What do you think about aging?
Linda Back McKay, Member
Is aging a blessing or a curse? My husband and I always say, “Well, it sure beats the alternative!”
Ads in the media tell us to do anything and everything to avoid the inevitable. Get rid of those wrinkles, blemishes, gray hair and belly fat! Look twenty years younger! Age-ism is insidious, and many people don’t even realize they are discriminating against older people. Think about that.
In Eastern cultures and Native American cultures, the elderly are honored. In Japan, for instance, the life expectancy is higher than any other country in the world. I’m wondering if being revered and respected for one’s age and wisdom is directly connected to one’s longevity. What do you think?
In the interest of full disclosure here, I must admit that when we were first considering Becketwood, we weren’t sure about “living with a bunch of old people” at first. Human nature is fascinating. We view others as getting old, but rarely ourselves. Hey, I’m still in my forties! (Well, at least I feel that way inside. Outside it’s a different story.)
Almost three years ago when we first moved to Becketwood, our neighbors seemed old to us – only until we got to know them. Then they started looking more like friends and compatriots. Their lives and stories are amazing and we have a lot of fun together. Even in the relatively short time we’ve been here, we have had experiences and opportunities we would never have had in our old neighborhood.
There are at least two generations of people who live here, and we Baby Boomers are growing in numbers. Since the elderly population of this country is greatly expanding, does that mean we will have more clout in society? If so, maybe we could solve some issues in health care and education, but that’s another blog. However, we might be able to make some progress against age-ism.
Living in a cooperative community for people starting at age fifty-five is a nurturing lifestyle. The environment here at Becketwood is set up to encourage, respect and support us in our independence. There are exercise classes to keep us fit, bridge clubs to keep us sharp and a whole wide range of other programs to pique our interest and curiosity. My friend Bill retired from the Website Committee at age ninety-six, and still walks briskly through the halls with his walker, faster than I can on two feet! I’ve learned a valuable lesson – that the oldest people living at Becketwood are often the most beautiful and worthwhile. My goal is someday to become one of them.