Being old in captivity brings a whole new set of problems. Each age group has faced unique challenges in the face of this horrific world attack by an evil virus and the world has now seen the ravages of biological warfare on a global scale.
Much has been learned or one can hope, but each age group has had to face different and scary trials.
I have witnessed the tests younger people including my own children and grandchildren have faced.
It is however my own that I can speak to most clearly.
Did I fully appreciate Amazon before, probably not? Do I now? Have I completely embraced the whole let my fingers do the walking routine online? You bet. Will I be excited to run through a mall again and feel and touch the merchandise? You bet I will! Is chocolate still a panacea, it is indeed.
Busy brings distraction. Growing old is difficult and most of my generation have learned to use denial and distraction as the prevalent tools in their arsenal to battle back against the reality of old age.
Time doesn’t creep it pounces.
We look in the mirror and our close-up vision is compromised by time.
We compensate by using magnified mirrors that are probably the work of the devil, but we insist on a true glimpse into the ravages of time.
We battle back with plastic surgery, Botox, creams, treatments whatever we can unearth to slow the process.
Yet what I have discovered in the last few months is that the greatest tool in our arsenal is indeed distraction and without that we must come face to face with our own mortality.
And it isn’t pretty.
In the pre-covid 19 days I would see a new wrinkle and meet a friend for lunch, do some shopping, play Maj Jong, visit my grandsons, or any one of a million other activities, including work related to distract from the truth that stared me in the face, I am growing old. I am now the oldest generation, and time is winning.
The last few months have brought many deaths, some from covid, some from natural causes, but many I grew up with and around are suddenly gone.
Once I would hear about a death of an old friend and busy myself with trivial activities to ignore the fact that time was racing past. Distraction was king, and I say long live the king!
Now I have no such luxury. Binge watching Shitt’s Creek is not the same as being with family or friends. It isn’t working. It may provide a moment’s distraction, but our lifestyle is the ultimate defense against reality. Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, important life events and holidays with family and friends cannot be discounted.
We hear bad news, we move, we see a gray hair we move, we feel the ravages of time on our bodies, we move.
Without movement, we have little defense.
We need as Streisand said, “People”. We need interaction, even those among us who once considered ourselves a bit of an introvert. We’ve all realized we are part of the world and we use this world to our advantage to deal with the fears and issues we face each day.
Without interaction we are forced to see life for what is it is and that can be very painful for one who is moving into old age. It even sounds sad, but once I wouldn’t have cared. I could laugh with friends, celebrate life and keep going.
Stopping is not an option. The challenge has been to keep busy and relevant now that the world has closed up shop.
Soon we will all enter a new world, a new normal; we can’t yet predict or foresee and we will have to move even further away from the world we once knew.
This is a painful exercise even in the best of times so how we will approach these good byes now.
Part of growing older are the memories we embrace, our childhoods, our parenting years and remembering those who are now gone.
I know my generation is up to this as we have overcome before, we will again. I am forcibly optimistic and choose to be.
So to all my friends I can only say what I have been saying to myself,
More than ever it is imperative we make the most of every moment. Live fully and excitedly each day and dwell only in the present. Had we ever forgotten those rules and I have many times, we cannot again.
Happy new world coming and may it be the best years of your lives.