Who Knows What’s Next?

what's next

My mother-in-law Rosalie often quipped an adage up to the week before she died at the age of 100: “Old age isn’t for sissies.”

QuoteInvestigator.com says that the phrase first appeared in the Reader’s Digest April 1968 magazine, having been submitted to their “Life in the United States” section by a Ruth Hain from California. Ruth’s story was that her group of elderly friends had been sitting around complaining of various aches and pains and the maladies associated with aging. Until finally one friend said, “Well, it just proves one thing; old age sure ain’t for sissies.”

As we age we hear more about decline, both physical and mental. Maybe we clicked on one social media article about aging and the algorithms kicked in, gleefully filling our news feeds and inboxes with notices about the hazards of getting on in years.

Many of them scare us because we don’t want to be THAT person who ends up with Alzheimer’s, or THAT person confined to a bed or a wheelchair, or THAT person who has been forgotten and is living in isolation.

The older we get, the more frightening the concept of not being the same version of ourselves becomes.

Next month I will cross the calendar date when I will officially be closer to 70 than 69.

May I just say that feels impossible?

For the past ten years I haven’t minded sharing that I’m in my 60s. I had a blast at my 50th high school reunion in 2018, reminiscing with all the other 68-year-olds. Keeping active in all the ways that it counts (spiritually, mentally, physically, socially), I haven’t felt my age. I don’t feel old.

So I’m not certain why the idea of becoming 70 in the fall feels like a dramatic turning point.

The “aging” site that most frequently pops up in my email feed is called NextAvenue.org. Their tagline is “where grown-ups keep growing,” and their menu tabs are: Health / Money and Policy / Work and Purpose / Living / Caregiving / Technology.

Unlike many of the “you’re-getting-old-and-you-need-to-be-afraid-of-what’s-coming-next” sites, articles, and stories, Next Avenue offers encouragement, insight, inspirational stories, and advice to those in their midlife season.

I like it because it’s not one of those preachy sites that makes it seem as though there is just one right way to live your older life. And actually, it parallels my teaching and writing methods: offering up new information in a positive way for readers to consider and then ponder how they might find ways of incorporating the ideas to improve their own lives.

I’ve included a link below so you can check out their site.

So for now, this is your 69 years, four months, and 22 days old blogger signing off.

~~~~~

QuoteInvestigator.com

Next Avenue

9 thoughts on “Who Knows What’s Next?

  1. Ellen Miller says:

    Hi Norma,
    I enjoy Next Avenue as well. Lots of very good inspirational and positive information. I am only a few years behind you, and my husband is about a month ahead of you! We really do not know how this aging thing happened, but my mother at 95 years old is thriving!
    She is lamenting about how lonely she will be when I go home tomorrow. She has social contact with someone for at least a few hours every day. Aging is a challenge, but I am ready to take it on! I know you are too, my friend!

    • Norma Thatcher says:

      Yes, our conversation about the article on visiting a new baby in Next Avenue has been on my mind and that’s why I included it in this post. I’m happy your mom is doing so well. Having her all these years as a grownup has been a blessing for you and your beautiful family. Yesterday was my own mom’s birthday (Feb 23) but she died at the age of 76 in 1996. Laura and Tim were just 13 and 10, respectively, so Laura doesn’t have a lot of memories of her.

  2. Judy Jones says:

    Dearest Norma,
    Age is just a number, so I’ve heard!
    All the while reading this blog, I kept thinking of my sister-in-law, Mollyanne. I share your blog with her always! She just turned 73 and she has a zest for life!!!! She is determined to enjoy everything that is, i guess, is on her bucket list! Here is her list of things she has accomplished in the past couple years:
    sailing by herself, shooting lessons, drag raced her ’04 350 Z, hang gliding at Kitty Hawk, co-piloted a small plane over Canyonlands, Utah, Several days camping/hiking Arches National park, snowshoeing,
    skiing, tubing down the mountain near Salt Lake City, zip lining and rope bridges in West Va.,hiking Angel trail in the Grand canyon, bicycled across Canada 210 miles, also bicycled through Maine, Tennessee, and Virginia, travel to hand dances, and just finished drum lessons.
    She is an avid collector of toys, trains, bears, large stuffed animals, Japanese lithophane tea sets, music boxes, church fans, castles, and stables.
    New plans:
    balloon ride, skydive, deep sea diving, and get a motorcycle license, ride horses, lift weights, and be a body builder!
    In addition she has 5 children and 20 grandchildren and two great grand-children!
    I have to say I’m very proud of her, but i’m exhausted just typing this <3

    • Norma Thatcher says:

      OMGosh!! Where does she live? It sounds as though she needs to be interviewed for my blog! That’s amazing. I’ve got to ask though; how does one “collect castles”? And church fans, for that matter. What exactly is a church fan?!

    • Jen Curry says:

      Norma, I love your blog! I’m going to send this to my mother who is 74 and lives on her phone, scrolling through social media, reading all the pages that talk about aging. I love the comment Judy Jones made about her sister-in-law and everything she accompanied on her bucket list. She needs to go into Guinness book of world records for the most events checked off ones bucket list in a year. We should all have such goals. Maybe then we wouldn’t feel so old!😊

  3. Jen Curry says:

    Norma, I love your blog! I’m going to send this to my mother who is 74 and lives on her phone, scrolling through social media, reading all the pages that talk about aging. I love the comment Judy Jones made about her sister-in-law and everything she accompanied on her bucket list. She needs to go into Guinness book of world records for the most events checked off ones bucket list in a year. We should all have such goals. Maybe then we wouldn’t feel so old!😊

    • Norma Thatcher says:

      Jen, thanks so much for your supportive comments. Give your mom a hug for me because she sounds as special as you are. And yes, I’m going to interview Mollyanne later in the spring. It should be fascinating!

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