How I Know I’m Getting Old
I know I’m getting old, surprisingly this isn’t because my body has lots of aches and pains; because I’m forgetful; stuck in my ways; no – I know this because of how I spend my time. A recent study bought this home to me, it found:
Retirees spend more than twice as much time watching television and movies. They spend about four times as much time reading for pleasure. They give more time to eating and drinking. They spend twice as much time preparing meals and shopping for food. They go further afield for other shopping and they’ll drive farther to dine out. While workers tend to ignore lawn, garden and houseplant care, retirees devote themselves to it.
What does this tell us? Two things. First, when work disappears people become more “productive” in their homes. They become more attentive buyers, better shoppers. And they may eat better because they spend more time preparing food. This, some researchers have suggested, is why spending on food decreases for most people when they retire. If they are better shoppers, it may also explain other declines in spending.
Although my body hurts, for a few days a month I’m pain free. I know that deep down, underneath the Still Disease is a body that works well, that’s strong; full of energy; with a brain that’s crystal clear. Underneath the inflammation is a body that still works just fine. But even on those good days, I’m still old because this is still true for me:
The young find their happiness in excitement. Older people find their happiness in contentment— enjoying small moments rather than big events
I’d rather be content most days of the year than euphoric for a few. In fact every day that I’m pain free I’m euphoric anyway, so I’m getting the benefits of ‘high excitement’ without the cost, risk or planning. On the bad days I’m looking for the small wins that make me content; the seaside walks, the wonderful books, the compelling TV series; the quiet mornings writing in my favourite cafes; the ice cold diet coke; the meals out.
Getting old’s not so bad!
I wrote this post in Caffe Nero, sipping ice cold diet coke and thinking of walking in the Lake District once the wind and rain calms down. To keep me going I chose a picture of Haweswater on the eastern edge of the Lakes.