Aging in America

Ahhh, the indignities of middle to late middle age! We laughed uproariously at age 40 birthday party, when they presented us w inflatable walkers, hemorrhoid cream, hair dye to banish the gray hairs, memory pills, you get the idea! We were not yet in that time frame, so it was funny! And we danced for hours, after that, with not a care in the world!

Bah humbug! No Viagra, Cialis, blood pressure pills, penis inflators, round the abdomen accumulating fat, which is anatomically disposed to be the landing place for any extra calories over necessary consumption based on activity. Soon, you won’t even see the penis, as the fat accumulates! Arthritis, as who knew joints go kaplooey with too much kneeling, bending, lifting, walking, running, even working out, which was supposed to be good for you? Who can do that anymore?

Go ahead, but the key word is low impact workouts. Long distance slow and easy, biking, in whatever way you can, weight lifting, but little by little, as tolerated. Walking, then up hills, as you are able, with gradually increasing distances. No more getting down on those knees, which are not constructed to withstand that burgeoning gut and increased poundage. I know, not everyone, but increasingly the majority are in this class, especially women who are proportionately designed to store more fat than men do, anatomically.

Invest in adult diapers, for the stock market will be overflowing its banks on this! Baby Boomers are aging out, and there are so many of us! Many are living long long lives too, which is a mixed blessing, because while you do everything right, eating healthily, exercising, losing weight, you are still trapped by your genetics, which will betray you at some point. Even  model specimen who does everything right recently found an abnormal EKG rhythm! Warning of mortality, no matter what you do. Take your hints, your vitamins, supplements, your regimen, your greens, lean meats, vegan or vegetarian with appropriate protein sources replacement, it doesn’t matter…

Look at your family history. What happened to your parents is not exactly destiny for you, but it’s a heavy influence. Then factor in your lifestyle, satisfaction, high stress, how your job either values you appropriately or not, how your kids are doing, and are they prospering? All of it matters. Also factor in risk taking, education and awareness of risks, like predilection for mountain climbing, skydiving, jet skiing, hiking alone, you name it…Do you maintain your car as the prudent do? Do you assess weather every single time before  you go driving? Do you drink and drive, or do drugs and drive? Do you text while driving? What about the next person who doesn’t pay attention or care?

Pantiliners, then pads, coughing and sneezing, stress incontinence, anal sphincter not tight anymore?? Oh my. Hair dying every 2 months, shower stool and bath bar for support, because elders past had fallen in the shower, with catastrophic damage. Can’t climb stairs anymore, out of breath on the hills…permanent disability issues. A panoply of ills, and lungs are at age 80 already because of exposure to very serious airborne contaminants, out of your control because of poverty of the past, or exposure to Ground Zero contaminants, not publicly admitted, with flimsy dust masks good for nothing, and especially not for residents nearby, in a zone with carcinogens everywhere burning for months and human flesh absorbing same…

It’s later than you think, Boomers. Time to make up and fill that Bucket List with your wishes, and your ability to fulfill same…because the Hourglass is running out of sand. Like Judy Garland in the Castle under the Witch’s clutches, that’s us. But this is no movie, and we don’t have any trio of Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion to come get us. We just have the litany of the medical doctors telling us to quit smoking, lose weight, get therapy for mental illness, move, get a better job, drive less, walk more, as if any of these things were really in the realm of the doable…

We aren’t solo, most of us. We have to consider how our choices impact who we live with. If it’s a no go for them, many times that means it’s a no go for us too. Even if that means having to drive 70 miles each way to a job, or 100 miles or more. And weather impacts too, in the Age of Global Warming, increasingly severe storms, which may destroy your very home…and strand you on distant shores, because of flight cancellations. And that ever ticking I need to make more money…because that is security. Yeah, stress, beyond your control, because of tariffs levied on everything, even things you need, like food, water, medicine, rent, gasoline…and your salary doesn’t rise to compensate for that. Just suck it up. The 1% won’t be covering you (unlikely).

The American Dream is dying. Now if immigration would just figure that out, we wouldn’t have 15,000 arriving daily from other broken places, in search of something better….we don’t actually have it either. We did, but now not as much. Ask the millennials and the younger folks. What of rich America, every generation doing better than the last? That died too. Concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands will beget a 2nd American Revolution, because people lose hope and sustenance en masse. Democracy cannot stand on its ideals when the vast majority are denied the tools to get to at least the middle class, which is also dwindling. Look at the suicide rates too, of veterans and other people who are marginalized, and the incarceration rates as well, borne of desperation to earn a buck…

I count myself lucky, even with what is wrong with me, which is much. I lived in the times of profound change, and survived it well. And am inclined to help others as well, whatever way I can. I have a mission. And I can also blog all I want, which is good, because I have way too much to say. SHUT UP ALREADY, MARSHA! IT’S ENOUGH! 

BANG, ZOOM TO THE MOON, ALICE!!! – RALPH KRAMDEN, CHARACTER OF THE HONEYMOONERS, played by the late great Jackie Gleason.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s