Monday, August 8, 2011

Lessons for 70 year olds

Many of my friends are about 70 years old.  They tend to be retired but I admit that quite a few of the people I knew in high school and college are now deceased.  It they are alive, they are generally in pretty good health.  If you are in good health and retired, that situation usually means that you have sufficient funds and energy while at the same time being independent.

When I talk with my friends, I usually hear that some dependence and connection comes from relatives and inlaws.  Many of us have lost both of our parents to death but have relatives who are younger than us, that we expect to outlive us.  

But for now, the general description of free and able applies to many of us.  For those who are raising children and working, that may sound like heaven but it isn't quite.  Aging brings some changes aside of actual health problems.  We can't see or hear quite as well as before.  We don't sleep as soundly.  We don't have the store of energy we had.  Add to those limitations, the fact that experience and years have given us plenty of adventures so another trip to the south seas or to a mountain top may not appeal.

Being well past the child-making years, we have diminished interest in sex although we still like sex some and we like both touching and companionship. If a longterm partner dies or becomes seriously incapacitated, there may come a need to search and/or date.  Yet, my friends tell me that the rules for dating have changed.  Not because different fashions and permissions are in place but because needs and goals are different.  And we are different from what we were like back when we were trying to find a partner with whom to have a family.

In that period, most of us did not have to deal with much in the way of grief.  Now, it is actually likely that a death close to us, or maybe more than one, affects our mood and our idea of fun and the future.  I think some people at age 20 used alcohol to try to relieve their confusion and doubts.  More people at 70 have tried all the forms of alcohol and find it less comforting or exciting than it once was.

I am not trying to say that life is not worth living when entering one's 8th decade.  It actually seems in some ways more beautiful, more amazing, and more miraculous than ever.  But 70 yr. olds still have puzzles facing them.

Main blog: Fear, Fun and Filoz
Main web site: Kirbyvariety

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby