You do NOT say that age is an excuse for not being able to (fill in the blank here)
If you know me, you know what's coming. I've been writing a few articles this week about having to give up my house and move. Two years ago I had to do the same thing and was stuck with packing and moving nearly all my stuff, by myself, those endless boxes of stuff that I am now schlepping over to the consignment store to sell.
This time around I have one hand out of commission almost completely, and I can't afford to hire a team for several reasons. First, I emptied my savings into the house, second, those teams have staffing issues and are completely booked out. Then third, they are three times as expensive as in 2020.
So, this 70-year-old woman is on her own, but for those items too damned big, and for that, the consignment store will allow me to hire an employee to take that stuff over. One item is a 350-lb stone Buddha. Kindly, not in my range at the moment.
The rest is all on me. Life doesn't care that my hands hurt. Life goes on and you respond to the demands presented. At least in my world you do. You can cast around for excuses or you can just get it done.
So I am not a fan of anyone's using age as the age-old excuse. Here's what happened.
One of my articles inspired a reader over on Medium to single out "the woman who wants to travel at 70" (that would be this author) and state baldly:
To the lady who is 70 and wants to travel. Don’t wait. Travel gets harder when you get older, I did a photography trip when I was 73 and dragging luggage and doing a lot of walking wasn’t easy.
Well, first, I've been a traveling and adventuring fool now since 58. Nothing new here. And this traveling fool has been training awfully hard for five decades. Just saying.
Second, I responded, with respect, that age has little to do with this. The woman responded that she's been active her whole life and and and. Look, each of us has a story and each of us has a journey. The point I made, AGAIN, was that her experiences with her body do not necessarily dictate a truth for anyone else. Eight billion different versions of life out there, and your experience means little when it comes to mine, witness the Magic Weight Loss Secrets That Don't Work For Anyone Else.
Then, and this is a big mistake folks, she writes me back again and states:
Thank you for your response. When I was 70, I expected to breeze through as I was walking 3 miles a day and doing fitness classes. The problem is when something happens and you can’t exercise , you learn patience. And whether you want to accept it,aging happens. Just ask the guy who did Beach Body. He was diagnosed with sarcopeniaq in his 60’s. I am now more empathetic than I used to be. Life happens and I try to go with the flow.
This is my world. First, the man she's referring to?
Here's part of my response:
Beach Body guy Tony Horton didn't get diagnosed with sarcopenia, which is common to all human beings as a natural part of aging. He got diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
Every human being on earth who lives past the age of 25 experiences sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss. EVERYONE. Live long enough, you will. You can slow it down considerably with weight work. But it still happens. So this is bogus. You don't get "diagnosed" with it as though it's a disease. It's not a disease, it's the medical term for what happens to every single living being on earth when we age.
Second, do the damned research before you use such a vapid argument. If you're trying to be right, do the research. Don't slap a fancy-sounding word into an argument that makes you sound smart in your own mind (look, I've done it myself) and which, to a well-researched writer who specializes in this topic, you look like a ripe fool.
The writer made a flat statement about aging that is just plain WRONG. Then goes on to make a further fool of herself by using terminology and an example that aren't even relevant.
Those piss me off. Not because they offend me, but because aging folks like this are pulling arguments out of their asses to justify the condition they are in and to then tell others that as they age, this too will happen to you.
THAT PISSES ME OFF.
I had reached out on Medium for photos of older folks, and one of my readers sent me a few photos. Three of them are used in this article, with heartfelt thanks (and sorry for the delay) because I am so effing tired of folks using age as an excuse.
Will you please. Age most certainly is a factor. However as with all things, you and I can do a great deal to mitigate sarcopenia, the loss of our cardiovascular health with regular workouts and movement. Plenty of you Dear Readers send me stories and examples of what you are doing, and those continue to motivate me to keep right on going.
I will of course get over my irritation the moment I publish this article, because I have a pooload of work to do to get more pictures off the wall and more stuff to move to consignment. Yesterday I picked up a slew of boxes at UHaul, a thing I SWORE I would never do again (be really careful what you swear, because the Goddess giggles).
Today my real estate agent comes by to take photos of the outside of my house. Things are moving REALLY fast. Who knows what's next?
Depending on what the Goddess says when I decide what I think I am going to do, I may well be launching a brand new backpacking career at 70. I've got work to do, surgeries to manage and LOTS more PT in my future. And one hell of a lot of boxes of stuff to sell instead of move this time. That's all on me, and the occasional generous friend.
What I do know is that this 70 year-old-woman is NOT under any circumstances going to use age as an excuse. I will joke about it, make fun of it, poke holes in it. Aging is a natural process. AND there are a thousand things you and I can do to manage it better. Using it as a crutch to argue what you can't do is a copout in my book.
You can have excuses or you can have a life. Choose one. If you want a life, let's do the damned work.
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