The Senior Twilight Zone
The process of aging into your senior years is an interesting stage of life! It seems like just yesterday that we were running around enjoying childhood, going to school, entering the workplace, and starting a family. Then, one day, you blink, wake up and realize that you’re eligible for the senior citizen discount at your favorite stores! And that gets us excited!
Retiring and taking life at a slower pace can feel like entering the “Senior Twilight Zone.” However, like pretty much everything else in life, getting old is best approached with positivity and good humor. In fact, research conducted by Harvard University has shown that people aged 65 and older who enjoy aging and retirement are likely to live 18 years longer than those who do not enjoy their old age! Now, that’s a long time to be old!
With that being said, join me for a humorous journey through “50 Signs That You’re Getting Old”—after all, it could extend your life! Here’s the list:
- You sometimes speed to get to your destination just so you don’t forget where you’re going.
- Your speed dial consists mostly of people with “MD” behind their names.
- When you meet up with friends, your discussions primarily concern health conditions, medications, doctors, and fiber.
- Your favorite team doesn’t play sports, but instead consists of the doctor, cardiologist, pharmacist, and urologist who make up your medical team.
- You now categorize seniors in three ways: the “Young-Old” who are 65-74 years old and in their “Go-Go” years; the “Middle-Old,” who are 75-84 and in their “Slow-Go” era; and the “Old-Old,” who, at 85 or older, are in their “No-Go” years.
- You might hear “snap, crackle, and pop” at the breakfast table, even when you’re not eating cereal.
- You might conduct an extensive search for your 10 pairs of reading glasses…only to eventually find one of them on top of your head.
- Your body stops growing vertically and starts expanding horizontally.
- It takes you double the time to look maybe half as good.
- The smoke detector goes off when all of the candles on your birthday cake have been lit.
- Deciding to play on the floor with your grandchildren takes a lot of thought because getting up is a long process. When you are down there, you think, “Is there anything else I need to do while I’m here?”
- Getting asked for your ID to buy alcohol makes your day.
- Your confidential information is safe with your friends because you know they won’t remember.
- You think that “hooking up” has to do with knitting.
- You’ve given up all your bad habits, and you still don’t feel any younger.
- If you’re a single man, pretty much the only gals chasing you are female mosquitoes.
- You can still remember your kindergarten teacher’s name, but often wonder why you’re standing in the kitchen.
- Your idea of “going out” is sitting on the patio.
- WebMD.com and Drugs.com are your most-used websites.
- You’re on a first-name basis with your pharmacist.
- If you get invited to two events happening at the same time, you pick the one that will get you home earlier.
- “Getting lucky” means that you finally found your automobile in the parking lot.
- People call you at 9AM and ask, “Did I wake you?”
- You consider standing up to be exercise.
- A doctor, not a policeman, is the one telling you to slow down.
- When you get out of bed in the morning after several attempts, your body aches, and the areas that don’t hurt, don’t work.
- You still own a VCR, and maybe even some 8-track tapes.
- You have fond memories of the jukebox and those little devices in restaurant booths where you could select songs.
- You understand what 78, 45, and 33 RPM mean.
- You know what a party line is, and you’re proud to tell people you have used an outhouse before.
- You have saved, licked, and made purchases with “green stamps.”
- You have attended a drive-in movie…and may have accidentally driven off with the speaker still attached to the car window.
- You remember when hamburgers were 15 cents and gas (pumped by station attendants) was 25 cents a gallon.
- When you go into a store, the first thing you do is figure out where the bathrooms are located.
- If bad weather is coming, your body tells you before the meteorologists do.
- When you take a bite of a steak, your teeth might just stay there.
- Your idea of “happy hour” is a good nap.
- You approach curbs and steps with respect, lest you fall and kiss the concrete (again).
- Your “get up and go!” has “gotten up and gone!”
- Your memory is getting shorter, but your list of complaints is getting longer.
- Your favorite song is the Rolling Stones’ “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”
- There’s nothing left to learn the hard way because you have tried them all.
- You and your friends try to impress each other with your cholesterol scores rather than your golf numbers.
- The sports relief medications in your cabinet have been replaced with Metamucil, Preparation H, and other scary things.
- People think that you are patient, but the reality is that you just don’t care about unimportant things anymore.
- You started out with nothing in life and realize that you have most of it left.
- When people try to be nice and say you look good, you say, “Tell me more!”
- Your back goes out more often than you do.
- You no longer try new tricks because the old ones work great.
- This is the most important: you place a sticky note in your bathroom reminding you not to take sleeping pills and laxatives together at night!
The Bottom Line: One secret to living longer is to just keep breathing! Another is to truly enjoy life in all its stages, old age included. By keeping active, maintaining connections with family and friends, challenging your brains, having an exciting purpose, and staying positive, we can all live longer, happier lives! From one old person to another: “hang in there!”
Mike DuBose has been an instructor for USC’s graduate school since 1985 when he began his family of companies. He is a contributing guest author for Midland's Biz and is the author of The Art of Building a Great Business. Please visit our blog for additional published business, travel, and personal articles, as well as health articles written with Surb Guram, MD.