I've noticed that those who fear age the most, are the ones who seem to age more quickly. It's a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. But why? Why are people so terrified of age? There are the loss of looks of course and everything starts to head south.
Certain people suddenly realize that they've reached the age of fifty and run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Not all, I hasten to add.
In the 1930's, there were about seven and a half million who reached the magic age of 65. Now, it's whizzed up to 34 million. Certain people are afraid of suddenly facing isolation, loneliness, lack of respect and goodness knows what other horrors they conjure up in their aging minds. Lack of respect? If anyone shows me a lack of respect just because I'm becoming ancient, a reasonable knowledge of the English language soon puts that right!
If you're fool enough to sit down under it, then frankly you deserve but scant respect. I'm 72 and my wife's 69. Please God I go before she does; life without her would be bleak indeed, but however the cookie crumbles, life must go on. I think it so pathetic the way people try to cling to youth. They have face lifts, bum lifts, chest lifts, tummy tucks, and goodness knows what else to stay young. I think Dylan Thomas had a point in those brilliant lines of his, which I'm sure I'll misquote; “Go you not really into that good night, But rant and rave …”
Well, I'm not doing any ranting and raving, but I'm certainly not lying down and waiting for the bloke with the scythe to come and claim me. Obviously, there's a gaggle of experts who are moving us towards what they like to term 'conscious aging.' The idea is that we should be aware of what aging actually is and to eliminate the denial that spreads over so many of our older population. They have a point.
But people do tend to look on aging asitting a brick wall. “My God, I'm 60. That's it. I'm finished. This is the phobia of getting old, but why this terror of age? Do you know, I'm perfectly happy with being my present age. I sometimes wonder, just for fun, if I were given the chance to go back to my thirties, say. Would I grab the chance? Yes, provided I was able to change things with all the hindsight I've had. Lordy, I'd be a roaring success!
But to simply go back as I was, no chance. Not in a million years. Fortunately, I've always been a bit of a loner, so I do not sit and cry about isolation or not having any friends. Actually, I have loads of friends in cyberspace. Super people whom I've never met without unless I've managed to come into the tail end of the computer age. More accurately, the computer age came into my tail end!
But as one of the prefects at school used to yell at me; “For God's sake, DO something Bond.” And that's the best advice for any older person.