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Thread: Getting old: Defy or accept?

  1. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I defy to the extent needed to minimize health impacts (diet) and age discrimination in the workplace (color my hair). I like snow white hair (think Anderson Cooper). Mottled is a different story.

  2. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    go to the gym.
    I can't stand gyms. Nevertheless, I signed up for the Silver Sneakers program (free) at a local gym when I first retired. Everyone was much older and I felt silly lifting my 3 lb barbells to disco music. Early 50s sounds very young to me. I am much healthier at 63 than I was at 53. Lots o energy...I have read before that 40s are the least enjoyable decade.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Well, speaking for myself, I am defying. I refuse to be old and more importantly, be TREATED like I am old. Nope!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    I am noticing some grey hair on the sides of my head and quite a bit in my beard. I have some deep lines on my forehead (each one is named in honor of the ex-girlfriend who put it there).

    I am not tempted to dye my hair or beard (Just For Men is for disguises only).

    But do you -- and this question is for the men and the ladies (and various other sexes and genders) -- defy aging or accept it?

    I know I am turned off when I see women with dyed hair or fake b00bs and when I see an older guy with a dye job and a fake tan I just think: "What a d-bag."

    But I am being harsh? Would it be better for my career or social life if I defied age instead of just drifting along with it?


  4. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Another 51 here, I have a mixed relationship with ageing. I am so very grateful that I have good health. And I can't feel too old because my grandmother is still here at 95. She has been doing well but just fell and broke her hip this week. My parents are 75 and have a few things going on but are really in good health. I am also a grandmother, and that makes my dad feel really old! Am I old or young? Reminds me of how I lived in Oakland CA and was white, then moved to Michigan, got deep dark tans, and there they thought I was dark like a native american. Am I light or dark?

    I have white hair, LOVE IT, but it doesn't make me look that old. I still get people who guess my age younger, and somehow that does matter to me even if I try to say it doesn't. I think that my lack of wrinkles helps, lots of meditating relaxes the face muscles daily.

    What I do have a choice about is dressing like an old lady. I am sure there are old ladies who just really love the way they look, but I am not jumping into elastic pants anytime soon. I will wear regular jeans, an occasional Social Distortion T-shirt, and my red chuck taylor's. And also being mature, I can be child-like in many ways (which is not the same as childish and immature). I notice that the people I know who are deep meditators or Buddhist teachers have this lighthearted child quality. They laugh easily, don't take themselves too seriously, yet can be deeply serious about their practice. That is my goal.

  5. #25
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by enota View Post
    Well, speaking for myself, I am defying. I refuse to be old and more importantly, be TREATED like I am old. Nope!
    You made me think of one of my favorite musical theatre 10:00 numbers: from Pippin. The song is No Time At All. I always loved it, but I love it more even now that I'm 66. Here's a YouTube link to the audio & lyrics (no video recording was ever made of the show, unfortunately).

    Oh, it's time to start livin'
    Time to take a little from this world we're given
    Time to take time, cause spring will turn to fall
    In just no time at all....

    Here is a secret I never have told
    Maybe you'll understand why
    I believe if I refuse to grow old
    I can stay young till I die

    Now, I've known the fears of sixty-six years
    I've had troubles and tears by the score
    But the only thing I'd trade them for
    Is sixty-seven more...
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town

  6. #26
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    I can't stand gyms. Nevertheless, I signed up for the Silver Sneakers program (free) at a local gym when I first retired. Everyone was much older and I felt silly lifting my 3 lb barbells to disco music. Early 50s sounds very young to me. I am much healthier at 63 than I was at 53. Lots o energy...I have read before that 40s are the least enjoyable decade.
    It is weird that I actually like gyms, big noisy cavernous places where the background music pulses and the sounds of equipment blend in to make a cacophony of pure noise. Normally, that kind of environment makes me cringe. I recently left a bulldog event in a big open room at a brewery, it was too chaotic in noise. I refuse to attend trivia events anymore, too noisy not to mention boring. There are certain restaurants I have crossed off my list as being too noisy.

    All of this is part of age, I suppose.

    But the gym noise, it is ok because I dont have to talk to anyone and am not required to hear anything.

  7. #27
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    I belonged to a gym for about three months. One of the worst experiences I ever paid for in my life. The place reeked of sweat and rubber. The locker room was a pit (and smelled even worse). It was winter, so sand and grit from outside was anywhere that rubber mats were not. I found the noise level contrary to any kind of concentration (to lift or even meditate to walking or cycling). The training assistant I drew in "training assistant bingo" was half my age (a smaller number back then) and drank directly from one of those gallon picnic jugs that came (come?) in wild colors; he insisted that I, too, would be dragging one of those wherever I went (over my dead body I would...). I liked the way I felt walking out the door each week. But hated the rest of it.

    Veering back on topic, though, I think age is mostly genetic luck and one's state of mind. It's not clear yet where I fall in the genetic lottery. But I've always identified more closely with the Gen X mindset than the Boomer mindset I should have. I consider myself curious about almost everything. I still like the challenge of learning a new language or skill. So the mind still is young.

    The body, however, is a different matter. I've lost about 50 pounds in the last year and have more energy than I've had in years. But I can see that my skin is not so elastic anymore -- it looks like I've lost a lot of weight (and I have more to go). I find I'm paying attention to those ads on TV alleging to "sculpt" bodies.

    I've learned that, on the days I'm volunteering at the food bank or county cleanup, I can't schedule many other physical activities simply because it takes a while for me to recover from the effort. But I also notice that I'm one of the very few people my age (60 this year) who are moving boxes off of pallets or bucking appliances onto hand trucks; others who are (or who appear to be) my age have retreated to less-physically-intensive tasks.

    I have an advancing wave of gray hair on my head. I gave up my beard when it was more gray/silver than black. I looked younger without it, I'll admit it. The hair is short because long just doesn't look good on me now.

    On local TV, a woman who is the matriarch of a family business appears on TV ads with her kids and their spouses. Her hair is dyed a shade of red-chestnut and coiffed beyond any natural appearance. There's too much makeup (lots of bright colors). She wears a pantsuit -- in an au courant color -- but I don't think it flatters her appearance. Her kids are displaying gray hair and settling middle-aged bodies. Not her, though. I just think her appearance highlights her age and I don't think that was her intent at all.

    Me, I treat myself as I treat my 15-year-old car and 45-year-old house: it's kept up inside, the cosmetics are managed well but are not au courant, and I'm clean and trimmed. It's a best-foot-forward presentation but there are some dings and scars (wabi-sabi) that show me as I am. It's how I'm most comfortable. As someone else wrote, who would I be fooling?
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I really don't think about it much these days. Anyway one's actual age isn't hard to find at all if someone wanted to discriminate in hiring say, because that information on the actual number, is out there and easily find able regardless of how one may look. I mean I do think about age and how it affects and limits life choices, but it's nothing I think plastic surgery or anything else could fix, because I think it's about actually being an age not about looks.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  9. #29
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I don’t try to “defy” aging, but I try to adapt to it.

    My goal is my overall quality of life, longevity, and ability to function.

    To that end, I work on eating healthy, getting the right kind of exercise, changing my overly-bulky-muscle young-person build to a leaner stringier yet still strong build so my joints will be happier over time, maintaining and increasing my flexibility, and so on.

    I’ll be 55 in a few months and to not consider myself “old”, I still actively engage in interior structural firefighting, wildland firefighting, technical rescue operations (including high-angle rope work), wilderness search/rescue, and marine rescue. Some of these activities would have killed me 20 years ago when I was working a desk job and relying on “youth” as my fitness plan.

  10. #30
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    Wow, Catherine, just watched that video and wow. Must reconsider my hair--it looked great.
    I think whatever makes you feel good .... is what you should do. I always have people tell me they love my hair. They seem surprised when I say it is dyed. People also comment about my skin??? I am told I look 15 - 20 years younger than I am. My hair style and hair color is similar to the gal in the video. AND, I always wear makeup (mostly) because I look washed out without it. I feel better when I look better.

    I think there is a double standard though. Men get distinguished when they have grey, while women are perceived as old.

    ETA... Recently went to the doctor and he told me I am "wearing out." WTH does that mean? I asked for the summary of my office visit and will contact my regular doc when she is back from vacation. DH has been told that he should take all kinds of meds because he is now past 65. You can guess what he told them!

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