Tag: aging

When the Body Falls Apart

 

When we are children, we delight in running around, making forts out of huge cardboard boxes, and playing hide-and-seek. In ourteen-age years, some of us struggle with puberty and hate the world and prefer to drive a car than ride our bicycles. And then there are all those years when we simply pursue our lives, either investing our time and energy in the routine demands of living and in staying well and healthy—or not.

But at some point, mortality sneaks up and we realize that our bodies are wearing away and falling apart. I became acutely aware in my 30’s that my body was not going to get itself in shape on its own. So I decided to take seriously the effects of the passage of time.

When did the truth of mortality’s stalking occur to me especially hard? Right now, as I recover from breast cancer. It’s been nagging at my psyche for quite a while. At 71, I have many fewer years left than I’ve used up. But six months ago, my predictable lifestyle of the joys of retirement, regular exercise and diet was interrupted. And I had no idea how challenging it would be to work my way back.

Slowing Down

 

Over time, I’ve been nagged by an annoying thought and it just won’t go away. I’ve tried to ignore it, discount it, and ridicule it, but it is persistent. The other evening, I was walking from one room to another, and noticed my gait—slow and gentle. And there was the truth: I was slowing down, undeniably, and in some ways, disturbingly.

Now you have to understand that most of my life I have put a high value in doing things—almost anything—quickly. I might not be the smartest person, but I was fast and efficient and could run circles around many people. I took pride is this talent for a long time. Finally, I began to notice that I was striving to do things quickly that just were not all that important; they certainly did not demand my meeting a deadline. I also realized that trying to do everything at warp speed was causing me a great deal of stress, but I was the only one who seemed to care about this ability. So, I made a concerted effort to slow myself down. I realized how valuable this goal was when one day, I had rushed home from a work-out and had another obligation to fulfill—not one I was particularly interested in. I decided I simply was not going to rush, but instead took my time. Out of curiosity, I checked the clock when I was ready to leave, and was astounded to realize that I had showered and changed in record time! It wasn’t possible! But, in fact, I discovered when I was simply attentive to what I was doing, timeliness would often take care of itself.

The Forgotten Judge

 

The time to speculate on Supreme Court nominations is obviously upon us. Mindful of the diversity calculations in replacing Ruth Ginsburg, President Trump has indicated that he will appoint a woman to the Court. Amy Coney Barrett, two years on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (48 years of age) and Barbara Logoa, with considerable experience in Florida but less than one year on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (53 years of age), are the acknowledged front-runners. While their intelligence is not in doubt, there is a clear lack of a meaningful track record in adjudicating federal cases in both instances. Unfortunately, there also are questions of whether relatively youthful, somewhat inexperienced judges will survive the Greenhouse Effect.

As conservatives, we are rightfully skeptical of supposedly informed comments about the ideology of Supreme Court nominees. There’s no shortage of examples, and there’s nothing to be gained in regurgitating tales of betrayal well known to this audience. Then there’s Judge Diane Sykes.

It’s Hard to Get Old

 

We sat around the oaken table following the singing performance. My friend was sitting next to me; Eloise was sitting on my other side; and Joe sat quietly next to her. He seemed especially restrained after enjoying the music. I listened in to his conversation with Eloise:

Joe: I think it’s time for us to head home.

Kay Hymowitz joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss a challenge facing aging populations in wealthy nations across the world: loneliness. Her essay in the Spring 2019 issue, “Alone,” explores this subject.

“Americans are suffering from a bad case of loneliness,” Hymowitz writes. “Foundering social trust, collapsing heartland communities, an opioid epidemic, and rising numbers of ‘deaths of despair’ suggest a profound, collective discontent.”

Member Post

 

I am asking for prayers for my mother-in law.  She is our last remaining parent.  She has multiple serious health issues – she has been on multiple meds for some time.  She is 83 years old  and my husband’s family is complicated.  There are ACOA issues, and a lot of stress.  She has been admitted […]

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Member Post

 

Don’t misunderstand: I am not consumed with death or dying. In fact, I am in love with life and focus on my daily blessings. I’m also not talking about being alone at my deathbed, but rather about the possibility that I might be a widow one day. I am going to be 69 this year. […]

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A Biblical Meditation on Aging

 

It’s that time of year again. I embark this week on my journey back to my boyhood home to spend the summer on the farm taking care of my Dad. Since 1981 I have lived in Texas. When I retired in 2014, my wife and I bought the house I grew up in from my parents. Mom had passed two years prior and she had always wanted my wife and me to buy the house — she wanted the peace of mind that it would remain in the family. At that point in time, Dad had been living with Parkinson’s Disease for 10 years. His mobility was diminishing but he could still live at home. Two years later, in March 2016, we had to move him into a nursing home. We are blessed in that it is only a mile from our house and sits on 100 acres of beautiful grounds. The facility is a former convent and still has a strong connection to the Catholic Church. Many aging nuns and priests are there and daily mass is offered, along with exceptional health care. Yet, Dad is failing. I can’t believe he has lived with Parkinson’s as long as he has. He is 90 now, and not only is a physical wreck, but is starting to fail mentally. That is probably all detail that you didn’t need but it gets me to the point of this post: this beautiful reflection on the book of Ecclesiastes.

Monsignor Charles Pope begins his reflection:

Member Post

 

Today marks the occasion that my personal life systems was initiated to fully independent mode from the mother ship. The exact time noted on the certificate was 11:55 pm. The lucky number 7 has never had a bearing on my fortunes as near as I can tell…. so far. Being five minutes too early for […]

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On the Perception of the Passing of Time as We Age

 

As a kid I recall adults – my parents, my grandparents, others – every now and then talk and complain about how time flies by or some similar sentiment. When they made these statements and complaints, they weren’t talking about how quickly their workday went by or how rapidly tonight’s dinner party came and went. Instead, the context of these statements generally referred to longer time frames – how quickly the last week or the last month or six months flew by.

At the time, I didn’t really understand what they were talking about and I figured it was just something adults said. And, although it is something adults say, there is a certain truth to it. I’m in my sixties now, and I understand what those adults were talking about. I’ve understood it for a while now – I don’t know when I first experienced this phenomenon – I imagine I was around 30 years of age. As far as I know, this is a common occurrence – at some point in time most of us (all of us?) experience this perception of the speeding up of time as we age.

Of course, time doesn’t actually speed up as we age. The passing of one minute, one hour, or one day is the same for a 16-year-old as for a 60-year-old, and each would agree on the amount of time elapsed. However, after the passing of some amount of time, the time will seem to have elapsed quicker to the 60-year-old than to the 16-year-old. I don’t know why that is. I never studied psychology, neuroscience, or any discipline that might touch upon the subject. That, however, hasn’t deterred me from hypothesizing on why this is so. I have two theories about this which I wish to present and see what others may think.

Member Post

 

When did you, as young adult, realize that the modifier “young” was no longer applicable? For me and some of my former fraternity brothers it was when we noticed that we were no longer as hot to get the newest gadget, see the newest movie, catch the newest band as we had been in college. […]

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Member Post

 

I just came from Eye Center South. I have been having clouded vision which has increased over the last couple years. My recent visit to eye doctor revealed…..cataracts!!! But I’m too young to have cataracts I hollered! He said he’s seen them in all ages – 20’s to 80’s! He said smoking, (not me), diabetes […]

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Member Post

 

The tea kettle started singing and he turned the burner off. Boiling water soaked into the oatmeal mix in the bowl. He couldn’t remember what the package said this flavor was, but it looked like it had raspberry bits in there. He didn’t much like oatmeal, but it went down easy and he didn’t have […]

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Youth Is Wasted on the Young

 

shutterstock_384007933All the trees turned green, overnight. It’s like the world changed and I missed it, and I’m not sure if it always happened this way or if time just moves more rapidly now that I started to pay attention.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately, as I tend to at this part of the year, but this now it’s all hitting me a lot harder. In a few weeks, I turn 35.

Okay, Ricochetti, you may all snicker and taunt me for my angst, but for some reason this birthday feels ominous and scary like no other before it.

Member Post

 

Today I turn – cough – cough.…well, as my friend of the same age put it, it’s the 39th anniversary of my 21st birthday. I feel weird. I don’t know what it is about the number, but it startles people. When I mention how old I am, their eyes bug out, their mouths form a […]

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An Age Limit for Supreme Court Justices?

 

GinsburgNoted Supreme Court scholar David Garrow argues that the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Roberts specifically, should take action to address the increasing age of judges. He raises an important problem: the Supreme Court should not be a comfortable retirement home. Garrow proposes that judges undergo mental health checkups and that new judges agree to a retirement age.

But I do not think there is any way that a law could do constitutionally. The Constitution does not permit removal of a judge from office except in limited circumstances, and only through the process of impeachment. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution states that “the judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior.”

While the Constitution does not define “good behavior,” our historical practice has. Judges who have committed violations of federal criminal law, such as Judge Walter Nixon, can be impeached. During the Jefferson administration, Congress impeached and removed a judge who was apparently a drunkard on the bench (and this before the day of the breathalyzer). But Jefferson’s effort to impeach Justice Samuel Chase, on the claim that he was injudicious in his behavior (but was really a not-so-veiled effort to remove a Federalist from the bench), failed to win conviction in the Senate. I believe that age alone could not be grounds for impeachment and removal, and perhaps not even mental illness, unless it truly incapacitated a judge from the job.

Member Post

 

I really dislike this saying! I may have that reaction, in part, because I’m 66. Or my resistance might be that the statement is true. But mostly, I think “old age isn’t for sissies” implies, for me, that life is hard and it’s only going to get worse. In one sense that may be true, […]

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