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What No One Tells You About Getting Older, Until It’s Too Late

By Carol Wyer April 29, 2023 Lifestyle

I’ve always had a “so-what” approach to getting older. In my youth, I did all those foolhardy things we are warned to avoid – I drank too much, I partied all night, and I never went sunbathing without first dowsing myself in virgin olive oil to make sure I got a deep brown. How foolish was I? The answer is, very foolish indeed.

The trouble for me and for many others my age is that I don’t feel old. Most days I am convinced I am trapped in my 30s, until I walk past a mirror and wonder what my mother is doing staring out at me.

The first indicator I got that I was aging was my eyesight. I’ve always had poor eyesight but once I began walking into cupboards and falling off pavements, I realized I was getting older.

On the plus side, I can’t actually see the wrinkles that are mapped across my face – what you can’t see, doesn’t exist, right?

However, like it or not, I have got older and as my mother always said, getting older isn’t for sissies. She’s my heroine. At82 she still partied the nights away with friends. Her legendary Twister party went down in the annals of history with the locals in Cyprus (and the doctors who had to treat those who got stuck on the mat in contorted positions playing it). Anyway, because she also refused to age gracefully, she neglected to tell me all the things I could expect as I got older so some came as a shock to me.

In an attempt to enlighten others to the perils of getting older, here is my list of what no one tells you until it’s too late:

You Will Morph Into an Alien

Ladies, one morning you will wake up to discover your eyebrows have migrated south and taken up residence above your upper lip. You will either have to have them tattooed back on – ouch! Or start using an eyebrow pencil. I advocate the latter as you can have enormous fun putting on one eyebrow higher than the other and giving yourself a quizzical air or for full-on fun, put them on upside down and scare people.

You Will Develop a Superpower – Invisibility

Honestly. You will be walking along the mall one morning, thinking about what to buy for your lunch and a woman, on a mobile phone or chatting to a friend pushing a baby buggy, will approach from the opposite direction and aim directly for you. They will not move out of the way, and you will be forced into a doorway to escape from being run down.

Or, you will walk into a store and try as you might to attract the attention of a salesperson you will fail. They will continue to talk about their families and boyfriends and ignore you. Congratulations! You have just become invisible.

I use this new superpower to amuse myself by wearing a lampshade on my head and travelling up and down the escalator in the department store. Amazing what you can get away with.

You Will Find Yourself Comparing Breakfast Cereals for the Best Bran Content

Forget buying tasty, sugary cereals that you used to enjoy, or bagels and peanut butter. You will find yourself naturally drawn to nutritious bran-enriched cereal and… prunes.

Actually, you won’t be able to eat a lot of the stuff you used to enjoy. You can kiss goodbye to those extra fries for one thing. All those carbs will just make your stomach blow up and give you stomach ache. You’ll be kept awake listening to your stomach groaning as IBS plays you up and has you reaching for the anti-acid tablets. I recommend you live on small bowls of soup and sandwiches – it makes for easy meal planning!

You’ll Wander Into a Room and Forget Why

It happens to us all. You’ll trundle down the stairs, enter the kitchen and wonder what you’ve gone in for. Or, you’ll open the fridge and discover the washing up liquid in the place you normally put the milk.

This is quite acceptable as is checking you have turned off the hob several times after you have already locked up the house and returning to the car to see if you have actually locked it.

If this has started happening, stick a post-it note on your head to remind you and hopefully that will help, as long as you remember you have a post-it note on your head.

You Will Start to Make Pom-Pom-Pom Noises for No Good Reason or Grunt When You Get Up From a Chair

Men are mostly the culprits in this department. For some unfathomable reason, they’ll burst into a non-musical version of a pom-pom-pom song much like the character Winnie The Pooh. Some may take to whistling tunelessly instead while many females will merely end up talking to themselves.

Both sexes will begin to let out a wheeze as they stand up; even those who are slim and don’t have bad joints. I’ve decided it must be compulsory and have adopted a grunt that I use when I stand up on buses and trains. It certainly confuses people who wonder where it’s come from – after all, I am invisible!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What did you least expect about getting older? What aspects of the aging process do you find funny, intriguing or unexpected? Please join the conversation.

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I’m 68+ , retired teacher of 40 yrs. And one very aggravating question that always comes up is … ” So what are you doing now that you’re retired …..” ??? The expected answer means where are you working , not really what are you doing …

My wife and I are comfortable but by now means wealthy , and I’ve stopped being nice or feeling guilty about my answer. My answer is ….Nothing , Something, we’ll see what the day brings ! And the people who ask the question are usually ticked off by my answer. Some people like to work forever. Getting old enough to enjoy what it was like to not have a schedule, deadline, pressure, is the greatest thing in the world !
And it’s amazing how each day fills up !?

Which leads me to age and tolerance for other adults who are pains in the ass, and full of crap . The greatest thing about teaching was the kids, high school kids….. I never laughed so hard or felt so useful , it was a job to look forward to every day .
Now let’s move to adults at this point that are around my age . There are very few I would want to waste any time with. Most are phony, show offs, talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. They insist on forcing opinions as truth and get aggressive and insulting. I’d rather spend time with a good book or movie and my cat than go to dinner with clowns that can’t even carry on a conversation ….. Good God, 9th. Graders were more interesting than most of these so called “friends”…!
Older adult true friends aren’t as simple to establish as friends when you are in your teens and young adult years. These are not friends that you really want to go out of your way to spend time with …

Trying to not be cynical becomes harder by 68. And there’s a myth going around about lonliness….. I suppose some older people desperately need others to cling to.
I for one do not … I find more company from a friendly waitress at the local diner than a forced dinner date with someone to boast about their latest trip to Europe ..
In fact striking up conversations with otherwise strangers is fun and more interesting than dragging on and on about a friend’s latest hernia operation …Lol…

Ok , had to just blow that off to feel better !
And I don’t think I’m totally alone in this scenario …Thoughts anyone ?

Jeanne Quinn

how often my berother, who is 90 and I at 88 wish our grandparents were still around or wishing we’d known what to ask them when they were…true, a lot has changed but getting older hasn’t…

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The Author

Award-winning writer of humorous fiction and non-fiction Carol E Wyer also performs stand up comedy. Carol has been interviewed by numerous radio stations and BBC Breakfast, Sky and NBC about ageing issues including 'Irritable Male Syndrome'. She has written for several national magazines and websites including the Huffington Post HUFF/50. Carol believes that we should all attempt to age disgracefully.

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