Friday, May 25, 2012

Older American’s Month: Never Too Old…

I just read an article about May being “Older American’s Month” and the theme is “Never too old to play.” I really like that theme and the message it sends. This made me wonder—how did I get older without knowing May was MY month? After all, I’ve been hearing from AARP for a long time now and it seems like every funeral home within a hundred mile radius has me on their mailing list.

From the article, I made my way to the website. I had to make sure that this wasn’t just a joke or something. The site has many cool things on it, including “The Best Ways to Play.”

·         Get Physical—okay, I admit that I dropped my gym membership at just the time when I needed it most. That’s how it goes. Once I got caught up in the endless cycle of being involved with three or four organizations, I just flat didn't have time to go to the gym. Now, my exercise consists of toting around several bags of papers, books, files, and reference materials. It just gets heavier and heavier.
·         Brain Activities—I pass this one with flying colors. My brain is so active that I can’t shut it off. I’m always thinking, planning, learning.
·         Bridge the Generation Gap—What gap? I’ve always loved people of all ages. I enjoy spending time with my grandkids, kids, aunts, uncles, and my mom. My friends are multi-generational.
·         Get creative—seriously? I write.

I have a pretty good handle on this older American thing. I have no shame when it comes to getting a senior discount.

At our Friendship Lunch yesterday, we had quite a discussion on the advantages of joining AARP. “Don has a lifetime membership,” Cindy said. “I really like the magazine.”

“I’ve been getting offers and I’m thinking about joining,” said Brenda, who just recently squeaked past the minimum age for AARP.

When we get older, we start to realize that we are not invincible and the obits are not our friends. We see former classmates, cousins, friends, and family fall to diseases that become more prevalent as we grow older. We cross our fingers and pray that cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s stay away from us and those we love. The knowledge that we are mortal and vulnerable makes each pain free, sunshiny day more precious.

It is as if I’m on a carousel going around in circles with each day pretty much like the one before and strikingly similar to the one ahead. There is comfort in knowing that life is whirling along on an even keel. Anytime that life glides along in a smooth circle is a time to relax, enjoy the ride, and play.

Getting older should be a time when we can be more of ourselves. As my mother recently said, “I don’t care what other people think of me anymore. It just isn’t important.” Yay, Mom! We are all better off when we reach that turning point in life when we can live life the way we want to live it and not the way others want us to live it.

When we get older, we should be able to play to our hearts content. We are never too old to play, or to be young. No matter how old the calendar says I am—or how old I may look—I’m still young on the inside. Have you noticed how the bar for what is considered older, just keeps getting higher? Is today’s 60 the new 40?

It’s time to catch up on all those things we never had time for when we were younger. It’s  time to finish that bucket list. Maybe it’s time to join AARP. After all, we older Americans are all about discounts and bargains.

I scoff at people who indicate that I'm over the hill. All I have to do to feel younger is turn the XM radio to the 60’s channel. When I hear that music, I’m a teenager inside with a world of possibilities and experiences ahead of me. Age, after all, is only skin deep.

Copyright © L. S. Fisher May 2012

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