January 31, 2007 Edition

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Old is old

By Vivian Heyl
TD Staff

For those of you who remember the old advertising slogan "You're not getting older you're getting better," I suggest that yes we are getting older and considering the alternative I'm pretty happy about it. Now as to that getting better part of the ad, there's not much left of me that's anywhere close to what it used to be -- let alone getting better.

It seems every morning there's a few more wrinkles, my joints protest a little louder, my hair is a little thinner and my hiney is a little wider. The energy of my youth has rapidly disappeared and not even Geritol will bring it back.

I especially notice my lack of stamina in the presence of my grandchildren who in the span of a few short hours can leave me exhausted, while they on the other hand seem to have as much energy as when we started.

My grandson, who is three, takes particular delight in patting my cheek and telling me, "It will be okay, Grandma, you just need a nap." He on the other hand resists napping with every fiber of his being.

I also have a five-year-old granddaughter who never seems to tire of playing puppets. I am a veteran puppeteer now, with approximately one million puppet performances in the last five years.

My grandchildren are a constant source of joy and are one aspect of getting older that I have met with enthusiasm.

I'm not sure who started the rumor that life begins at 40 or that old age is a myth, but I am sure they had left reality and moved to the state of denial. I'm not saying getting older is bad. I have plenty to look forward to. There are a lot of things I want to do with my life but just at a kinder, gentler pace.

There is also the unexplored possibility that I can exploit aging to my benefit. If I don't want to listen to something I can fain being hard of hearing. If I'm not crazy about an activity I can blame arthritis for my lack of participation. And best of all I can say any absurd thing I want and everyone will blame it on senility.

This old age gig might not be so bad after all.

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