Gray Matter


Taking Pride in Being Old and Gray

old and grayI’m 60 years old, now closer to 61 than 60. I’m old and gray, and there isn’t anything I can do about it. All I can do is make the most of my old age for as long as I can. I’m actually young compared to those in their eighties and nineties, but I certainly don’t feel that way.

Old and Gray

There’s a Facebook page titled “Gray Pride”. I think pages like that deserve to be independent websites so that non-Facebook members can enjoy them as well. I’m not going to repost anything from there, so I recommend you visit that page if you’re able to do so.

Many of the items on that page are funny, for those of us who can remember them and what they refer to. An example is the picture of a remote control from when I was young. It’s actually a child turning the knob on a television. There are many such items on that page.

My Health

I can’t be as healthy as I would like to be. It just isn’t possible, and mostly because of old injuries. I can’t run for more than a few seconds, but I can walk for an hour. Unfortunately, I can’t walk when I want to because of the weather. It’s either raining or too hot for me.

My wife, Josie, and I are always looking for creative ways to get in more than a few minutes of exercise every day. While we’re living with our son, Joe, and his family, we’re using the exercise equipment in his garage. We’ve both used an elliptical machine and a rower. So far, we’ve only been able to handle 10 minutes at a time on each one. I hope to shrink my gut as much as possible with the rower.

My Appearance

I stoop while standing, more than I should, and I correct my posture when I notice it. My abdomen is larger than I want it to be. I probably weigh 40 pounds more than I should. I’m not bald, but I have a receding hairline. Josie cuts my hair with barber shears, at the length of one eighth of an inch all the way around, and at least once a month. I haven’t visited any barbershops since leaving the Philippines in 2018.

I started wearing ball caps, like a lot of people, when I started spending more time in the sun than I wanted to, for various reasons and usually due to family events. Recently, I invested in an inexpensive wide-brim fedora. It protects my face from the sunlight better than a ball cap will.

My facial skin dries out more than it should. I now use a moisturizer morning and night to prevent flaking and scaling. It seems to be working. I don’t wear glasses (and haven’t since my LASIK eye surgery in 2004). Due to the tiny print on electronics and medications, I will occasionally put on reading glasses. Loss of near vision is a side effect of LASIK eye surgery.

I look nothing like the image above. Perhaps I will when I reach 70 or 80, should I live that long. So far, I haven’t had a sibling reach 71. I hope I won’t look anything like that, but I may not have a choice in the matter. Until then, I intend to avoid unhealthy foods and exercise as much as my body will let me.

Taking Pride

I’m thankful that I don’t have anything I consider to be major affecting me. Sure, not everything works quite right, but I think I’m in generally good health. Despite being involved in road accidents and participating in wartime events over the years, I don’t have anything that could be considered life-threatening to deal with.

I attribute my health and lack of issues to my attitude toward everything. When I was in the military, I followed the advice of some veterans who went before me: “Never volunteer for anything.” My decision making process involves the question, “Will this matter in five years?”

If you’re older than me, good for you. If you’re younger, try to be prepared. Watch out for the curve balls life throws at you.

Image Attribution: OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Author: RT Cunningham
Date: July 8, 2021 (UTC)
Categories: Health

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