Very many losses and gains

Warning. If you are under the age of 60, perhaps you should read no further. To do so may be hazardous to your peace of mind.

I want to talk about some of the many things we slightly older (or even much older), people have to endure. Things that await us all.

One of the worst things is loss. We keep losing so many things. Spectacles. Car keys. Gardening gloves.

I’m not just talking about minor losses, like one’s patience or one’s equilibrium, but things of the major variety.

One’s friends, for instance. A tragic happening for superannuitants is the frequency with which the names of friends keep appearing in the deaths columns of newspapers.

Then there is the loss of health. To start with, we lose the elasticity of youth. Then trips to the doctor become more frequent.

Did I forget to mention that one’s memory isn’t what it used to be?  I need to say it, although often when I tell something to my wife she informs me I’d already told her that very same thing yesterday.

And then there’s the loss of hearing. For some inexplicable reason the people on television now talk much more quietly than they did a few years ago. In fact, these days many people seem to whisper.

Along with the diminution in the loss of hearing there’s a reduction in one’s eyesight (which may not altogether be a bad thing, because some contemporaries are starting to look past their best, what with the wrinkles on their faces and the lines under their eyes).

I’m too polite to draw attention to the loss of my slim figure, but I definitely had one once.   Loss, loss, loss.   Is that all that awaits?

No, there are some definite advantages in growing older.

To start with, we have increased time. In 1800, life expectancy was 35 years. In 1900, it was 46 years. In 1950, it was 68 years. Today, it is 78.5 years. Our life span has gone up ten years since many of us were born.

Other advantages include not having to be early at work. Time to tackle the daily cryptic crossword. Time to read, and to potter in the garden. A growing tolerance. Studies suggest many people grow more liberal as they age. Evidently, maturity means one no longer feels threatened by some of the insecurities that trouble younger people.

For more of Reg’s blog entries, visit: