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Aging gracefully is not for the faint of heart

| Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Until I actually read one I was under the impression that "health" magazines were supposed to keep you feel good -- or at least, better. But it didn't work for me! Perhaps I was not doing most of what they recommended, such as giving up white flour (though I do eat only really, really brown bread), white sugar, tea, and all refined foods but, should you not want to starve, replace all that with wheat, bran, nuts, fruit, fresh vegetables, legumes and honey.

Along with all that, it was suggested you must exercise: walk, run, jump, swim, hop around on a trampoline, or ride a bike; but instead of doing that, I sit down every morning at 11 a.m. and listen to The Doctors on TV suggest the same thing. It makes all that advice much easier to swallow.

In that rather discouraging magazine there was an article about what problems we might inflict on our pets by improper feeding. Believe me, if what I currently pay to feed my cat is not good enough for him, I will be tempted to let him go hunt for "natural" food outdoors in the cold, the rain, the snow and the hot sun and see how healthy he will be when he meows for a hand-out at my back door. I am sure he would never turn away from that expensive canned food again.

That "helpful" magazine covered everything. There was advice for those of us who suffer from what they call "mid-day slump." We were told to lead a more active life, lose weight and try yoga, but I have always preferred to deal with that little problem by taking a brief nap. And my cat joins me.

Not to be deterred, I plowed my way through that magazine in spite of even more depressing advice until I came to an article about the face and how it ages. As if I didn't already know all about that dreadful experience.

The worst news was that if you can't afford a face-lift there was not much you can do about it. My advice is just avoid looking in the mirror anymore than you have to.

They went on to describe what you probably look like if you have already reached that point in life. You now have deep lines running from your nose to the corners of your mouth and lots more that is too depressing to talk about.

But I couldn't stop! There was a frightening illustration of someone just past 50. At that age, they said your skin begins to sag and your pretty little chin turns into not so cute jowls and your creamy-white skin turns wrinkly. That news was not the end by any means. It only gets better as the tip of your nose and even you earlobes begin to droop and you will carry excess baggage under your eyes and you will find liver spots all over your lined face and hands.

After the indignity of all that "good" news, I quietly relaxed because I'm long past those 70s and what's done is done. I am still, as of this moment, still in one piece, just enjoying whatever is left of my earthly days, in spite of all the wrinkling and sagging.

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