2001-09-08 12:20:16 (UTC)

Age--It's All Relative

I've joined Autumn Leaves, a list of those whose on-
line journals or diaries are written by older folks who
are "growing old disgracefully". I'm glad to know I

See Autumn Leaves at:

As I am on the topic of age....

Not long ago I read an article in the on-line New York Times
in which research was quoted claiming that old age
had more to do with good genes than with following all the
rules the health experts put out.

I don't actually know how anyone could follow the rules they
come up with as they keep changing them. First eggs are good for
you, then they're bad, then they're good again. Skim milk
is supposed to be good for you but a new study says that
drinking milkfat may help prevent breast cancer. Coffee is
good for you unless it's not. The same with tea. And
chocolate. Chocolate! Doesn't everyone know that
chocolate is a vegetable? It must be good for you!

A couple of weeks ago Jack was here for a few days and one
thing we did was have dinner at a Chinese restaurant
with all four grandparents. They are all in their late
70's/early 80's. A couple are a little frail but their
minds are sharp and as one is fond of saying, "we manage".
They do, indeed.

I have to admit I'm not very compliant about growing old
gracefully. I think of Dylan's Thomas' lines:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

On the other hand, I do not want my children and friends to
remember me as a cranky old lady either so somewhere I shall
have to find a balance.

Shortly after I turned 50 I was doing some mild complaining
to my mother about how I didn't have the energy and stamina
I once had and couldn't do things as quickly as before. She
listened to me patiently, then patted my hand and sighed
gently. "Oh, to be 50 again!" she said. It IS all relative,
you see.