Lynne Segal on ageing

I’ve written numerous posts about aging because the process intrigues me. I watched my parents age, and now I am aging. Fact is, we are all aging from the moment we are born, but “aging” or “ageing” refers to the process of becoming what society thinks of as “old”. And even “old” does not have a specific jumping off point; depends who you ask.

A child may say “old” is someone who is 30. Someone in their 50s may feel “old” is someone in their 80s. With that said, I am 59 (as of a week and a day ago 🙂 ) and my Aunt is 81 as of this past October, and I do not see my Aunt as “old”. I just see her as older – older than me and older than she was a few years ago.

My Aunt is in relatively good health, with numerous “not working quite right” parts, but overall everything is functional. She goes into Manhattan via bus on a regular basis, plays bridge, works out once a week, is an avid walker on a daily basis, is quite literate and informed about the world, uses her computer to research, send emails, do iChat with me, and has even tried shopping online, drives during daylight hours, participates in social events, and actively manages her personal affairs. Plus she has a grand sense of humor that comes out in spoken word and in email.

This morning I stumbled upon The Economist’s radio interview of Lynne Segal, author of numerous books and most recently of Out of Time – The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing. Here is the nine minute interview: The paradox of growing old.

As for me, I find myself in a wonderful combination of positions, all as a result of the many years of working in my given field – teaching in school – and learning in the field to which I am ever so gradually transitioning – leading chair yoga sessions. My husband, ten months older than me, has taken his years in IT and teaching and combined them to continue teaching, which he loves, while doing it online so that he has more time to pursue his other passion of art, design and creating. We both are healthy and active, which I think is a huge piece of overall positive aging. So if you ask me how I feel about aging, about growing older, at this moment I will smile at you and tell you it feels good and satisfying, and as my husband just uttered (in another room, oblivious to my writing), “pregnant with possibilities.”

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