Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getting Old isn't for Wimps

“I find getting older a lousy deal. There is no advantage in getting older. I’m 74 now, and you don’t get smarter, wiser, more mellow or kindly. Your back hurts more; your eyesight isn’t as good. It’s a bad business. I advise you to avoid it if you can. ”~ Woody Allen at Cannes 2010

To me, the problem is my body parts break down more frequently and heal more slowly as I've become older. In addition, replacement parts require surgery, and often don't work as good as new. And sometimes, replacing a part just isn't possible.

Until my early forties, my body held up pretty well. I played football and baseball in my teens; rugby in my twenties; softball, volleyball and running in my thirties; and tennis in my forties. Although the level of physical impact declined after 30, I felt my body was still in relatively good shape. I had few injuries, recovered quickly, and barely saw my doctor every 2-3 years.

However, something happened in my forties. My joints began to hurt more. Something always seemed to be in pain. Healing took longer, seemingly forever. In addition, foods I used to enjoy were now giving me stomach and intestinal problems. At this point, I'm not looking forward to getting the future "signs of aging."

Of course, aging can bring on more serious issues. I'm dreading the possibility of getting a major injury from an accidental fall, or worse yet, an everyday activity. Hopefully, I will be able to avoid having a major illness or chronic disability, which has happened in my family. In his seventies, my dad caught pneumonia, went into a coma for several months, from which he briefly recovered before dying. Shortly afterwards, my mom broke her hip and is now in long term care at a nursing home.

Of course, aging isn't all bad. There is a silver lining to getting older. It definitely is better than the alternative:-) Also, with age comes experience, which has lead to better judgement. I am fortunate to have the more financial assets than when I was younger. Best of all, I got the opportunity to retire early.

For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

This is not financial or aging advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2010 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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