Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean coming to you from the beautiful Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!! The blog post and podcast is an opinion piece and only reflects this author’s opinion and not that of any other entity. Today I talk about whatever comes to mind so another stream of consciousness blog post and podcast a lot of which centers on getting older. I discuss anything except politics…that’s just too infuriating. You’re welcome for this public service I’m preforming. If you want to find out more, then stay tuned…!
As I looked out the window when I started the post, I saw the fifth snowfall warning in five weeks. This one didn’t even wait for the weekend to hit. I was counting on the weekend thing. Made an appointment for our COVID booster shots…and luckily the weather changed to warm and the roads were pretty clear. See, we had snow, then rain, then snow…it was a mix with rain and snow and ended with huge flakes and it was slushy. We were lucky it didn’t freeze or we’d have an Island wide skating rink to deal with. Weather has been strange this year. I think I heard something about the El Nino during the summer and El Nina during this winter. These are described in more detail in the following article (http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/history/ln-2010-12/ENSO-what.shtml). It results in warmer summer which is often followed by the El Nina for a colder winter. No it doesn’t nullify all the talk of climate change. It’s just regular fluctuations that happen from time to time. No matter your opinion on climate change, we still can get fluctuations generally the El Nino during the summer is associated with a colder winter for the El Nina.
Writing is not always easy. Today for instance, the rain and snow mix messed with the internet…so looking up information was going to be dicey and would have to wait until I could access again. I was worried about roads for the booster. Turns out most of the things didn’t end up happening. It could have stayed cold and the weather would have made it so that we had to cancel. I’m glad to have it over (the booster), but for me, this means a few days of fatigue, achiness and having trouble staying focused. So, I pass this benefit on to you and this could be a shorter and rambling post. I do, obviously feel it was important to get it given how sick and miserable I get with it. I knew I would have some side-effects. I always do. I tend to have more than the average when side-effects are a thing.
Generally, there are a lot of things that people can suffer side effects to. Some of these including aging and some include weather. I did have some kind of understanding that the weather could have an effect on people as they get older. I think I was hoping that it would wait until I was a lot older. No such luck. My hip is worse when it is winter weather. This is just a part of getting older. (https://www.chestercountyhospital.org/news/health-eliving-blog/2019/may/how-weather-and-arthritis-are-connected#:~:text=The%20effect%20of%20humidity%20%E2%80%94%20moisture,better%20on%20warmer%2C%20sunnier%20days) For those who wonder if it is a valid thing there is an article to talk more on it. Something I hadn’t noticed earlier in life (maybe because we moved to a dryer area of the country). Now, that I moved back home to the Maritimes to live, in PEI, I get what I refer to as weather headaches. This is when a change in weather is upcoming. It doesn’t happen always, but when it does, I’m pretty incapacitated for the day. Apparently a sort of migraine (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/expert-answers/migraine-headache/faq-20058505#:~:text=For%20some%20people%2C%20weather%20changes,you%20may%20be%20understandably%20frustrated). So, people don’t often think of the general changes that one experiences as they get older. These are things that I have noticed most. I have also noticed that I don’t have the same levels of energy I had when I was 25. Our favourite saying around here is, “I’m not 25 anymore”. Especially when tired or not feeling great because we overdo it. Of course there is also the after a vaccination for me. I then feel all of my years.
I’m not sure if people noticed, but there are all these positive quotes about getting older and all these sayings…aging like fine wine type of thing. For example, “The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles!” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. I suppose people don’t want to think about difficulty with mobility, difficulty with hips, knees, etc. They want to think we’re endlessly wonderful like we were at 25. Though as Andy Rooney said, “It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.” So this might be the answer. We need to acknowledge all parts of ourselves. The aging that results in us learning more about life and developing a different understanding of ourselves. I think to find just good or just bad doesn’t tell the whole story of aging. Being realistic, I’m rather happy to be getting older given the alternative.
Maurice Chevalier is credited with popularizing the old saying, “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.” (https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/07/10/old-age/) though humorous, it is also realistic. If one gives up living because, as my mother often says, “getting old is not for sissies” to give a shortened quote from Bette Davis, then one does indeed become old. This is why it is always good to have things to occupy one’s mind and time. The body might not move as fast. There might be some things that are not as much fun as they once were. This also depends on heredity and medical history. Some of us age physically at a different rates. My aging, which is coming up to 60 next year, consists of some pains and aches, but I’m still highly capable of amusing myself with photography, knitting, writing, reading and a variety of things. Where I used to walk for hours on end in my 20’s and literally could go out with one person in the afternoon for a walk, and then another in late evening and have both of them tired out, I can’t do that anymore. I still enjoy walking though miles and miles is generally going to result in my being tired. I strongly suggest keeping some kind of exercise regime. My Aunt was told by someone in a medical profession that the most of the problems for the elderly are when they fall and injure limbs, break hips and such and there are exercises that can help lessen the possibility of that. Therefore they suggest keeping up some medically approved exercise. They say that even things such as surgery are tolerated much better when someone is keeping up a certain amount of exercise. If you are not certain what is safe or what to do, your doctor can likely advise you or refer you to a program for people of your age range. Your body will thank you for it.
It is important to continue to have a life. Do things that you value. I’ve found it most interesting that one of my old Great Uncles, when I was a kid, used to walk to the head of the road where we lived. He was at least 70 at the time. He’d get back toward getting home and stop at our place and complain about not understanding why he was tired. My father would chat with him for a bit and when it got close to bed time would run him home in the car. It would have tired someone half his age. He also went through two hips … the second of which so he could dance at his daughter’s wedding or was it Grand-daughter’s. As Ben Franklin was credited with saying, “Those who love deeply never grow old, they may die of old age, but they die young”. My Great Uncle lived every day of his life and still died in fleur de l’âge (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/french-english/fleur-de-l-age). Translated as in the Flower of Youth. I remember my French teacher in Junior High School or High School discussing someone having died with that saying yet being very old. It hit me as an appropriate description of some of my relatives. I think that growing up with my elderly family around, I got to learn a lot about aging and resilience. Despite having been injured in a logging accident and losing the use of one of his hands, my Great Uncle continued to do work, worked the farm and kept busy throughout his life. You have to deal with what is. You have to keep on finding ways to keep things interesting. You have to accept who you are. You have to keep on keeping on. Life isn’t always fair, but it is certainly worth continuing on and exploring the outer boundaries and find ways to continue to learn, grow and improve.
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