Along with your 66th birthday, you officially turn Middle Aged. That is retirement age in the United States, although they are gradually upping it to 67. This is the phase when we really begin to notice the aging process, and have to invest in ourselves in order not to let aging get us down. It is during this phase that many people are plagued by desires or decisions to invest in plastic surgery, hair implants, hair color changes, a red convertible, or major teeth turnarounds. If we are lucky, we begin to learn acceptance and just sit these urges . But on the other hand, it would be very boring if we didn’t bring changes into our lives. This is also the phase when your retirement planning will pay off, especially if you were careful about your significant other during your planning and preparation. Not everyone is. In the United States, divorce rates have tripled among those over 65 in the last 25 years!
Middle Age officially lasts until 79, and it is the phase I am in now. This is the phase when many of us become very anxious about memory slips, but science shows that healthy 70-year olds perform cognitive tests just as well as 20-year olds. We need to keep in mind that Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are not considered part of the normal aging process. However, brain mass shrinkage in the frontal lobe and the hippocampus usually does begin during Middle Age. This is not a big deal; it just means that it takes us a little longer to commit new information to our memories, or that we find multitasking more difficult, and we don’t do math or recall telephone numbers in our heads anymore. All of these brain storage problems and calculating problems can be covered with a good cell phone and a lot of patience to learn to use it.
Middle-Aged is the time when we are secretly surprised that the self-confidence and personality that we worked hard to develop are not set in stone. I personally find that Middle-Age is sometimes reminiscent of puberty. Much to our surprise, we find ourselves swinging being resentful of advice from younger members of our families, to at other times desiring it intensely, while often too proud to ask for it. We are fearful that if we ask for help, our children will suspect we are becoming incompetent. You would be amazed to learn how many ways a middle-aged person can cover up the fact that bottles have become hard to open.
Healthy people who reach the Middle-aged phase usually expect to find themselves more agreeable. That doesn’t always happen. We often find ourselves becoming intolerant of noise, conflicts, and a lot of the visual presentation and communication that young people use. In general, both genders decline slightly in their levels of openness during this phase, and this might be simply from acquiring the wisdom to keep our opinions to ourselves in regard to how the younger generations are acting. Interestingly, men usually become more outgoing during this phase, but women are said to become less gregarious. I personally feel that this is open interpretation; men become more outgoing because they have more time for friends and chats after retirement and don’t feel so competitive, and women seem less outgoing because they stop caring about being socially popular and become more discerning about whom they spend time with. If we are smart, we can fool our families into thinking we are agreeable and open, but in truth, we just don’t care so intensely about a lot of things at this age. And that is another burst of freedom.
A lot of us become widows or widowers during the Middle-Aged phase, and those who don’t reinvent themselves and find new occupations in life, or new meanings, often become bored and irritable. People who don’t prepare for retirement in the some form can also easily fall depression. And as for happily married folks, the very fact that retirement suddenly throws two married people into a 24/7 relationship can cause a lot of stress. And many of us suddenly find ourselves with spouses who have dementia, or sometimes still with parents and in-laws to take care of and make decisions for or about. I have come to the conclusion that becoming Middle-Aged takes the same amount of planning and care as we needed to implant in our Early Adulthood.
But Middle-Aged certainly has more positive aspects than negative ones, and I am not talking only about reduced movie theater rates or the special parking slots, bank cashiers and supermarket check out lines that we have in Brazil. If we take the trouble of learning how to cope with the difficult adjustments of Middle-Aged, we find we have a certain sense of freedom that we have never had before. All of my grandparents were dead before they reached my current age. My generation is living a full one-third more than our grandparents did, which is exactly why we need to do a lot of planning. Planning takes discipline and intelligence, and non-planning usually brings boredom and depression. Since we have doubled our adulthood years, maybe you younger readers should start planning now. Old is no longer a negative adjective. Pablo Picasso, who worked and changed his artistic styles up until the day he died at age 91 once said, “It takes a long time to become young.” My guess is that it helps not to think about your chronological age as you grow older. I would bet that Bernie Sanders, born in 1941 and again trying to be president of the United States, is too busy to actually focus how old he is. The same goes for Mick Jagger, born in 1943, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, born in 1940, Clint Eastwood, born in 1930, the Dalai Lama, born in 1935, Morgan Freeman, born in 1937, or even Queen Elizabeth, born in 1926. They are all still doing what they enjoy. None of them seem to be thinking about stepping down.
You can plate appetizers on or in many things. Fill in the blanks with on or in: Deviled eggs a platter Figs with bacon a plate Spinach & Yogurt dip a bowl Bacon, lettuce & tomatoes toothpicks Chicken croquettes napkins Oysters with turkey bacon a tiered cake plate Cold cuts a breadboard Raw veggies & dips a Lazy Susan Cheese…
Blackberries – Blueberries – Raspberries – Strawberries Nutritious food is nourishing and efficient as food in the sense that it gives you the sufficient amount of nutrients such as vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins that you need to survive. Healthy food is food that promotes good health, in other words, prevents illness and keeps you younger longer. I. All of the berries above are healthy and nutritious. However, according to nutritional content, total carbohydrates,…