It is a privilege for me to be able to write about aging in America because many people did not make it to be my age, including my husband. It took me to get to be this age to decide that if I don’t write about aging now, when will I? We don’t know how much time we have on Earth and I’m not sure that I would want to know. But we should make the best use of whatever time we have left. I am thankful for our Freedom of Speech in America so that I can add to the conversations.
I was a part of a five year study on aging conducted by Wayne State University and Detroit Receiving Hospital, two of our city’s most important and accomplishing institutions. I am glad that studies are being conducted and that I was a part of one. When I went in for my intake interview, I was interviewed by a 22 year old. She was surprised at my age and said that she expected people in their 70s to have to lost their teeth and to be losing hair. I told her that I had bought both teeth and hair because we have that option.
From this vantage point, I can see what is worth getting upset about (not much). I know about the effects of stress on the body and have lessened my stress for myself and others. I’m not the one who will stress you out, nor will I let you stress me out. I no longer feel that I have to “roll with the punches”. I hope that the punches are over by now. Now, I feel more able to “go with the flow” if the flow is going in my direction. If not, I can opt out. My body may be aging, but my Spirit is not. We have the same Spirit that we had when we were children. Our Spirit can remain youthful, but we have to preserve and pace our body so that we can try to make it last.
I have had my “happy ever after”. I was married to Pervis Jackson of the Spinners, an award winning singing group. They were and still are a world class group who are still performing. I was able to travel, shop, party and live the “fairy tale” life. But I have learned that there is no such thing as “happy ever after”. My husband and I had a roller coaster marriage. The highs were very high and the lows were very low, but he had faith in me and consistently encouraged me to write. It is because of his mentoring and pushing that I formed the Pervis Jackson Autism Foundation and still find myself writing.
I am trying to have my “golden years”, though one writer referred to them as our “rusting years”. I agree with both. I’m glad that we now have arthritis medicine that doesn’t smell and large print for aging eyes. We also have a lot of conditions that can be monitored and treated with medication. I am thankful for all our medical advances and they are a benefit to many of us seniors. We are only as old as we feel, but sometimes our mind and our body are on different pages.
My “get up and go” had got up and gone, but I am getting it back. I read somewhere that “you are never to old to become what you might have been.” Though I am “past my peak”, that is OK. I still have life in me yet. There is still something I can do. I know for a fact that you are never to old to write (or improve your posture).
May we live long and prosper.