March 19th, 2014
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Aging.  Knowing that it’s happening to all of us is not very consoling.  I see the effects of the years of living on myself, especially when someone takes a picture of me.  I definitely don’t like it and I wonder how I arrived at middle age so quickly.
I know that sounds so cliché but it’s true.  I see those grey hairs working their way out of my scalp and for now those bad boys get dyed.  I also see lines starting to form on my face in places where I don’t want them but I don’t hate them so much that I would get botox injections or go under the knife.  Too scary.
As my mother says, “Every year is just a little more maintenance, and then a little more and then suddenly it takes you an hour to do what it used to take you ten minutes to do.”  Okay Mom.  I am working to accept it for I know it’s inevitable.
That said, I do try to take care of myself and work hard to stay in shape and minimize the effects of the sun and other bad health decisions on my body; particularly my skin.  My personal theory about getting older is that it’s all about your physical and mental energy: walking with a purpose, thinking good thoughts and approaching each day with a certain amount of zest!
I’m thinking of this subject today because a friend emailed me a recent interview NPR did with British author Penelope Lively (love her last name!) about her new book, Dancing Fish and Ammonites, a book that 81-year-old Lively says is about her “view from old age,” a place I don’t think about much because it once seemed to be a place so far, far away.

British author Penelope Lively


In particular in the interview, Lively talks about how it felt like to adjust to the unfortunate death of her husband, Jack, at 69-years old from cancer and her keen observations on how women and men adapt differently to going on with life after the death of a spouse.

Lively also notes that she is part of a new demographic in the Western world: for the first time, there’s a large segment of the population over 80 and she notes that the effects of the additional time and attention it takes to care for such a large population of older people on the rest of society are yet to be seen.

Here, for all to read, and also listen to if you wish, is the link to Lively’s NPR interview and pages from her insightful book:

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