Patience. Not my long suit. But It’s something we need to have more of as we age no matter how it’s applied.
As I write, I am more than five weeks out from a complete hysterectomy. Even though I had the big abdominal incision, I expected to spring back quickly. To heal as easily as I did when I had a similar incision 30 years ago.
Not so fast, Carol!
Even though my hotshot surgeon, male, told me at two weeks I was cleared to do any activity –including aerobics!–I thought he was insane. He hadn’t even examined me, for one, and for two, I could barely walk two blocks without discomfort. My incision was brewing a bacterial infection, as well, and he knew that his PA had given me antibiotics for it. An aerobics class would clearly have landed me in the hospital again. He was…clueless.
But by five weeks out, I figured I’d be healed. So I saw my GYN, who assisted at the surgery. Who actually took a look.
“You’re not healed yet,” she said, definitively, as she peered in.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Age,” she responded. “You just don’t heal as fast when you are older.”
So add that to the list of unexpected consequences of aging. I suppose it should have been obvious that at almost 68 my body wouldn’t spring back as rapidly as when I was 38. But truly, I didn’t expect recovery to linger.
Patience. As I age I am learning that it’s a trait that comes in handy. But it’s hard for me to practice.
Wish me luck. And let me know if you know the secret to exercising patience.
Oh and if you’d like to explore how hypnotherapy might help with whatever ails you, schedule an informational call with the purple button on my hypnotherapy page.
M and I were talking the other day about how our thoughts on aging and mortality have changed in recent years.
I’m 67 and he’s 70–and if someone had mentioned those ages to me just 15 years ago I would have considered them “old.”
Until my mid-50s and maybe even 60, aging never occurred to me. The idea of being considered “elderly” just wasn’t on my radar. I think from about age 40 to 60 we feel pretty much the same age: “adult.” We’re in our careers, we’re raising growing families, our kids are getting married and we don’t really notice aging. We don’t pay attention to it.
Creaks and groans
And then, it happens. Our bodies creak and even fail us. We visit physical therapy like we used to go to the gym. People in our age group get seriously sick and some even die. We think about retirement. We retire.
These were big life changes for M and me and all of a sudden, our thinking shifted. We began to look ahead. We started to consider what would happen when we became infirm. Where we would go. What we would do. Whether we’d have enough money to live. And WHERE we’d live. The future became indefinite in a significant way.
As our nephews became lawyers and then not even first year lawyers we remembered our own early careers and realized how far from that we’d come. How exciting those days were and how far behind us they are.
Not necessarily a preoccupation but…
Aging became a consideration, if not a preoccupation.
When I look at our closest friends, a couple in their late 80s, I realize that, at my age, they weren’t thinking like this. Like us, they were working. Maybe even more than we do. They were vibrantly alive — aging seemed just a blip that appeared once in a while. They inspire me. I wish we were like that. We’re not.
The road ahead of us is unknown and maybe a little daunting, because it’s finite, at least in this world. While others have traveled it, we have not. We don’t know what to expect. We don’t know how long we’ll be on it.
I find myself more and more concerned with mortality, especially since the dear friend who inspired my business died. It’s not such a bad thing, to consider mortality. But what’s so amazing is how different my thoughts are, quite different than ever before.
The reality of aging has hit me and I’m managing through the reality (and aging) the best way I know how. If you can relate in any way to this, I’d love to know more about your own thoughts and how aging has affected your life. Because we’re all in this together, right?
I was taken aback the other day at a women’s networking meeting to hear someone object to my use of the term “old” to describe myself and to hear her say she’d never call herself that.
First, the context: I was using it as a self-deprecating term in a humorous anecdote. I try not to take myself too seriously, but people who don’t know me might not get that. Because a whole lotta people take themselves super-seriously.
Life’s too mysterious; don’t take it serious!
But to be serious just for a moment–not only do I feel empowered by being “old” but I know plenty of people whose lives were cut short and would love to still be able to call themselves “old.”
By today’s standards my 66 years are not considered “old”. But I’m no longer at midlife (unless I could live to 130, which is doubtful). Count it any way you like: I’m a senior citizen. And that’s ok with me.
Women, in particular, tend to get much of their self worth from their youthful appearance. Hence, the popularity of botox, fillers, cosmetic surgery. Some women diet themselves to the point of starvation.
I’m not interested in any of that.
Aging is REALLY ok with me, because there are so many benefits to being old, senior, older, and aging. The wisdom that comes with age is unbeatable. So is the self-acceptance. And the joy. I appreciate every moment of being “old” because it IS a privilege denied many.
It’s time to redefine the adjective “old” –to remove the negative connotations and celebrate it! It brings with it all sorts of positives. It’s a victory of sorts.
Many ancient cultures got this and revered their elders. We marginalize them in our own popular society.
So let’s stop this pretense that we aren’t really older — or old — and embrace aging for the gift it is.
One thing we CAN do to retain our youthful good health is healing affirmations. This affirmation deck is suitable for those who are healing or those who are not sick, but who want to set a healthy daily intention. Also available as daily emails. What a great gift!