Some of the Less Attractive Aspects of Age

| September 5, 2022 | 0 Comments

First, I am not a doctor.  Therefore, what I write may or may not be true for you.  These are my personal observations of aging, which I find a fascinating topic.  We are all unique and our bodies react differently based on genetics and lifestyle factors.

With that thought, I find it interesting that I have never liked having irises in my home. They are so hideous when they die.  Fortunately, humans do not appear to rot as dying irises do.  This is a blessing.  However, I do not think we age gradually.  I remember the first time I noticed signs of my body changing.  I was in my early thirties and was walking from the parking lot at the Unitarian Pre-School to my son’s classroom.  Suddenly, my jeans, which had been snug around my hips, were no longer snug there; they were snug at the tops of my thighs.  Sure enough, when I saw myself in a mirror, my butt had sunk. I asked a doctor about this.  His explanation was that the skin’s elasticity was like that in a rubber band.  It loosens suddenly, not little by little.

This happens to our faces as well.  One goes to bed with firm skin.  One awakens with a couple of lines, perhaps at the corners of the eyes or at the corners of the lips.  As time goes on, more lines appear.  Why do women get more of these “lines” than men?  Is it the massage of shaving?  You almost never see men as wrinkled as women.  It isn’t fair.

For those of us who smoked, we get pucker lines around the mouth.  I suppose anyone who is a habitual straw drinker might get the same lines.  Even men get these lines, but they are far less obvious than on a woman.

These lines on our faces do show our age.  But they also show the history of our lives, a tapestry, if you will, of joy and sorrow on our faces.

Gravity acts upon our bodies.  Both men and women observe this at various intervals of their life. Everything eventually sags unless you pay someone to lift it for you.  As much as I would love to have my neck back, I’m going to stick with collapsed vertebrae which leave my head sitting on my shoulders.  I once had a swan-like neck.

Hair changes, too.  As we age, some of us lose our thick, luscious locks.  Women can do comb-overs more easily than men because we can put a French twist over a thinning spot.  It is lovely realizing that with age comes freedom from shaving legs and underarms.  These hairs thin, and I suppose if we live long enough, they disappear entirely.

Sadly, this is not true for facial hair.  One day I noticed my eyebrows, previously fairly sparse, suddenly resembled Andy Rooney’s from 60 Minutes.  Plucking them seemed sad as I haven’t many eyebrows.  Then I noticed I was getting a mustache.  I tried bleaching it; I wasn’t happy with the results.  Waxing it was painful.  I turned to tweezers.  This takes forever.  And with every year, the hairs grow darker in more areas.  If I were to let them grow, I could have a handlebar mustache with a soul patch under my lower lip.  A friend told me about a gadget that sounds like an electric razor, but, it plucks multiple hairs at once.  It hurts a little, but it does pull those little whiskers out by the roots!

Other dreary aspects of aging have painful aspects. Arthritis hurts. When cartilage wears away, bone rubbing bone is not fun.  Fortunately, most of us can get replacement parts.  With good medical insurance, it is cheaper than replacing major parts of a car! I have a fake hip which I adore.  Its only drawback is that it doesn’t lift and swing backward which makes dismounting from a horse rather difficult.  Nevertheless, an extra tall mounting block (or a sturdy picnic table) has solved this problem for me. 

I am very fortunate.  I am basically healthy, so I am able to enjoy my days relatively free of pain (except for my back which always hurts, but I try to ignore it).  I can still eat what I like although most of those foods cause weight gain which is another aspect of age I dislike.  I know old people who have lost their appetites; they actually stop eating the second they become full.  Unfortunately, this has failed to happen in my case; I can eat until I pass out, blissfully full and happy. . . until I get on a scale or try to button my slacks.

Personally, I believe in watching one’s body age as if you are watching a “National Geographic” special.  Each little change is nature unfolding.  They may not be pretty, but not all of life is.  And frankly, it is interesting to see what happens to us.  You get to realize it is science and accept it as such.

As our first meeting back from the summer break, we are excited to be hosting a Mission Hills Garden Club Seed Swap.  To prepare for our fall/winter gardens, we are encouraging Mission Hills gardeners to bring packets of seeds, extra seedlings, cuttings of plants, fertilizer, compost tea, gardening supplies, reference books, and homesteading supplies to swap with other gardeners during this fun, casual event.  The Club will be setting up tables around the church hall and participants can display their swap items on the tables for folks to look at, ask questions, receive guidance, and swap items.  The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, September 22 at Mission Hills Church of Christ, located at 4070 Jackdaw Street in Mission Hills.

This event is free to attend and is open to members, plus non-members.  To better plan for the types of items, varieties, and quantity of items being brought to the swap, we would like to encourage you to fill out the form on the registration page on our website to let us know what you plan to bring to the seed swap:

Iris plants have a unique look and aging process.

Tags: , ,

Category: Education, Events, Gardening, Health & Fitness, Life Style, Nonprofit, Plants

About the Author ()

Barbara Strona is a native Californian who grew up in the Mid-West and Los Angeles. She and her architect husband, Carl, came to San Diego in 1968 and have lived in Mission Hills since early 1971. Barbara received a Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College with a major in English, and a minor in Art. She attended UCLA graduate school and received a General Secondary Credential. She taught English in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania, and at Point Loma High School. She has been a Realtor specializing in residential sales since 1984. Her passions include her job, reading, writing, foreign languages and foreign countries, animals (feathered or furry), theatre, and her family: husband, two adult children and two grandsons.