Still Figuring Out What is and What is NOT Age Related

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D. // Aging


January 5  

The last few weeks have been stressful. Major bad weather in the form of snow followed by a day where we got over 3.5 inches of rain! My friends back East have emailed and called as Portland OR has made the news back there. I assured them that as long as the Columbia River does not breach the levee – I am safe. But I do mention the stress levels.

Then late yesterday afternoon as I walked my dog, I saw snow sticking to his fur! I won’t repeat here what I said :D. The snow kept coming and coming and sticking. I was ready to pack up and leave – me the New Englander…

It stopped snowing at some point during the night and the temperatures rose – but this morning I was still in a state of some sort of stress wondering what the weather would throw at me next and decided my stress was age related – that I am just getting too old to keep dealing with too much snow, too much rain and too much mud.

Then late this afternoon I ran into some neighbors – “What did you think when it snowed last night?” I said my comment was not fit for polite company and they laughed. “Ditto” they agreed. Then they added that this been a stressful period for them…Hmm.. Not much later I ran into another neighbor who said much the same things..

My poor brain had to reassess the age factor as all those people are at least 20 years younger than I am. It was an awakening that even I, who teaches and writes about aging, fell into an easy thought pattern that my stress level in dealing with this weather was age related. It was not…Not if people much younger than I were experiencing the same emotions and using the same foul language!

We live in a society where we read and hear so much about the perils of aging and we live with so many age related biases that we often forget to do our own reality checking.

So – for 2009 I now resolve to put “it’s aged related” way way back in the schema that my mind wanders to when thinking about my own thoughts and feelings.

Just because we are older does not mean that everything we do or feel is related to a number!

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About the Author

Native of NYC who moved a lot, got several degrees, and has been a lifelong writer and reader... I am interested in many things - and I write [and teach] about them - especially the human lifespan and healthy aging

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.