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Monday, October 21, 2013

Motivational Mondays: Taking a Short Break: Aging Gracefully Vs Kicking & Dancing

Thought for the Day: I had planned to write a post earlier, but have been busy seeing clients & preparing for meniscus knee surgery early tomorrow morning. I also missed posting Sunday's Comics yesterday. I am not sure if I will have the energy to write tomorrow or later in the week, although I am hoping to be able to continue writing my blog. I understand that the operation is minimally invasive & hope to be back to swimming & working very soon.

When I was a teenager & young adult, I always hoped to age more like my grandmother than my mother. They had two distinct styles. My grandmother, whom we called Moma, aged gracefully. Even her hair complied with her aging, she never dyed it & it stayed mainly black with touches of grey tints till she was well into her 70's. People often mistook my grandmother for my mother since she cared for me and my brothers while my mother worked full time. Moma loved to garden & took walks, but never did any strenuous exercise, unless you consider raising 4 grandchildren  exercise. As she grew older she walked slower. She had a heart condition which at the time was considered inoperable, but I never heard her complain or even speak about it.

My mother's approach to aging was almost diametrically opposite to her mother's approach. She was always in a hurry. Driving from place to place trying to fit a few extra hours into her day. She did not exercise & had asthma most of her life. She hated getting older, dyed her hair & did not want to slow down for anything or anybody. Because she was self conscious she almost always wore high heeled shoes. As she grew older she replaced the 3 inch heels for two & finally one inch ones. No one could convince her to slow down, She would would age kicking & screaming. She did try to exercise a bit after she retired, but her asthma made it difficult to take up the stationary bike in her condo complex.

I took a slightly different path from both my role models. I think I believed that exercise would be my ticket to aging gracefully with a fighting chance to stay active & healthy in the process. I have danced all my life. Until about 10 years ago I would dance 2 or three times a week. In the last few years swimming which has always been a sport I loved has become my regular exercise. I plan to continue to be active as long as possible.

I have been lucky, too & have been pretty healthy. Therefore, I was taken by surprise by a sprained ligament which seemed to heal followed by what turns out to be a torn meniscus. I realize that, I have some of my mother's fight in me & I do not want to let my knee slow me down (I'm also in too much pain to let it continue without a fight!). So today I will have what seems to be a pretty routine operation that almost everyone knows someone who has had it & is now walking freely again. So I will hopefully be back to aging gracefully, kicking & dancing & blogging about the psychology of life regularly soon.

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