hung themselves at twenty four, crashed their motorbike, fell down a ravine, laughed one moment (age fifty) dropped dead the next moment. I could go on but grieving is tiring.

      One of the most moving lines "In the midst of life we are in death". Best to remember that and enjoy LIFE as long as we can. Cro's aches and pains notwithstanding.

      U

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    3. As far as living a long life is concerned apart from a bit of luck in not dying young, the rest of it is down to genes.

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  17. I´ve started going to the gym for an hour every day. At 75 I want to keep my legs working in the hope that I can manage another Camino de Santiago (500 miles!). At least I can try...

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    1. I take the dog for about three walks a day. That'll have to be enough.

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  18. We all come to the realization that our time in this life is limited. Sometimes it is an acceptance, along with embracing every day with a sense of joy and as you said, happiness. I wish to have happiness of course, but it is my thought that being happy is your own decision. I have a meme with two creatures (well, they aren’t human shaped, haha). One has his or her happiness and the other asked where they had found it, and the other said “I made it myself!”. I make it a point to be grateful for something every day (in fact I have a journal for that express purpose, and admittedly sometimes all I can write is “it was such a lovely day!”…but it is a good way to end the day, finding things I am grateful for. I find joy in my belief in God, and his love for all of us.

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    1. I have always made a point of learning something every day. Mostly it comes naturally, but I do also make a point of studying something.

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  19. It's a good and sensible take on life, Cro.

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    1. It's the only one I had. It seems to have worked.

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  20. I’ve always enjoyed your positive posts!
    I’m having many of those revelations about aging too. It seems to have caught me by surprise and I’m having a hard time adjusting.
    A stroke has made me pay attention.

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    1. Oh dear. I hope it all goes well for you. A stroke is certainly a 'mind-changer'.

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  21. Dear Cro, I also have always enjoyed your cheerful, interesting and informative posts. I was born happy. As a young adult I developed confidence through having a positive attitude and have always worn it as a badge. Nothing gets me down. Honestly. You find your spouse - who had been afraid of getting old - dead in your bed, with your gun in his hand, you just take a deep breath and know that you have to get through this. Especially when their death leaves you penniless in your mid-sixties. With my "sunny' disposition people trust me and I have managed to build a business in life-coaching. Helping others has helped me get back onto a comfortable, even keel. Physically I suffer from cramps and restless legs even though my dog and I walk every day on the farm. However, my most favorite part of every day is going to bed at night! I was just wondering about your dog, when you posted Billy keeping you warm in that restful pose. Thanks for an interesting post. Jo

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    1. Billy and I get on very well together. I love dogs, and often find them better company than many humans (that was certainly the case in France).

      You've obviously been through some very exacting times. I'm sure that those walks with your dog bring much peace and happiness. Mine certainly do.

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  22. Nice post, Cro. And I enjoyed reading the comments too. Yes, I do agree that it helps if you're born with a happy disposition... and nurture that. As for getting old, I feel very lucky since I'm 76 and both my siblings died at 51 and 59 (Cancer). I was diagnosed also at 51, but have survived. Life is good! Quick comment that may or may not be helpful. Someone recently told me to try drinking bone broth. It helps their aches and pains....

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    1. Getting old certainly is no fun, but as someone noted above; it's better than the alternative. I cannot imagine what there would be in 'bone broth' to relieve those aches and pains; usually I rely on Nurofen.

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    2. Bone Broth contains glucosamine and chondroitin which are natural products found in cartilage. Studies have shown that these can help decrease joint pain. (taken from google). Cro, I don't know if this works, but figure it wouldn't hurt to try.

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  23. I really appreciate your professional approach.These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.
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