Aging presents challenges, but offers new insights – Loveland Reporter-Herald

A few weeks ago, I invited readers to join me as I rode the “amusement park for old age” roller coaster.

In this park, something new pops up at every turn.

Old age is new territory – a new stage – for all who enter it.

But isn’t each phase of life a new landscape?

I remember the excitement of turning 10 when my age went from 9 to double digits.

At 12, I admired my cousin Doris, who was four years older than me.

She wore lipstick and nylon stockings. She donned high heels, wore pretty dresses, and learned typing and shorthand in high school.

“I’ll be like Doris when I’m a teenager,” I thought.

But in the “Vieillesse” park, we don’t have a clear vision of the road to follow. So that’s the final act. The last chapter. The bottom of the Ninth.

I’m not ruling out the possibility that our spirit continues beyond our time on earth – I’m just talking about the present.

Here is an overview of my experience.

I love to walk outdoors every day, and I brag to my kids that I’m up to a mile a day – outdoors. It’s exaggerated. I’m not there yet.

To motivate myself, I bought a senior pedometer called “Fit Bud”. It’s inexpensive, has a large LED display, and only measures steps.

I don’t want the information overload offered by my kids’ new wrist devices.

“Why would I want a device that keeps track of my sleep patterns and calorie count?” I wonder.

When I come home from a walk, I sit in my favorite upholstered chair and listen to an audiobook.

But the chair and my arthritic joints no longer mix.

Sitting on the chair is heavenly, but getting out of it isn’t pretty.

And it’s painful.

The chair – bought in the 1970s is low – as was the fashion.

I remember my daughter Eileen sitting in that chair – studying for her favorite history class taught by Mr. Gannon at Loveland High.

I have other chairs to choose from, but I don’t want to change.

Experts tell us that change is good for us – makes us more flexible – but like many of us – I find change daunting at first.

I reluctantly settle into a chair that is at a better height. I lean back and notice the wooden beams on the living room ceiling.

These beautiful beams have been there for over 55 years — but have I ever really looked at — enjoyed — savored them?

In 1967, hiring a contractor in Loveland was done with a handshake.

I look at the ceiling beam and think about the skills and work required to install its installation.

“How did they manage to hoist that beam?” I wonder.

“Who were the men who helped our contractor?”

“Did they – like many of us – want to stay in bed a little longer when the morning alarm went off?” I wonder.

But they came to work anyway.

And I’m grateful.

So, as I adjust to my new chair, I remind myself that while aging has its challenges, it also offers new insights.