Is Age Just a Number?

I came across this tidbit about aging in my reading travels:

Alice Roosevelt Longworth, for example, the only daughter of President Teddy Roosevelt, summed it up this way: “First you’re young. Then you’re middle aged. Then you’re wonderful.”

After doing a little research as to what actually constitutes middle age, it appears I am approaching that kind of “wonderful.”

But how can that be when I feel pretty wonderful already?

Reading this month’s Arthritis Today magazine, I am reminded that there are those who suffer so much more with RA than I’ve had to. Even at my worst, I wasn’t as bad as some. I feel for those who have had to deal with joint replacement(s) because of this scourge of a disease.

For one thing, all that it involves, the medical intrusions and interventions. Though I spent the better part of my life in Nursing, I’m still a weenie when it comes to needles, and I’m even more of a coward when it comes to scalpels. I cannot for the life of me understand how all these movie star people submit themselves to voluntary reconstruction, sometimes for the worst.

There’s pain, people!

I guess I don’t have that vanity gene in sufficient abundance. I prefer to age naturally, staying as far away from sharp, pointy objects as possible. At my last rheumy visit I had to have a talk with the insurance person. They were charging me incredible co-pays with my new insurance. “We have to submit the largest fee to the insurance,” she said. “In case the doctor has to do certain procedures.”

I wanted to say, “But all we do is talk, and then we fiddle with my meds. There’s no needles!” But I didn’t because I’m a little superstitious. I left it there. And wouldn’t you know it, a few weeks later I received a refund check.

But anyhow, just because I want to age gracefully doesn’t mean I want to look gracefully old. I still want to look good. And more importantly, I want to feel good.

The way I feel now, physically and mentally, does not jibe with my chronological age. I regressed some time ago. I woke up and said, hey, I’ve missed too many years spending time with my uninvited, unwanted, unbidden companion (RA). I decided I wanted those years back and I went after them with a vengeance.

I guess you could say I was Alice’s kind of “wonderful” ten years ago. Was, past tense.

In writing, the use of “was” is considered passive voice, which is sluggish and uses too many words. Make your writing crisp and tight, they say, write in active voice. I say: Better yet, live in active voice.


6 thoughts on “Is Age Just a Number?

  1. Carla Kienast

    Hi Irma: Speaking of pain and surgery — I keep telling my husband I’m getting younger. I have some joints that are only a couple of years old, so if you average out my age, I’m probably 27 or so. 🙂

    1. Irma Post author

      That sounds cool, Carla. 27 years old. A good and uplifting way to look at it. I suppose age is all in the mind. But, I know one thing, I’m glad the past is past. Wouldn’t want to relive those younger years!

    1. Irma Post author

      Thanks, J. I am doing lots better than I was a decade ago. My fervent wish is to get off all meds, or at the very least, reduce them to practically nothingness. But, yes, we must make the most of each and every day. Hoping you are doing well.

  2. phat50chick

    Irma, I’m living in as active voice as I can!! Love that. Like you, I can say that I’m better than I was 10 years ago. 20 pounds heavier, but moving better and living better than I was. The RA has subsided, the marriage ended (yippee!) and at my 30th high school reunion this summer, I think I looked pretty good. My brother said that too after looking at the pics.

    I can’t avoid the meds, but I have a pretty well tweaked regimen that suits me. Always good to get perspective from you. Enjoy.

  3. RaD mom

    Sometimes I’m actively living, and sometimes I allow myself to be more passive; usually depends on the weather;) They say you are only as old as you feel… Hmmm. Too many variables in that statement:) For me, I find there is a fine line between pushing through and seeking the good days (during which I feel young and carefree) and listening to my body. I try to push through more than not, helps keep me mentally healthy as well as physically engaged.


Love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s