Commentary – Golden years, schmolden years!

Chris Clegg

I often tell people I’m so far over the hill I’m picking up speed going down the other side!

Oh, I wish!

The fact is, getting old is no fun at all. Aches and pains in the morning. Little ailments that accompany old age keep cropping up that doctors “fix” – ahem! – with drugs.

I can no longer do things I used to be able to do in my earlier years. The vitality of my youth is long gone as the years pass.

Years ago, when I was in my twenties, our ball team used to play the Highland Park Oldtimers quite often in tournaments. It was inevitable on Sunday that the Oldtimers were complaining of sore muscles along with what seemed a very long list of aches and pains. I scoffed at their excuses.

Boy, do I know better today! I’m as stiff as a board when I wake up in the morning and I never ran all over a softball diamond the day before chasing a little white ball. It’s OK after I move around for a few minutes.

For the record, sorry Oldtimers! Wish I had known!

I like to think I’m not breaking down but the facts are piling up against me. Mild diabetes. Thyroid problems. No surprise, both run in the family. The usual high cholesterol which comes from eating too many hamburgers, bacon and pizza. Someday I just might discover these are not the three main food groups!

The Canada Food Guide? Can’t fathom what it means!

This aging process is not getting high marks from me. This mild diabetes and the symptoms that come along with the medication are not fun. Only diabetics who take the medicine know what I’m talking about.

I’m having trouble with my shoulder. Waiting for a physio assessment. But since I’m not a high priority I have to wait. No problem, I know there are many who need treatment far more than me. A little pain here and there and some discomfort, I guess it goes with old age.

Some days it’s a stiff neck. It works itself out.

About the only problem I’ve never had is a sore back. Thank goodness for small favours!

To paint an even more bleak future, my uncles tell me it gets worse. One uncle told me just before his passing the worst part about growing old is losing control of bodily functions.

My God, there is something to look forward to! Throw some dirt on me and call it quits before that happens!

I apologize if the picture I’m painting is bleak. Many enjoy their golden years. Perhaps if people like myself made a better effort to be in shape the coming years would not be so lousy. There just might be something to a little exercising and activity, besides going back and forth to the fridge.

It is possible that eating a few more carrots and celery sticks instead of nachos and tacos might make my insides a little happier! Not my tastebuds, however!

I write this just after turning 61 last month. I know a few people over 90 and still a few more over 100. One is still very active and enjoying life. God bless him!

For all the aches and pains, life is still pretty good. Every day there is something to make me smile. As years go by, I make new friends and lose others. It’s just the way life is. Tomorrow the aches and pains will be there but so will another day sharing laughs with friends.

But one thing old age gives us compared to the days of our youth is memories. More years to remember the good times and more time to remember those who have left before us. Priceless!

Father Time is undefeated. So be it! Humans were never made to live forever, but what we can do is make the best of the time we have left. My advice? Ignore those aches and pains and enjoy life. There is so much to live for!

Share this post