Aging for most people in their mid-80s and early 90s brings daily challenges not expected or anticipated. Rarely is it a gentile sailing into the sunset or a pleasant afternoon of sitting on a comfortable swing on the back porch contemplating one’s past.
Aging into these later years brings changes we cannot know until they occur. They are different and specific for each individual. Overall, they comprise experiences we have never faced before, and much written about this process mainly reflects the viewer’s viewpoint and not that of the aging person.
I suppose I am one of the unique ones who do write and hopefully continue to write about my “aging experience” from the perspective of one who is there.
The life changes are substantial. Food becomes unimportant but necessary. Sleep is an escape, although it occurs in brief periods because I frequently wake to use the bathroom. I feel constantly chilled, so I wear a vest and seek the sun’s warmth whenever possible.
I used to be strong and agile, but while I can still walk on my own, I am weak and cautious with each step. The little push-wheeler and seat most here walk gingerly behind is not yet me.
I have shared that my sight and hearing are deteriorating along with the rest of me—all a natural part of aging. Still, I consider myself better off than most who reside here with us since I am also one of the oldest. I feel fortunate that my mind is still hanging in there. Why? This is not for me to answer, but I’m grateful and determined to keep using it to document what I’m sure will be my final journey. I think I say it as it is and, as I am. The teacher in me refuses to give up. It is what and who I have been and still am.