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The Winter of Our Lives
Old 06-28-2013, 08:12 AM   #1
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The Winter of Our Lives

....AND THEN IT IS WINTER I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL & WAS READING FAST UNTIL I REACHED THE THIRD SENTENCE. I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER READING SLOWER AND THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD. THIS EMAIL IS VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. MAKES YOU STOP AND THINK. READ SLOWLY...

You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But, here it is... the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is...my friends are retired and getting grey...they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me...but, I see the great change...Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so...now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!!

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over on this earth...it’s over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime. So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life...so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!! "Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

LIVE IT WELL! ENJOY TODAY! DO SOMETHING FUN! BE HAPPY !

Remember "It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

LIVE HAPPY IN 2013! LASTLY, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING: TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN, YET THE YOUNGEST YOU'LL EVER BE SO - ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.

Your kids are becoming you......but your grandchildren are perfect! Going out is good.. Coming home is better! You forget names.... But it's OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!! You realize you're never going to be really good at anything.. especially golf. The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don't care to do them anymore. You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It's called "pre-sleep". You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch.. You tend to use more 4 letter words ..."what?"..."when?"... Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it's not safe to wear it anywhere. You notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless"?!!! What used to be freckles are now liver spots. Everybody whispers. You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet.... 2 of which you will never wear.


But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!! Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!" Send this on to other "Old Friends!" and let them laugh in AGREEMENT!!! It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:21 AM   #2
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Hey Midpack, I get enough of these sappy tomes in my email - don't need to see them here.

Here, let me save you the trouble...


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Old 06-28-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
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Interesting message.

My initial reaction was somewhat tangential, feeling that referring to that portion of our lives as the Winter was a bad choice. In my faith, we view Winter as a time of promise - a time when the days are getting longer, holding out the assurance that the Spring will come and that the world will warm, grow alive, and flourish. If life is to be aligned with the seasons, then I prefer to see Winter as that time in our lives before we had the light of truth to warm us, when we were infants and babies, and our twilight years as Autumn, the many-colored leaves giving more character to the trees as an allusion to the wrinkles that give our faces more character. I hope to see those years as the time when the work of the Spring and Summer comes to fruition, and we can sit down around the harvest table and enjoy the bounty.

I do think, as the message alluded to, that there is great advantage at looking at the changes as a natural progression. The aches and pains aren't welcome in themselves, but rather welcome because they are part of life and it was, after all, life we set about living. And I know that with age comes the loss of capability, the physical inability to do some things. I would not want, though, to feel the regret of having missed the opportunity to do accomplish things that require the capabilities of youth. While I see nothing wrong with not putting things off, as the message suggests, I would recommend, instead, not building one's hopes and dreams around those things that require youth - to set one's sights on the things that you can aspire to even in old age. Reveling in the prospering of the children around us, for example.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
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Midpack,


Thanks for sharing. I was practically a Bobble-head while reading it.
Definitely sharing it with some friends and family. Wish I had copies printed for last week's 40th high school reunion. : g
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory!
One thing that I absolutely LOVE about retirement is being able to take a nap whenever I want to. Can't do that when still working, and never did. I guess the author's definition of the word "mandatory" is a bit fluid and doesn't apply to working seniors.

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And so...now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength

I must not be there yet. Guess I should check back in 30 years. At 65, I am stronger than I was at 45, and I tend to think the author should join the rest of us retired folks at the gym. The aches and pains that one expects at this age don't seem like such a Big Deal to me as all that (but then the gym can help with flexibility, too).
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Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime. So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly.
And on the other hand, I and many others have no regrets. If someone has regrets as a senior, I think they would have regrets at any age. It seems to me that regrets are a function of how he/she lived his/her life, not age. Personally, I have no regrets whatsoever and if I did, I'd think that I hadn't lived my life properly and according to my own standards up to this point.

Sure, there are things that some older people cannot do any more, but there are also things that they CAN do that some younger people cannot do. I love having the increased powers of judgment and discernment that come with age and experience, and that I never had in my youth. I revel in the amplified appreciation I have for each day. And on a lighter note, I get a big kick out of getting seniors' prices on haircuts and more.

Life is good and it gets BETTER with age. Rather than being frightened by the as yet unknown future, I think younger people would benefit from embracing it as part of who they are.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
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Thanks for the message. It is good advice to the younger folks.

i have to agree that some of the aches and pains are a small price to pay for the freedom to use one's time as one sees fit. Each stage of life has its rewards and problems.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:02 AM   #7
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Hey Midpack, I get enough of these sappy tomes in my email - don't need to see them here.

Here, let me save you the trouble...


I'm in your camp, REWahoo (although, of course he is free to post them if he wants, I guess some people like this stuff).

How the heck can anyone be surprised that they are getting older? It's been happening all my life! Any time spent reading this just made me older and no wiser - it's self-defeating!

One day a person tells a story around 'Carpe Diem!' The next they relate the story of 'The Grasshopper and the Ant'. Life is more complicated than that, but isn't really that tough to figure out - balance.

We need a drippy-syrupy-sweet emoticon OK, I guess this will do:



-ERD50
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:09 AM   #8
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My golf game is still as good as it was 25 years ago, it's just the lousy old clubs are getting too worn on the faces and the fact that they lengthened the course without telling us!
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:16 AM   #9
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Nowadays, it seems like I see an awful lot of "Gee, I'm older, what a surprise" musings going around the Net and in periodicals. Women writing about realizing that men don't look at them any more; men writing about not being able to run 10 miles without getting a twinge, etc. etc. blah blah.

No doubt part of this perception is that I am heading into that category, myself, and thus these things catch my eyes and ears more than they once would have. But I also sense an unseemly, "Hey, it wasn't supposed to happen to me" whininess about many of the articles I've read.

What, after all, do people expect? Once you've outlived a few cars and pets, it must have seeped into your consciousness that you aren't going to last forever, either. In that sense, I draw a distinction between musings on "gee, I'm getting older, things are changing," and the more practical/useful "here's something that's going wrong with me or someone I care about; does anyone know what to do about it?"

Gee, I sound cranky. I must be getting older! Hey, it wasn't supposed to happen to meeeeee!

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Old 06-28-2013, 10:40 AM   #10
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There are people who age and there are people who think themselves old.

I must admit I have little in common with the those I call the "prune juice" crowd. These are the people who tell you about their new cocktail, prune juice with a shot of soy milk, as if it is supposed to be funny. I have a feeling that in their younger days they were bemoaning the hardships of being a teenager, the problems of young adulthood, the headaches of being a parent, etc.

Passing on some wisdom to the young folks is fine. Just don't do it while sipping your prune juice cocktail.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:28 AM   #11
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Nowadays, it seems like I see an awful lot of "Gee, I'm older, what a surprise" musings going around the Net and in periodicals. Women writing about realizing that men don't look at them any more; men writing about not being able to run 10 miles without getting a twinge, etc. etc. blah blah.

No doubt part of this perception is that I am heading into that category, myself, and thus these things catch my eyes and ears more than they once would have. But I also sense an unseemly, "Hey, it wasn't supposed to happen to me" whininess about many of the articles I've read.

What, after all, do people expect? Once you've outlived a few cars and pets, it must have seeped into your consciousness that you aren't going to last forever, either. In that sense, I draw a distinction between musings on "gee, I'm getting older, things are changing," and the more practical/useful "here's something that's going wrong with me or someone I care about; does anyone know what to do about it?"

Gee, I sound cranky. I must be getting older! Hey, it wasn't supposed to happen to meeeeee!

Amethyst
I wonder how much of this is due to people being lonely, along with less respect for older ages.

People seem to accept, even enjoy getting older when they have lots of true friends and social connections, particularly if they are long lasting. It can be enjoyable to grow older and gain new experiences when you have close friends who are doing the same.

Getting old used to be seen as worthy of more respect. I know in my immigrant culture the elderly were given much respect, and it was an honor to have ones aged parents move in with you. They provided wisdom and help that was welcome. Now ones hears more about the burden and the selfishness the elderly are imposing on society.

It may also be a baby boomer thing, as that generation (which I am a part of) seemed to worship youth much more than previous generations. It was from the baby boomers youth that the phrase "don't trust anyone over 30" sprang. Their emphasis on staying young has been "caught" by subsequent generations. After all, if mom and dad want to keep acting and behaving and trying to look young, even going to surgical lengths to do so, what advantage is seem in getting old?
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:03 PM   #12
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Past a certain point, there isn't any advantage to aging, other than still being alive. But talking about it in a self-pitying way, like the folks Chuckanut alluded to, doesn't help and can be quite depressing - plus, it gives the young folks something to make fun of, and who wants to do that?

In the vein of accepting what IS, I read an article recently about Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex-advice lady, who is now 84. There was a quote that went something like, "Don't tell me how it [sex] used to be. I know all that. Learn to enjoy what you have now." As far as I can see, that is the only way to approach aging - not just with respect with sex, but with regard to pretty much everything.

A.

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After all, if mom and dad want to keep acting and behaving and trying to look young, even going to surgical lengths to do so, what advantage is seem in getting old?
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:07 PM   #13
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I have no idea what you old people are talking about. I'm young, dammit.
It is absolutely awesome being in my 40s--I don't have to take anyone's crap, can say what I want, live how I want to live, and no one figures I'm going to change this late. I'm not sad for who I used to be, or fearful of who I might become. It has all been a great ride.

And then there's my new favorite quote:
The line between bravery and stupidity is so thin that you don't know you've crossed it until you're dead.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:28 PM   #14
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I don't know about you guys but I am looking forward to retirement and not having to take care if children anymore.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:35 PM   #15
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What a cheerful way to start my day! Thanks Midpack!!!
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:39 PM   #16
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I must admit that I'm in the same camp as REW but then, at the age of 49, I'm not quite ready for all these musings on old age, 'cos I ain't an old geezer yet
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:36 PM   #17
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ENJOY TODAY! DO SOMETHING FUN! BE HAPPY !
Thanks for the reminder, I don't think I can have too many of those :-)

I am 50+, but really do feel the same as I did at 20.... I just don't look the same!

[...except for the left shoulder and the right shoulder and the extra 30lbs
...and I almost forgot - the less efficient memory :-(]

Oh and best of all, I think I am wiser!
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:18 PM   #18
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After reading the other responses, i think I must have interpreted this piece differently. Perhaps I skimmed. Nothing seemed droll or sad to me....not even the part about experiencing regrets, of which i have many. Heck, i have regrets from this morning/earlier this afternoon.

I do not see growing old as not a bad thing. Reading Traveling with Epicurus by Klein stitched that up for me.

Biggest change for me: the stiffness upon exiting a car. I once pitied folks who arched their backs and practiced all sorts of stretching contortions when they got out of automobiles. I am now one of them.
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