Something I’ve been meaning to get off my chest for a long time: I strongly do not care for most articles about old people. Aging is hard, and also, in my experience, quite beautiful in its own weird way. But mostly it’s not nothing; centenarians in downward dog are rare; 90-year old mathematicians likely get achy feet; dementia, real.
Yeah, maybe old people are too fond of the semicolon etc. but we’ve earned it.
I believe much of what gets written about the aging wants either to let the young believe the process isn’t hard or to create clickbait for those of olds still hoping for insight. I mean, I think I’m ready to declare that anyone who reads knows that we should get 150 minutes of cardiac exercise a week, stretch and weight train twice a week, eat very little saturated fat, moderate or give up alcohol, keep learning things and stay engaged with other human beings. And it’s not our job to reassure the young.
Here are some articles I would like to see:
- Exactly Why Drinking Less is Good for Your Brain: The Scientific Underpinnings of the Recommendations
- How Fair is it to Count Vacuuming as Exercise?
- Learning a New Language at 65 is Just as Good for Your Brain as Stupid Sudoku
- Your Monthly Update of Any Progress with Alzheimer’s Research, Any, Any at All
- 10 Shoes that Look Cool and Don’t Hurt (in fact, I think we style bloggers of a certain age do OK with this)
- UTIs and Kidney Infections: What Are the Warning Signs and Can You Prevent Them?
- It’s Too Late for Nora Ephron but is There Really a Peptide That Can Save My Neck?
And I want to see these topics in the mainstream press. I crave scientific, incremental truth, with a dash of rueful humor and optimism.
We exist. While I may enjoy my invisibility, my elective freedom from the male gaze, I exist. I don’t plan to climb Everest, or jump out of a proverbial plane, and to my knowledge I will not be running a ground-breaking biochemistry lab in 15 years. But if the concerns of ordinary 16, 25, 28, 49-year olds warrant front page status, so do ours.
Age ordinary! Go as gently as you like into that dark night. Alternatively, rage–as wittily as you can–in slippers.
Every other week in my beginning Spanish class we attempt to say something about what we did the previous week. One of the women who actually can speak a little of the language told us about a group of friends she’s had since college. They convene every year for adventures, and last week they planned for future reunions. On the agenda: eating at great restaurants and talking about their health.
Our health is an adventure. Our time is rewarding. Buckle up.
Also have an awesome weekend because I like you.