Feeling old? Try a bite of summer

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Feeling old? Try a bite of summer

Recently my wife asked me “What’s wrong with you; take a look at your face!”  I barked back, “What are you talking about? I’m fine!” Then I looked in the mirror and got scared. How did this strange, angry, depressed guy get into my mirror? What the hell happened to the ‘happy go lucky, fun loving me’ I once knew?

“I’ll tell you what happened…”, I growled to myself, “I’m feeling old”. Now, I understand that ‘feeling old’ is a relative thing; it depends on who your relatives are, genetically speaking.  But seriously, this is something different, a new level of reality. I am aging and I DON”T LIKE IT!

Lately, at night, while I’m brushing my teeth, most of which, thank god, are original parts, I’m noticing this ‘extra’ skin just under the neck and at the elbows when my arms are full extended.  Where did this epidermal surplus come from? How did it get on my body?!

Well, while I’m certainly not qualified to do surgery; I am very good with office supplies! Why couldn’t somebody (think Ron Popeil; of Pocket Fisherman fame) come up with some kind of bio-mechanical, do-it-yourself stapler, paper clip, or super glue thing-a-ma-jig that works both with paper and loose, sagging skin. One quick staple and voila, ten years younger!

Here’s a strategy I’ve been practicing for over a year now. Several times a week I visit my dad at the assisted care facility. Try it. Briskly moving past the old folks with their walkers, wheelchairs, crutches and canes, you’ll feel as if you’re flying, and moving with purpose. You’ll feel important and like you’re going somewhere. Also, try having a meal while you’re there. Never mind the restrictions on salt or sugar – chew up, and eat up – while you still can!

Even better, since the average age of the residents is around 84, you should instantly feel younger. That’s assuming you’re not already eighty something — in which case you might think about heading over to the cemetery and visiting a deceased loved one or friend. You may be old but at least you’re above ground, that’s something, isn’t it?

Well, If there’s a light at the end of this tunnel, it’s one of those dim little nightlights. You know, the ones designed to keep you from bumping into things in the middle of the night because you’re getting up to pee for the tenth time.

Of course, there are those things that do make me feel young and happy, especially this time of year. Watermelon and sweet corn, baseball, morning walks with my wife, and swimming are among them.

They each feel like ‘summer’, which to me feels like youth in so many ways. Tasting the sweet, watery melon, especially after a good, hot sweaty workout, is pure heaven. Watching your team rally back from a seven run deficit late in the game and then winning in extra innings, feels to me exactly the same as when I was 12 and my team won the pennant!  Diving into the swimming pool, arms moving through the water (loose skin or not!) meditative, long strokes, relaxes my body after too many hours on that damn, but necessary, ‘computer machine.’

Well, while none of us, ‘gets out alive’; let’s do what we can to appreciate the simple things that can make us feel young, energized and thankful to be alive. Oh yes, a sense of humor, however strange, oddball or otherwise, is really helpful, especially when making fun of ourselves or the elderly. Wink.

photo credit: Wayan Vota via photo pin cc

One Comment

  1. Thanks, Jerry. Your little story was refreshing this morning…and I CAN identify. I have a few years on you but everything you said still applies. Hope to see you speaking at an MGMA event again soon. Your enthusiasm is always inspiring.

    Oh, by the way, your book on appeals is such a helpful tool. I wish I had kept track of the successes achieved through your tips and sample letters. I just know it is a lot.

    Best regards,
    Linda

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