Home > Uncategorized > The Down Side of a Long, Active Life.

The Down Side of a Long, Active Life.

In the case of horses, most often they go along happily doing their jobs, grazing in the pasture, and then one day, at the age of 25 or so, they lie down and die. No big fuss. You just emerge one morning, prepared to begin your chores, and on your way to the tractor, there’s old Doris, laying on a small pasture slope in the rising sun.


It’s not like that with people. I’m not as familiar with the peculiarities of ageing women as I am with a man’s deterioration. I will put forth the point of view and experiences of a man, that man being me. I don’t expect my life to end in my seventy-sixth year, but it could. And to tell the truth, I would have no regrets if it did. Three-quarters of a century is a pretty good run, but a life that often hurts, physically, and requires a lot of medication, is not as much fun as life just ten years earlier. Compared to the most common, rapid demise of horses, the inevitable demise of a man is tainted by an amazing variety of diminished capacities during a painfully long moribund period.


Don’t misunderstand my position. I’m not wishing to pass away soon. At a very late stage of life I find myself with something I never anticipated; a warm, surrounding family. I’m loving this time of my life, and I just want to share with you the down side.


In your sixties, the anticipation of impotence comes to mind. These days it’s become less traumatic because of the “Erectile Dysfunction” euphemism in all the ads. I don’t know what characteristics of genes dictate when the dysfunction will manifest itself. Sort of the canary in the mine warning of the inevitable, like the moribund period of a penis.


Even on a man, the skin on your arms and legs gets thin and crinkles like crepe paper. And stuff starts to grow on you. A variety of brown spots come out all over you. Unsightly moles appear surreptitiously. You develop a “chicken neck”. I had a robust, well-shaped beard for fifty years. Now one side-burn is half gone so I have to shave both cheeks in a meagre attempt at disguising the imbalance.


Your back hurts. Your hips feel like they need a lube job in the ball joints. The bottom of your feet get so hard, your heels cut through your socks. When the weather goes up and down every few days as it usually does, stabbing pains shoot through bones all over your body.


It’s still worth it, though, if you have a caring family. Don’t be a burden to them, rather be a support because it will feel good. And if you have grandchildren, cherish them and spend as much time with them as you can. Play their games with them, and everything will feel alright.

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