What age is old age? Is there a consensus on this? Is old age just a feeling? If so, how does it feel? So many questions, so little time.
And when we reach that certain age, will we become doddering and dementia-ridden, or remain sprightly and aware of everything around us? If we last too long past our use-by date, will we have enough capital to maintain a comfortable lifestyle?
A survey of when people thought old age started found that young adults (those between eighteen and twenty-nine) thought that old age begins at sixty, middle-aged respondents said seventy and those above the age of sixty-five put the threshold at eighty.
We have a tendency to feel younger as we get older: almost half the respondents aged fifty or more reported feeling at least ten years younger than their actual age, while a third of respondents aged sixty-five or more said that they felt up to nineteen years younger.
If you picture yourself reaching your 90s, then turning 60 means that you still have a full third of your life left. Now think about how long 30 years seemed to take when you were still in your late teens or early 20s. It’s as if you have another entire life to live.
Studies reveal that life expectancy in the West is increasing by more than five hours a day, every day, so all of us are going to experience old age for more years than our ancestors did.
It’s up to you how you cope with old age. I’ve always tried to look at life on the humorous side and nothing has changed now that I’ve reached my Boomer years. Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and never be ashamed to ask for a senior’s discount.
Listening to or telling a joke or a funny story eases many of life’s tensions whether you’re old or young.
An elderly couple are having dinner at another couple’s house, and after eating, the wives leave the table and go into the kitchen. The two gentlemen are talking, and one says, “Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly.” The other man asks, “What is the name of the restaurant?” The first man thinks and thinks and finally asks, “What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know… the one that’s red and has thorns.” “Do you mean a rose?” “Yes, that’s the one,” he said. He then turns towards the kitchen and yells, “Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?”
Wife doing a crossword asks her husband: “What’s a fast way to get fat – 8 letters?”
Just before the funeral service, the undertaker came up to the elderly widow and asked, “How old was your husband?” She replied, “98, two years older than me.” The undertaker said, “So you’re 96, hardly worth going home, is it?”
Later in life I ran into my English teacher who gave me some good advice. She said, “Never end a date with a proposition”.
There’s a story I’ve related over the years that get’s a laugh, or sometimes just a few titters. I had an occasion to visit a nudist colony while they were holding a sports day. My favourite race was the men’s relay. You wouldn’t believe what they were using for a baton.
Comedy is free and everywhere you look if you have a sense of humour.
Sign on the side of the highway: Mullet and Chips $7-50. I thought to myself, that is a steal, a haircut and a feed for $7-50.
Jerry Seinfeld has a funny take on senior citizens, especially those in the retirement state of Florida. Commenting on the way people seem to shrink in stature with old age, coupled with their driving habit of creeping along well under the speed limit, he said the Florida state motto should read: SIT LOW AND DRIVE SLOW.
Men, for heaven’s sake don’t tuck in your shirt. Tight-fitting tucked-in polo shirts stretched by huge, rounded mid-sections and a waistline that hangs over your belt like a verandah over the playpen is not a good look.
Ladies, wear what you damn-well like!
And lastly, being happily married in your old age doesn’t mean you have to natter away to each other all the time like two parrots on a perch. You’ve already done that. A healthy relationship will have plenty of comfortable silences. Just knowing someone is there with you, that’s all you need.