The simple indulgence that made me feel young again 37



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I don’t know what age this stuff starts happening for most people, but for me, about ten months ago I started thinking about how I was going to face the future and the whole business of getting older.

I had noticed stuff about my body and my mind which gave me the idea that things were changing a bit. Maybe I was not quite the same, even though, like many of us, I can still do pretty well everything I used to do. And, if sometimes I lapse a little, it usually doesn’t take too much energy or willpower to get back on track.

But I was still thinking about the changes. For me, one of the hardest life lessons I’ve had to face is to get used to the need for change. Stuff I get used to moves around on me – people, ideas, food, money, health, relationships, even the blinking climate! Sometimes it all seems so hard, as if I am moving against the tide and the worst feeling of all is realising that yep, I seem to be well out of date with the majority of the population. My age tells me I am.

I sounded out of date; I looked out of date; I felt dismissed and categorised. And yet, I also knew that what I nursed inside me was of value.

I think it really means something to have lived into your sixties, let alone beyond that. I would never have thought I could be this old. I have got this far and in so many ways, I still feel as young as I did in my twenties, but with a whole lot more training. I know I’m not the only older person who thinks this way, but no one else out there in the wide world seems to understand us.

So what was I going to do about this underlying sense of alienation? Being older and yet not feeling part of things; the way I had always been. I thought about it for a while, and finally decided I would get some help; some advice. I needed to find out what was necessary to change in key areas of my life.

With the help of some birthday and Christmas money, I called three experts: a fashion stylist, a nutritionist and a podiatrist.

The first thing I did was have the fashion stylist to go through my wardrobe. Oh yes! I learnt about colour and body shape and a whole lot more.

The second thing I did was to consult with a nutritionist about my diet. Soon my slightly-too-high blood pressure dropped to normal just by timing my meals properly.

The third thing I did was to see a podiatrist for some orthotics, which was a very good idea indeed, and probably is for most of us. A lifetime of compensating for a slightly unbalanced gait has been corrected. My bones are realigning as I write!

Each of these professionals has made me look at things differently. I’m not saying I now look and walk like a fashion model or indeed, that I don’t lapse into sugar cravings on occasion (just like everyone else). But the value of getting some help, when I thought I was doing most stuff fairly well, made me realise what I didn’t know and that was very useful.

I guess the value is in knowing that you are ready to learn and prepared for change and can take it on, just the way you used to in your twenties. How cool is that?

Can you relate to this Starts at 60 reader? What simple decision has changed your life? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below.

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Dodo Fischer

Dodo Fischer is a community blogger from Perth, eager to write about what's truly important to older people in our culture. Like many of in this age group, she follow current affairs and reads widely. She is passionate about challenging the mainstream misconceptions concerning older people (why does nobody market fashion to the over 50s?) and promoting important ideas (such as the importance of a good education system for our kids).

  1. What a great idea to call on advice like you did. It’s a common thing to feel alienated at our age,now that the powers that be have named and shamed us. You have had the courage to stand up to their stereo typing us. I think we all need an occasional re image,and I think you are so right,be open to change and be flexible! For myself,I’m so glad when the kids got computers,that we went along and had lessons,otherwise we would have been left like dinosaurs!

  2. Wouldn’t it be lovely if things were that easy to fix, well of course we would all be willing to do it however for many of us with mobility and or balance issues it is not so easy. I thought I was going to be a new person once I had both knee replacements done in the last 12 months but unfortunately I have now been told I have baker cysts behind one of my knees and it is preventing me from being able to walk, so I really haven’t bounced back and it’s hard for me to think I will at this time.

  3. The decision to always try to turn negatives in my life around. Its a matter of perspective and attitude. That decision changed my life.

    1 REPLY
    • I like your thinking, Philomena!
      So much in life is mind over matter/positive thinking. Don’t you agree?

  4. Why is the mind and the body not both agree – we are a little older and some things we can not do or do as well as when we where young but why do we still do those hard things ? The body issues get in the way of many physical things so it takes more time and attention to keep the older vehicle running smoothly – we have to update more than the wardrobe, shoes hair colour etc mine is hearing aides, glasses, CPAP machine, comfortable shoes….then my natural hormone replacement therapy I cost me a fortune to run…

  5. A well written article, Dodo! The one thing that makes me feel old is being constantly told I am – labelled as a ‘senior’, ‘pensioner’, ‘elderly’…….I don’t need to be ‘told’! I know I am! But I’m also a lot of other things – I’m wise, I’m mature, I’m knowledgeable and even if my body tells me differently, I’m still ‘young’ in my heart!

    4 REPLY
    • Yes agree heard on the radio news an elderly person had been robbed it the went in to say the were 56!!

    • Libby Johnson That’s exactly what I mean, Libby! Getting robbed is no less traumatic at any age. I’ve always had an issue about ‘labelling’. When I married (in the mid 70’s) suddenly I stopped being ‘Sue’ – I was ‘Mrs…….’ then I had children and I was ‘David’s or James’ mother and now I’m 61 and I’m ‘elderly’!!

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