Aging Gracefully: No Moaning and Groaning Allowed

Do you moan and groan? Or just put up and shut up?

I got the best phone call at 8 o'clock one recent morning from my older son, Jonathan. (Of course, when the phone rang that early, my first inclination was to think, "Uh-oh, what's wrong?" But that's just me. Or a lot of us, most likely.)

The call went something like this:

"Mom, a woman got into the elevator and another woman asked her, 'How are you?' 'Oy,' she said, 'My back, my knees … I'm having trouble walking. I'm getting so old. Gonna turn 60 next week.' Mom, I'm so glad you're so not like that."

After smiling and loving what he said, I thought something like this:

You should only hear those so-called voices inside my head. "Damn this left knee. Wish it didn't hurt so much. I wonder if the spin class was a bad idea? Crap, my back hurts today—yesterday's barre class really did me in. I can't believe I misplaced my keys again. I'm turning 60 in October, and I hope I never, ever come across like that woman.

But I simply said this:

Thanks, honey. That makes me feel so good.

And it does. Because aging, while it brings many issues (I'm trying not to call them "problems"), and while it can be challenging and tough, is something I feel fortunate to be here to experience.

I remember my grandmother—a woman who never complained, even though I knew she had some physical limitations. She insisted on taking the stairs rather than the elevator and doing things like taking voice lessons when she was in her 80s. Before there was health food, she was eating it; before exercise was the thing to do, she was doing it.

That's what I call graceful.

And that's how I want to be.

Moaning and groaning gets you nowhere, after all.

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