Make the golden years better. Why wait? Start
Symptom – speech habits. Always talking about things
that happened in the past. You have experienced lots of
things so there is plenty of ammunition. Most of the time
you are talking to somebody who was not there so you
can embellish a little. Once in a while you will have a
nostalgia trip with an old friend and be surprised at their
version. At a reunion you may not even recognize the
event as others describe it. Jeez.
Remedy: Stay interested in now. There are plenty of
current subjects to work with. A short reference to the
past now and then is fine. A steady diet of what
happened in the old days starts minds wandering.
Practice being aware of it.
Symptom – poor memory. Forgetting routine things is
like having a puzzle to solve. You know this person.
Now what is her name? You can sneak a look at your
marriage license or just introduce her as your wife.
You put the car keys in the same spot every time but
today they aren’t there. By the time you find them you
forget where you wanted to go.
Remedy: Forgetting something is not a symptom of
dementia. Where did I put my purse is normal. Finding
it in the refrigerator is iffy. Forgetting routine things is
usually caused by going through the motions while
your mind is in the past or future. It is not limited to old
age. Young people will drive home from work and not
remember doing it. Forming the habit of being aware of
where your mind is reduces the symptom nicely.
Symptom – poor sex life. Jeez.
Remedy: Duh. Decide if you can physically handle it.
If so, romance an appropriate person who can also
physically handle it. Bathing is also helpful.
Symptom – low physical activity. Getting winded
walking to the kitchen is worth it when you consider
the wonderful stuff you find there. Wheat germ, left
over broccoli drink, two and a half guaranteed organic
chocolate chip cookies, an entire cupboard devoted to
pills, dirty dishes in the sink. You’ll tackle those dishes
and cut the grass right after a frozen alfalfa burger and
Remedy: Physical conditioning is a good answer when
done sensibly. Read up on it and get started but don’t
expect overnight results. Habits that improve strength
and stamina improve life gradually. When you see good
results the work becomes fun and can be sustained to
an advanced age.
Symptom – looking old. You have not changed. You
have the same body you had at eighteen. It’s just all
wrinkled. The hair style could use an update one of
these years. How about dyed, gelled and spiked up?
Bald? Some long, baggy shorts? You’ll fit right in at the
Remedy: Looking old is a state of mind. Thirty looks old
if you are twenty. Thirty looks child like if you are sixty.
You can be attractive or unattractive at any age. You
can not look twenty five if you are fifty regardless of
what miracle cosmetic or snake oil sales people tell you.
Clean, reasonably dressed, friendly and active is
attractive. Handsome is as handsome does. Relax,
accept your age and act accordingly.
Symptom – superior attitude. You were an expert on
every subject at age seventeen. Since then you have
seen or done most things and TV has filled in everything
else. Because they re-do the scenes on reality shows to
get them just right doesn’t mean they aren’t real life.
You can’t fool me. I’ve been around too long and I know.
Remedy: Sending the message that you are superior is
done by talking down to me as though you were my
teacher or parent. It’s particularly aggravating with
your spouse. Most people like friendly conversations,
few enjoy uninvited lectures. If you smile, invite my
opinions and take them seriously it is a good first step.
It’s also OK to have quiet here and there. You don’t have
to fill every void with wisdom. Loud is irritating one on
one. Practice lower volume and friendly. It works.
Symptom – needing a bathroom nearby. Planning
your eating, drinking, sleeping and other activities with
the bathroom in mind is a logical step at any age. Right?
Remedy: Either accept it and laugh about it or learn to
walk quickly while all tensed up. Actually, walking
quickly regularly is good exercise. Hmmmm…..
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