The news media today love to tout elderly people who do things younger ones would be proud to do such as bike-riding, playing tennis, running marathons and sky diving, to name a few. Just this morning the TV has a story about an 80 year old woman who went sky diving and the last minute her pro-partner had to force her out the door of the plane. That was painful to watch but she had told him to do so if she chickened out. It happened that she soon slipped out of her harness but the pro caught her and they descended safely, albeit with her in a most awkward position.
Whenever I hear about things like this I wonder why people of any age do things that seem crazy to me. What must motivate anyone to take chances like that? Is it pride, self-will, a dare, or do some senior seniors just keep on doing what has always been enjoyable to them? If the latter, then I say more power to them, but if it’s the former, then I say, grow up as you grow old.
Perhaps more often than this kind of resistance to old age, one tends to avoid doing the practical thing like getting glasses, hearing aids, or using canes and walkers. In any case pride may be the reason for action or inaction. No one wants to look old and so often we’ll resist age by tackling more than is sensible or failing to use the aids needed. I was reminded of this yesterday when, after a spell of painful walking because of a sore hip, I decided to get myself a cane. What a difference that extra “leg” makes! My complaining hip says, “Thank you, girl, for making me ever so much more comfortable! You didn’t give in to pride or will-power, and now I plan to reward you by shaping up and healing myself.”
Only about a year ago did I feel the need to get glasses and when I did, I got some. No one had to push me into it and I was glad when it came time to renew my driver’s license because I’d not have passed the eye test if I hadn’t. I’m enjoying using my glasses, and now I’m also enjoying “Stanley,” my new cane and sidekick. He’s not only a great help, but I know he’ll gladly go into the closet if I should find I don’t need him anymore. In the meantime I wear him like a badge of honor knowing that He can make me look sporty if I think of him that way, stand erect and walk in gratitude. What’s the shame in being sane?
There are numberless angels who help us all when we acknowledge their presence. Slowing down to notice the beauty and wonder of everyday miracles is the best of medicines. Being cheerful by choice becomes natural when we focus on the good in life. A happy heart, a hopeful outlook, a mind full of good thoughts, - these are the best of helpers. But if in our daily walk we could use a good cane, then why not get one? I’m already walking a little straighter and steadier and more spritely. My cane is a sporty tool!
It’s a beautiful summer afternoon here in my neighborhood. Guess I’ll take Dolce
the dog for a walk and Stanley’s coming along too. I think he makes me look like one smart cookie!