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 Birthdays and Aging

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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Birthdays and Aging   Birthdays and Aging EmptyMon Jan 07, 2019 10:50 am

When we are young, we want to be older.  Kids can’t wait until they are in their teens.  Then they want to be 21 and have privileges attributed to adults such as being allowed to drink.  It is also an age when they no longer require consent of their parents.  They want to be on their own – be independent.  Then they realize that with independence and freedom comes responsibilities.  They no longer can depend on the financial support of their parents once they sever the ties of home.  Marriage was once a normal stage in their development until society changed its values and young couples began living together without marriage.  Sexual promiscuity became more common with changing attitudes about morality.  Some went to college and studied for a career while others found whatever jobs were available after high school always seeking a better job with more income.  Once one reached the age of 30, it was common to have established oneself, either in marriage or in a career-oriented profession. In the meanwhile, birthdays continued.  Signs of aging began to appear.  The agility one had began to lessen along with sexual prowess.  Trying to stop the aging process became a challenge.  Using makeup to hide the wrinkles that were beginning to form was attributed to growing older.  In the meanwhile, birthdays continued.  Health studios were in vogue while aches and pains began to appear with or without the strain attributed to over exertion. This normally occurred around the age of 40.  Health issues became a concern as old maladies and new ones grabbed attention of those aged 50 or more.  Life expectancy concerns increased at age 60 and above. Insurance premiums also increased.  Life insurance companies-based premiums on statistical data related to life expectancy.  Retirement age was 65 and it was estimated that most people would live another five years beyond retirement.  Retirement meant that the normal physical and mental activity associated with work tended to diminish or atrophy thus affecting one’s capacity to function. Accidents were an exception and separate insurance policies were written for accidental deaths while health insurance premiums increased, often beyond the means of people on a fixed income to afford.  Financial stress caused some to lose their homes.  In some cases, people even took their own lives to relieve their burdens.
Those of us who reached the age of 70 reflected on our status wondering how much longer we had to live.  Some would use the age of parents as a guide forgetting that advances in medicine was extending life.  In my case, no one on the March side of the family lived beyond the age of 80 while on the Firestone side, just one uncle reached the age of 90.  I considered this an exception and targeted the age of 80 as my end goal. I admit that there were times when I wished that I had died on the operating table with my two open heart surgeries or that I had died in Beirut.  On reflection, I began to think of the things yet undone or things that I could still accomplish.  Reading became a passion.  Historical novels and memoirs, such as written by Dick Stodghill and Hermann Frech allowed me insights into the mind of the author.  Actual experiences and the true nature of war rather than fictional novels or movies depicting war as heroic influenced my thoughts about war and that continues to this day.  Although I am an Air Force Veteran, my war experience was not from being engaged in any battle, but as a civilian in a war zone.  I am opposed to war.  In my remaining days or years, I will fight against war and war mongers.  There is nothing heroic about war.  Young men don’t enter war to die for their country.  If they are drafted to fight, their objective is one of survival.  Heroic actions are often by those who became reckless and took chances without thought for their lives.  Earning medals posthumously is for the benefit of the family in recognition of heroic service.  Audie Muphy is an example as written by Ann Joiner in her novel about Audie Murphy who she described as having a death wish making him the most decorated soldier of WWII.
I will soon make it to 80.  I will not set another target, but rather value each day as a gift.  My wish is to be of assistance to others in whatever manner I can for as long as I can.   I do not seek monetary rewards.  I am already rich with the love of family and friends.  I intend to write whatever stimulates me if only to share my feelings as I am doing today.  I feel blessed to have lived a life of adventure, learning by exposure and further educating myself on matters useful in my entrepreneurial pursuits.  I made no money in the books I wrote, however it added to my experience and in developing friendships that have more value than monetary rewards.  
I’m soon 80 and still learning.  My mental capacities for learning are not as sharp as they once were, however my critical thinking has increased. I am opinionated and set in my ways.  As long as I can comprehend and still breathe, I will continue to voice my opinion and speak out against injustice.  My sensitivity to criticism is not a deterrent in saying what I feel.  I am who I am.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12624
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Birthdays and Aging   Birthdays and Aging EmptyMon Jan 07, 2019 4:14 pm

With age comes wisdom, they say. Not that there's a great advantage in being old and wise. As you said, age slows down the body and gives the mind more to think about. The younger we are, the more active and the less time for philosophical thoughts. 

Each generation is financially better off than the previous, but loses something in the process. Simple skills are lost over the generations, and modern adolescents and adults rely on earning money to buy goods instead of making or repairing. The independence they crave is unattainable because they depend on electricity, without which they could not live their lives. Man has been around for 200,000 years without electricity. In just 200 years, he cannot manage without it.

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Birthdays and Aging 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Birthdays and Aging 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Birthdays and Aging 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Birthdays and Aging 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Birthdays and Aging 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Birthdays and Aging 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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http://shelaghwatkins.co.uk
Abe F. March
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

Birthdays and Aging Empty
PostSubject: Re: Birthdays and Aging   Birthdays and Aging EmptyTue Jan 08, 2019 1:40 am

Shelagh, I agree with your reaction to my post.  In particular your comment: “rely on earning money to buy goods instead of making or repairing”.  That condition is a subject that is gaining attention in Germany where repairs were once a natural process until the “throw-away” mentality took hold.  There are now even shoe repair shops available for those who wish to maintain shoes already worn-in and fit the feet comfortably even though a new pair of shoes may be less expensive than repairing the old ones.  It may be the mentality of older folk to hold onto things that are still useable.  I believe that I have or acquired that mentality.  I like old things.  I hold onto old equipment as it has some historical value, IMV.  I have old wagon wheels and rakes once used in the fields that are hanging in my Hof.  I repair what I can, however with modern appliances that is not so easy.  The built-in electronic panels inhibit repairs.   Where once I could make repairs to my car, that is no longer possible.  The car must be taken to a garage and given a diagnostic evaluation to find the problem.  Usually it requires replacement of an electron unit.  Antique cars are prized for their simplicity and repair capability.  Unfortunately, strict emission standards are a problem in maintaing these cars.  There are exceptions where the designation of an "antique car” are exempt.
The problems associated with climate change are causing people to improvise when the power (electricity) goes out.  Candles, wood stoves are in vogue along with alternative power sources such as solar energy.  Most homes in my area have solar panels on their roof that provide them with enough power for heating and light.  “With every adversity, there is a benefit” is causing people to use their ingenuity. Older folk are more adept at finding alternatives the old-fashioned way while the younger generation seek new inventions.  Being prepared, the boy scout slogan of “always be prepared” makes sense.  Having one’s own garden is gaining attention.  Instead of spending time and labor on nice-looking lawns, people are wisely using that space for growing vegetables that are truly organic.  The use of chemicals to kill weeds that cause runoff poisoning ground water has health rammifications.  “Action and reaction” is something that needs our attention. “As described by the third of Newton's laws of motion of classical mechanics, all forces occur in pairs such that if one object exerts a force on another object, then the second object exerts an equal and opposite reaction force on the first.”
We are never too old to learn even though the learning process takes more time to acquire.  Doing what we can at our own pace is a process learned as we age.  Knowing when to quit – to take a break that the body requires for rejuvenation is difficult.  When we start a project we want to finish it is something ingrained into our psyche.  Listening to our bodies is important in the aging process.
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