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Everyday Ageism

The Golden Years, what's your take?

(91 Posts)
Spangler Wed 29-Jul-20 15:37:24

There's a crude poem about getting old, I won't print it all but if you want to see it just Google the last two lines:
"The Golden Years Have Come At Last.
The Golden Years Can Kiss My **!
When I was 19, I remember coming out of a dance venue as the heavens opened up. As luck would have it I saw a taxi with the "For Hire" sign lit up. I hailed the cab, and as it pulled over and I made a dash through the rain, a little old lady got in the way. We did one of those street dances, I went left, so did she. I went right, so did she. To my eternal shame I muttered: "Doddering old fogey." She heard me. A crooked arthritic index finger was raised. "You'll be old," she screeched. "Not as old as you," I replied and just laughed as I jumped into the taxi.

Down through the decades that voice has rattled around my head whenever some age related medical complaint has risen. And now I am old, or so the distance between my birth and now dictates.

How do I deal with it, much the same way as when I was young really. We struck lucky in that we bought a house in Hackney in East London when it was a district you only lived in because you either had to, as in a council house, or you couldn't afford to buy a property elsewhere. Then somehow Hackney became a hotspot, it became gentrified, desirable. When we sold up we made a tidy profit. Who would have thought?

Today, we enjoy a wonderful social life with a wide circle of friends, a great mix of generations and although we don't have any children, our Godchildren who have all grown up and whose weddings we attended have all produced their own children. It's like surrogate Grandchildren.

My wife and I have known each other for over 54 years, been married for 52 of them. Now retired, she indulges her life long passion of making her own clothes, and others, mostly mine, but recently she made a friend's wedding dress. She has a bespoke cabin that I treated her to, a collection of vintage sewing machines adorn the cabin walls and she has a couple of modern machines and an overlocker. She loses herself in her cabin.

My hobbies are the old vintage car that I have and a collection of records that go back to the pre-war swing era, I have a jukebox to play them on. My other hobby is work. I get some flak about that, but as my wife said, "If he's happy working, let him do it. There's not many who can say that they get paid for indulging in their hobby." I only work two shifts a week, job sharing with someone whose military pension left him with too much month at the end of his money.

We have been life long ballroom dancers and it was dancing that got us into the social circle that we so enjoy. The lockdown, or house arrest as I prefer to call it, has curtailed this year's events and that's how I managed to get on line. Never had the time nor the inclination previously. Well not exactly, I have lurked on this site for quite a long time. Reading about other's grandchildren and other facets of life is fascinating.

It's curious to me, I certainly don't want to live forever, on the other hand, I love life, not ready to pop off just yet. But this getting old malarky does have a few pitfalls, like the hip replacement that I had a while back. That, coupled with the house arrest, is going to make tripping the light fantastic something of a challenge when our release date comes. But in the meantime the everyday posts here keep me motivated.

AGAA4 Wed 29-Jul-20 16:39:02

Spangler I read a book by a doctor titled 'Sod 70'. I think you can enjoy life after that age. There can be a few problems but if you keep fit and have lots of interests then you can have a good golden age for a long time.

Hope you can get on that dance floor again soon.

Spangler Thu 30-Jul-20 07:12:27

'Sod 70,' now that sounds like a book that I could enjoy reading, thank you. And thanks for the well wishes.

Esspee Thu 30-Jul-20 07:33:49

We are in our 70s. OH bought a boat in the last year and our life, barring Covid restrictions, is full and happy. January was spent in the Caribbean, February in Egypt and we spent that gorgeous weather during lockdown in our beautiful garden or on the water. Life is golden.
If we had health problems it would, of course, be quite different.

Urmstongran Thu 30-Jul-20 07:34:24

I ❤️ my life. I’m grateful for all I have to enjoy it - good health, 2 state and 2 private pensions between us, married 46y and the icing on our cake - 2 adorable grandchildren- a boy and a girl. My cup runneth over.

I have been reading some of the ‘estrangement’ threads. I didn’t even know this was a thing. The sadness and toxicity that is posted is pretty heartbreaking.

And I daresay if bad health comes a-knocking for oneself or one’s spouse then that’s a game changer.

15 years ago, we had a hard knock during the recession and lost an enormous sum of money. I think I’m less impulsive because of that experience and appreciate all the more what I do have.

Carpe Diem.

fevertree Thu 30-Jul-20 07:39:11

Spangler one of my hobbies is 'reflecting' so I enjoyed your post.

We love road trips. Our life journey together has been long too, sometimes the road has been bumpy but in our 'golden years' the twists and turns are behind us and we are on a good straight stretch (so far)! smile

I have taken up sewing during 'house arrest' via classes on Zoom, it is wonderfully relaxing. At the end of the course, my report card was good, some things never change smile. I've made new friends, and we hope to get together in person some time. My husband also still works, 3 days a week, his choice, but no one would dare to give him flak about it wink.

There's a lovely video doing the rounds of an older couple dancing on a beach, if I can find it, I will post the link.

Have a good day and thanks for your post. thanks

MellowYellow Thu 30-Jul-20 08:01:11

Spangler, you're very blessed and I'm happy for you. I have had to readjust my life completely after an unanticipated and awful divorce. Will spare the details, but fortunately I am a cup-overflows person and have a love of life at all stages. It has occurred to me recently that we're only old once, a retake on the usual phrase, and I'm pondering on what I can make of that. The ailments of ageing are a pain of course, and I suffer those myself, but I want to make the most of the remaining time - who knows, 20 even 30 years? Family are important, especially the tinies, who keep me on my toes. I have taken up sculpture using found items - one man is sitting on a disc brake I found in the road, and I use sea-worn fishing line for the hair. I'm turning my allotment into a haven for wildlife among the few veg there. I intend to sea swim into the winter. I want to travel to places I don't like the sound of, just to be contrary, as I live in a glorious area anyway and have done my share of visiting lovely places. I used to drive a motorbike and have thought about getting another but have nowhere to keep it at my flat, so I walk, bus and train. I want to do yarn-bombing, a gently subversive occupation. I also have the book Sod 70 - it's worth a read. And I read a lovely book about a man who took up extreme sport in his 80's. Not that my hip will allow that!!!! (PS Someone has lined up a row of antique sewing machines on their garden wall near me. Bizarre, but food for thought.)

Spangler Thu 30-Jul-20 08:10:41

Esspee, love your forum name, is it an expansion of S.P. Your initials. You are in good company, Esso, the fuel company is an expansion of S.O. or, Standard Oil.

Urmstongran, I have to agree, the estrangements are a difficult read, heartbreaking really. I'm sorry to hear about your financial loss, I can certainly empathise with that. I was in business with my brother for twenty years, we had not one, but two five figure bad debts, but we rode out the storm.

fevertree, the only video's that we have of us dancing are all on VHS, someday I must get them onto a disc. My wife and I would often go to a function that wasn't ballroom, we could jive a gymnastic Rock & Roll, it always went down well. Go to this link and see the reaction that a couple of geriatrics caused when they rocked their socks off.
remotecards.blogspot.com/2009/07/old-folk-dancing-like-they-were-young.html

kittylester Thu 30-Jul-20 10:12:18

Luckily we dont have any major health issues and, prior to lockdown, we were both very busy.

DH worked full time until he was 71 and then became a volunteer with RVS.

I have never worked outside the home but have always had a volunteering role either with the children's schools or following my own interests and I love my current work with the Alzheimer's Society.

We have 5 children, 9 grandchildren and lots of family and friends we meet regularly and we are, therefore, interested in what goes on around us.

We have had really good times and really awful times over our 50 years together - together being the operative word, I think.

But, I do love this bit! grin

Apricity Thu 30-Jul-20 10:40:31

We may be a wee bit doddery, not quite as sharp as we used to be but still being around to enjoy my middle aged and far flung children, my gorgeous grandchildren, my friends, life's little adventures, my garden and books, glorious sun rises and sunsets, good food, the odd (ha ha!!!) glass of something or other (I forget what!!), the change of seasons all make me so glad I'm still here. It sure beats the alternative. 🤗

GrannyGravy13 Thu 30-Jul-20 10:41:34

GrandpaGravy is 70 this year and I was 63 last week. We are not so hands on in Family business but AC consult with us as and when.

Five children eight Grandchildren and we shall be returning to childcare duties twice a week in September.

We are fortunate that we are a very close family (including our daughter in laws parents, siblings), my sister is younger and we are close.

Really looking forward to life post COVID-19

MerylStreep Thu 30-Jul-20 10:51:57

Thanks to the wonderful OH for 40 glorious, exciting, interesting years. He enabled me to fulfill my childhood dream of living on a boat. We did that for 20 years. One of those years was taking our boat through France to the Med.
5 years living abroad and then buying our motohome and visiting every country in Europe.
What next 😄

EllanVannin Thu 30-Jul-20 11:19:17

Spangler, yes, this is the answer " riding the storm ". A must in life. Never give up. Loved your life story.

I'm heading toward 80 and probably feel as good if not better at times than early 70's. Because I love life, even though it's had its ups and downs but I don't have a long face at any time so nobody's any the wiser grin

Widowed since 1994 but plenty of family to keep me going so have never felt I'm missing out on anything. I've never been a dissatisfied person either which helps as you're never left craving for anything and so thankful for what I do have.

I actually heard this morning, by phone, that one of our gransnetters had said how much she'd enjoyed chatting yesterday when I saw her while I was shopping. To be told something like that gives plenty of reason to carry on living.
Having friends around you is worth more than anything.

I love my life in all honesty as I'm fully able to get about without aid and because I live alone, I'm not lonely----with my 3 lovely cats and a very old stray outdoor cat which lives in a kennel in the garden who I feed as well.

Love your outlook Urmston. Perhaps if you're ever passing my way next year you'll give me a knock ? All being well with the virus. You're only a youngster grin It's not far.

AGAA4 Thu 30-Jul-20 15:34:54

This is such a good thread. It is uplifting to hear of many 'oldies' like me enjoying their lives.

I remember when my boys were around age 8 and 10 telling me there didn't seem much point to living after 28!

In their 50s now they have had a rethink.

Spangler Thu 30-Jul-20 16:10:36

You are right AG, the responses have been most positive. Taking life's high's and low's and dealing with it. The optimism shown is truly uplifting.

My maternal grandparents have been my inspiration, their only child, my mother, died very young, I was just nine at the time. They lived far from us and never had a phone all their lives. But we wrote letters, as folk did back then.

Grandfather retired from the police in 1937, with the storm clouds of war looming, he joined The League of Commissionaires. Wartime saw him on factory rooves, probably aged about 60, kicking off the incendiary bombs. Granddad stayed in the Commissionaires until he was 77, then retired for his own safety.

Grandfather's garden was a joy to behold, it was his passion. Some of the neighbours paid him to do their's too, he loved that, nothing too strenuous, but when he turned 85 one of his police buddies told him that all that labouring was wrong at his age. Sadly granddad believed him, sat in his armchair and waited for God.

He live for another 11 years and didn't know much about the last ten, why didn't he just ignore that advice, well meaning though it was? Grandmother never worked, well not for a living, but her home was immaculate, she cared for her husband, saw him through his dementia. Neither saw the inside of a care home, and both died within three months of each other.

Like all the stories above, my grandparents had that positive outlook on life, I still miss them to this day.

Post script: The spellchecker is having heebie jeebies over the spelling of rooves. It's roofs. No it's not, I'm old school and the plural of roof is rooves.

J52 Thu 30-Jul-20 17:01:22

We’re another live life to the full couple. Fortunately we are blessed no health issues at all. After ‘working for other people‘ for 40 years, DH set up his own company and I did a post grad qualification to do my bit! He cycles several kilometres every morning before 7 am.
Pre Covid we enjoyed travelling and had great plans for this year, but they’ll wait. We regularly drive a 600 mile round trip to our second home. Both love the two very different gardens and the work involved.
Fortunately we both come from long lived ancestors, so intention of slowing up any time soon. I do realise how fortunate we are.

J52 Thu 30-Jul-20 17:02:28

no intention

Juicylucy Fri 31-Jul-20 09:42:07

Spangler what a joy to read your post with my morning cup of tea. How lovely to hear you and your wife’s story. I wish you well and many more years of contentment and happiness. I loved the saying “ had to much month left at end of his money”.

Nannan2 Fri 31-Jul-20 10:16:00

Sorry spangler, but i dont grasp what your tale about being mean to a lil old lady& nicking her taxi has to do with what then inflates into a loooong story about you crowing about what you own/& what you have achieved????

Nannan2 Fri 31-Jul-20 10:22:33

Actually most of it on this post is about you old folk who have more than some crowing & boasting about it really- i cant abide that- i thought ' living life to the full' (especially in old age) was all about still being sprightly & getting out & about doing things that made you happy, and 'richer' not in monetary value, but in happiness& satisfaction.?

Nannan2 Fri 31-Jul-20 10:27:37

Not all the posts, but some that do mention second homes& carribean trips and things that they own etc....

Lettice Fri 31-Jul-20 10:30:27

Oh Nannan2 - why?

Rosina Fri 31-Jul-20 10:55:25

I am probably happier and more at peace than at any time in my life. I live in a beautiful county, I have dogs and cats, a house full of books, good neighbours. My children are, finally, happy and making good lives. I think Wendy Cope says it all for me, and as for seventy? I love it!

^There was drama enough in my turbulent past:
Tears and passion - I've used up a tankful.
No news is good news, and long may it last,
If nothing much happens, I'm thankful.
A happier cabbage you never did see,
My vegetable spirits are soaring.
If you're after excitement, steer well clear of me.
I want to go on being boring.^

Callistemon Fri 31-Jul-20 10:58:15

What's my take?

Enjoy it while you are fit enough to do so, although this Covid has put restrictions on us all now.
I just heard that a friend has died; although she had been ill and not at all sprightly for a while, we were looking forward to a get-together soon, lunch out and a laugh. sad

Jillybird Fri 31-Jul-20 11:15:21

Nannan2 I don't agree with your definition of boasting. What people are doing is counting their blessings. They are aware they are lucky. The title of the post should have given the clue - it's about golden years!