On growing old

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Valuethinker
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On growing old

Post by Valuethinker » Sun May 27, 2012 5:23 am

Apologies for a half formed thought.

Recent family events have forced me to consider what is 'old' and how I shall spend my remaining years of life (perhaps 2 or 3 decades, perhaps not). Death waited for my father and when the day came, Death was waiting to take him. Him? He was planning his next trip to Europe. Thinking forward, of the future.

One Boglehead, only one, that I have met through the boards has seen 'Chateau Valuethinker'. A truly small piece of north London. That person sat in my living room one sunny day and talked, well we talked about all kinds of sh-t-- but it was just good to talk.

And I was thinking that though this person was older than I am, not old enough to be my parent but definitely at the beginning of my 'generation', how 'young' they seemed in their wisdom, their enthusiasm for life, the passion of their beliefs. Their lack of bitterness, their joy at the life they had been gifted. Their openness to new things, their lack of paranoia/ suspicion of new immigrant groups, changes in society. Yes the same thing we all have, that I have with my nieces and nephews, a worry that the dark side of Facebook etc. has yet to fully manifest itself, that not all social changes are unalloyed 'good' s. You get that wisdom as you get older. But a general positive view of the world.

An email from a friend who has taken his mother to Paris for her 90th-- her extreme physical frailty but her mental openness, charmed at each new Parisian experience- -reminds me of this.

My father had that the day he died and he had seen 8 decades.

If we can find a way to live, to keep open to new things, to welcome the new and what life holds.

Then we can stay 'young' and not grow old. Even though infirmity and Death await us all, patiently waiting for our arrival.

pointyhead
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Re: On growing old

Post by pointyhead » Sun May 27, 2012 6:09 am

Thanks for your post. I'll also apologize for a half formed thought. Since I frequently plan for the future but don't know what it holds my thoughts at best are half formed. :D I like to think that I am open to new things and what life has to offer and I am diligently planning for a long life together with my wife. However, having worked in ICU's, operating rooms, and in war zones and seeing too often what happens to people when they are on "that corner" regardless of their age and what they were doing when they were injured or stricken with illness it makes me realize that life can be fleeting. Since no male in my family has made it to 70 (I'm almost 50) I can't help but think that I am almost there also. The best that I think that we can hope for in death is for it come quickly and unexpectedly. While good for the dying it is difficult for those left behind with no time to prepare or say their goodbyes. That's why I try to let the ones I love and care for know that I do, since we never know when we or they will reach that corner.

A friend recently told me that I only have to think about my self. He said this in the context of planning for the future and their is some truth in it because I don't have children. I think he meant to say that I only have to plan for myself as he knows that I have spent my entire adult life in work which provides service to others. He also knows that because of the nature of my work that on a daily basis I make decisions that can significantly impact others so obviously I have to care about them.

I frequently feel like I have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. We never know when death comes for us. Bearing witness to the death of newborns minutes after birth, to the elderly, and every age group in between helps me put my life in focus. It reminds me to appreciate the fun, the relationships, the hardships, the challenges that this life gives us. It reminds me that we should truely appreciate others and to show that appreciation when we have the opportunity, that we should strive to live magnanimously forgiving when we are slighted or injured because as far as I know we only have this one life. We should make the best of it. In my mind that does mean be enthusiastic, caring, forgiving, and open.

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bottlecap
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Re: On growing old

Post by bottlecap » Sun May 27, 2012 7:24 am

VT:

I'm so very sorry to hear about the passing of your father. It sounds as though he was certainly open to new experiences and likely made the most of the time he was with you. I hope to be planning my next trip to Europe when I'm in my eighth decade! Planning is half the fun, so I'm sure he was enjoying his last days.

Please accept my condolences.

Take care,

JT

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HardKnocker
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Re: On growing old

Post by HardKnocker » Sun May 27, 2012 7:46 am

We are all already dead, we just don't know it yet.
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett

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Kathleen Ryan
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Re: On growing old

Post by Kathleen Ryan » Sun May 27, 2012 9:46 am

Thank you Valuethinker for this post,

I had time to say goodbye to my father who passed at the age of 66 from pancreatic cancer. Of course there is no hope when someone is stricken with this, but given this diagnosis, they caught it early and did what is known as the, "Whipple Procedure." This afforded him 1 1/2 years more of life. He lived long enough for my daughter Katie to remember him, as she was six years old when he died. This was a blessing, and the best we could hope for.

What my dad, Jack taught me about death was to laugh in the face of it. At the end, all we have is our sense of humor. He had many friends who would stop in to see him, and he would always say, "Leave hope at the door," when they would bring over the latest,"miracle tea," etc. We all had to face the fact that we could do NOTHING for him, other than be with him, visit and enjoy his company until the end.

We used to marvel that his Aunt Lulu was still alive and 102 years old at the time he was so ill, and he was 66. Another funny thing that happened toward the end of his life is that he was afflicted with a terrible bought of gas one morning. So I said said, "If I weren't laughing I'd be crying." And without skipping a beat he replied, "If I wasn't busy farting, I'd be dying." We laughed and laughed at this till the tears were streaming down our cheeks.

My high school boyfriend Erik, died before my dad at the age of 35 from brain cancer. He also kept his sense of humor and made me laugh through my tears too. Toward the end he relayed this story: One day he had to use the bathroom, and the attendant wasn't around so he was determined to get up and use it by himself. Well his wife freaked out and tried to help him get out of bed. So he was up, barely, and fell on her, and they were both lying on the floor. So he said, "It's good to be on top of you again."

I hope when my time comes I can be this funny, and surrounded by the people I love.

"Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
Best wishes, | Kathleen

reggiesimpson
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Re: On growing old

Post by reggiesimpson » Sun May 27, 2012 10:16 am

Time seems to speed up as you get older. To slow it down do lots of stuff you have never done before. Forget the past, reinvent the present and plan for the future.

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Toons
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Re: On growing old

Post by Toons » Sun May 27, 2012 10:35 am

A few quotes to ponder

"Live every day as if it were your last and then some day you'll be right." ~H.H. "Breaker" Morant

"Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


"Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting." ~Dr. Seuss

:happy :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

MP173
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Re: On growing old

Post by MP173 » Sun May 27, 2012 10:41 am

Within a few years my father, then my mother, and then my wife died. It leaves you with a sense of vulnerability, yet for me there were no profound thoughts that came out of it except...

My job on earth is not done. I have considerable amount to do to raise two boys and see them into manhood. At that point in time (upon the passing of my wife), my focus changed to what was truly important in life.

Ed

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HardKnocker
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Re: On growing old

Post by HardKnocker » Sun May 27, 2012 11:08 am

How you die is very important.

If you've had an interesting life and go out quick, what more can you ask.
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett

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FlyHi
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Re: On growing old

Post by FlyHi » Sun May 27, 2012 11:33 am

I never felt old until recently when I realized I don't bounce back from upsetting emotional incidents the way I used to. I've had various sorts of physical problems since I was in my 20's but I accept them as part of who I am since none are debilitating. My father died when I was 10 followed 6 months later by the only one of my grandfathers that was alive. I realized then that you never know when your time is up. You can say I will live every day as if it is my last but you really just live every day as you normally would. My wife died 2 1/2 years ago and I bounced back quickly as her death was expected and not a shock. My family has lived into their 90's so at age 73 (if I inherited the right genes) I have some years to go. I recently bought a young show dog and this has given me something to get excited about and look forward to and that to me is the key to life, something to keep you physically active and goal oriented.
“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy”

chaz
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Re: On growing old

Post by chaz » Sun May 27, 2012 11:51 am

Each morning as I wake up, I thank the Lord for giving me another day. No one is immortal. Cryogenics is a waste for reentering life after death.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Muchtolearn
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Re: On growing old

Post by Muchtolearn » Sun May 27, 2012 12:00 pm

I am approaching 60. I have over the last 4 or so years come to peace with life and death. I remain healthy, running (even did a half marathon last month) and hopeful. I am still working. I do not know why. However, no matter how many things we do on "bucket lists" (I do not have one) there would always be more things to do. So I am comfortable that I have done enough, hopefully can do more and that when my day comes, it just comes. Once it does whether I took an extra trip somewhere, worked a day more or whatever won't really matter. My only wish is that I do not have a painful suffering type of end. This is not meant to be morbid, just that I feel free and at peace that I am not fearful of death. Why we are discussing this at a financial forum I do not know. :confused
Last edited by Muchtolearn on Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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norookie
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Re: On growing old

Post by norookie » Sun May 27, 2012 12:08 pm

:mrgreen:
Last edited by norookie on Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
" Wealth usually leads to excess " Cicero 55 b.c

Latecomer
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Many thanks, Valuethinker

Post by Latecomer » Sun May 27, 2012 12:48 pm

Thank you for the beautiful - even, poetic post. My condolences for the loss of your father.

I do not fear death after I almost died in the 1970's. I had a full-blown Near Death Experience, and what I learned is this:
There is no such thing as death.
Everything is perfect, even though there is profound tragedy in the world.
The only true power is that of Love.

Sincerely,
Latecomer

Patchy Groundfog
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Re: On growing old

Post by Patchy Groundfog » Sun May 27, 2012 4:07 pm

Now that I've had to admit that I'm actually elderly (rmds in two years, just to give this a tinge of finance), I always have in the back of my mind thoughts of nearing the end of my alloted time. Running up the stairs I'll think, "I won't always be able to do this." Sitting under the maple tree with my brothers talking about this and that, I'm conscious of how much they mean to me, as vessels of memory -- our childhood, our parents when they were young, the farm as it was. This morning I stood on my deck and watched the breeze rippling the lake, the birds hopping around the feeders. I thought about the miracle of their little lives and how strange and wonderful that they can fly. I've come to love the weather, all of it.

I guess what I feel at this late stage of my life is a kind of nostalgia for the present. I may go to Paris again, but I don't need to.

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.


Dylan Thomas, “Fern Hill” from The Poems of Dylan Thomas.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Regal 56
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Re: On growing old

Post by Regal 56 » Sun May 27, 2012 5:36 pm

I read somewhere that as we age, we tend to become more of whatever we are. If we're suspicious, stubborn, and afraid of new things, then we become more so. If we're trusting, flexible, and open to new things, then we become more so. It's simplistic, of course, but to me it has the ring of truth. At any rate, it's something to consider whenever I feel myself slipping into a curmudgeonly mindset. I really don't want to devolve into an old man hunkered in his basement with a shotgun and grumping about how kids today are no damned good.

"Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


Maybe this is the inspiration for John Lennon's quote: "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

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dm200
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Re: On growing old

Post by dm200 » Sun May 27, 2012 5:54 pm

About a year ago, thanks to a query here about getting a heart rate monitor, a nice Boglehead gave me information about a book that changed my life (so far anyway) and is my new "Bible" - "Younger Next Year" - that makes the point that most of the affects of aging for most of us are "optional" until we get into our 80's or 90's. In thining about this, I now realize that many of the folks I have known over the years that live active and productive lives to 80's and 90's were are are doing those things - even of they did not read the book. In somce cases, my parents, grandparents, etc. live that lifestyle because they had to (stay active to just maintain a life, say, on the farm).

likegarden
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Re: On growing old

Post by likegarden » Sun May 27, 2012 6:12 pm

Life goes on, one generation after the other. When I mentioned that I felt my aging last year, my doctor told me 'the old ones have to make space for the young ones'. My wife and I have found youth in taking care most of the day of our now 8 year old grandson. He is smart and active, today he helped me to carry a ladder out of Home Depot, what a great experience. I hope we can help him to start college successfully at least.

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mephistophles
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Re: On growing old

Post by mephistophles » Sun May 27, 2012 9:59 pm

Valuethinker wrote:Then we can stay 'young' and not grow old. Even though infirmity and Death await us all, patiently waiting for our arrival.



I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the begin-
ning and the end,

But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Walt Whitman

reggiesimpson
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Re: On growing old

Post by reggiesimpson » Mon May 28, 2012 12:39 pm

dm200 wrote:About a year ago, thanks to a query here about getting a heart rate monitor, a nice Boglehead gave me information about a book that changed my life (so far anyway) and is my new "Bible" - "Younger Next Year" - that makes the point that most of the affects of aging for most of us are "optional" until we get into our 80's or 90's. In thining about this, I now realize that many of the folks I have known over the years that live active and productive lives to 80's and 90's were are are doing those things - even of they did not read the book. In somce cases, my parents, grandparents, etc. live that lifestyle because they had to (stay active to just maintain a life, say, on the farm).

"Younger Next Year" by Crowley and Lodge is by far one of the best reads on the subject of how to handle aging well. Both funny and serious as each author takes on their own chapters. I re-read it annually and have given away at least 10 as gifts. Its on Amazon and there is one for women also.

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dm200
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Re: On growing old

Post by dm200 » Mon May 28, 2012 1:52 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:
dm200 wrote:About a year ago, thanks to a query here about getting a heart rate monitor, a nice Boglehead gave me information about a book that changed my life (so far anyway) and is my new "Bible" - "Younger Next Year" - that makes the point that most of the affects of aging for most of us are "optional" until we get into our 80's or 90's. In thining about this, I now realize that many of the folks I have known over the years that live active and productive lives to 80's and 90's were are are doing those things - even of they did not read the book. In somce cases, my parents, grandparents, etc. live that lifestyle because they had to (stay active to just maintain a life, say, on the farm).

"Younger Next Year" by Crowley and Lodge is by far one of the best reads on the subject of how to handle aging well. Both funny and serious as each author takes on their own chapters. I re-read it annually and have given away at least 10 as gifts. Its on Amazon and there is one for women also.


The aspect of this book that I like best is the explanation (both scientific and to a layperson) of the counterintuitive (to me anyway) idea that to prove to your body that it should not shut down, add on the fat, etc. is to act (eat, exercise, etc.) like there is eternal plenty - eternal springtime. It also seems to explain that wne we are younger, our bodies send signals to not add fat, etc., but as we age, those bodily signals change to become sedentary, accumulate fat, increase (bad) inflamation... A spiral into health problems of all sorts. Exercise and eating right as we age seems to change those signals to be more like the "young" signals. For example, even though I was not into heavy exercise when younger, nonetheless I could eat huge amounts of food and not gain weight. That changed, slowly, as I aged and exercise and eating right seems to have restored my ability to eat a lot and not regain the 55-60 pounds I lost in 2011. I am not going to press this eating too far and go to having a 1/2 gallon of ice cream in two sittings as I did in my teens and 20's. I am sticking with that amount of unsweetened fruit and no-fat yogurt - almost as good!

reggiesimpson
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Re: On growing old

Post by reggiesimpson » Mon May 28, 2012 3:43 pm

dm200 wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
dm200 wrote:About a year ago, thanks to a query here about getting a heart rate monitor, a nice Boglehead gave me information about a book that changed my life (so far anyway) and is my new "Bible" - "Younger Next Year" - that makes the point that most of the affects of aging for most of us are "optional" until we get into our 80's or 90's. In thining about this, I now realize that many of the folks I have known over the years that live active and productive lives to 80's and 90's were are are doing those things - even of they did not read the book. In somce cases, my parents, grandparents, etc. live that lifestyle because they had to (stay active to just maintain a life, say, on the farm).

"Younger Next Year" by Crowley and Lodge is by far one of the best reads on the subject of how to handle aging well. Both funny and serious as each author takes on their own chapters. I re-read it annually and have given away at least 10 as gifts. Its on Amazon and there is one for women also.


The aspect of this book that I like best is the explanation (both scientific and to a layperson) of the counterintuitive (to me anyway) idea that to prove to your body that it should not shut down, add on the fat, etc. is to act (eat, exercise, etc.) like there is eternal plenty - eternal springtime. It also seems to explain that wne we are younger, our bodies send signals to not add fat, etc., but as we age, those bodily signals change to become sedentary, accumulate fat, increase (bad) inflamation... A spiral into health problems of all sorts. Exercise and eating right as we age seems to change those signals to be more like the "young" signals. For example, even though I was not into heavy exercise when younger, nonetheless I could eat huge amounts of food and not gain weight. That changed, slowly, as I aged and exercise and eating right seems to have restored my ability to eat a lot and not regain the 55-60 pounds I lost in 2011. I am not going to press this eating too far and go to having a 1/2 gallon of ice cream in two sittings as I did in my teens and 20's. I am sticking with that amount of unsweetened fruit and no-fat yogurt - almost as good!

I am with you on that. Clear and concise explanations with the potential for a wonderful reward......... A healthy life!

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BlueEars
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Re: On growing old

Post by BlueEars » Mon May 28, 2012 7:02 pm

Valuethinker, I want to add my condolences as well on the death of your father. Never is an easy life event. We find ourselves then in the lead generation.

A few thoughts on this human stuff:
1) I was shocked to realize that our sun will probably extinguish life on Earth in some hundreds of million years instead of the several billion (red giant phase) I had previously thought we had. Made me feel like I'd lost something. Everything is prone to destruction but we like to think of permanent things -- a coping mechanism.
2) We see life cycles going on continuously around us, particularly in shorter lived Earth creatures (dogs, cats, birds, etc.). Yet we have major difficulties with mortality of ourselves and loved ones. We have to balance the emotional element with the rational.
3) I have not found a really good way to deal with death. I'm struck by reading that people who suddenly learn of a major cancer in themselves can get very upset. For me it's hard to truly internalize this but I would probably feel the same way. I lost both my parents to cancers before they reached 70. Actually I'm only about 5 years away from their final year. I just try to be happy.

S&L1940
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Re: On growing old

Post by S&L1940 » Mon May 28, 2012 8:15 pm

I am sure this has popped up elsewhere but it is a great quote from Woody Allen that needs repeating:

“I don't want to achieve immortality through my work ... I want to achieve immortality through not dying.”

I (at 73) play on a tennis team where one teammate is 88 (and plays a great game); another is 84 and is doing just fine.

when I was younger I would play against some guys that would beat the dickens out of me and then they would slyly remark that they just turned 75 or 80 or whatever. now, it is my turn...

be well, live well
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

john94549
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Re: On growing old

Post by john94549 » Mon May 28, 2012 8:26 pm

Age 65 today. Two and a half months ago, woke up with excruciating pain in left knee. Could barely hobble to the bathroom. Well, one cane and two and a half months later, it appears to have been merely a hyper-extension. But, let me tell you, it was scary. And the thought of it being RA (which my Dad had) or osteo-A (which my Mom has, and is crippled by) was super-scary.

To make a long story short, I kept doing those daily walks, or "hobbles", as I began to call them. The day I was able to do a +/- 400 ft elevation change (with the cane, let's be honest), I thought perhaps it wasn't arthritis. But these short scares make you appreciate, ever so much, life's little pleasures. Such as trudging up hills and working up a sweat. Then looking down, at where you were. An allegory, as it were, for one's life.

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Re: On growing old

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue May 29, 2012 9:12 am

john94549 wrote:Age 65 today. Two and a half months ago, woke up with excruciating pain in left knee. Could barely hobble to the bathroom. Well, one cane and two and a half months later, it appears to have been merely a hyper-extension. But, let me tell you, it was scary. And the thought of it being RA (which my Dad had) or osteo-A (which my Mom has, and is crippled by) was super-scary.

To make a long story short, I kept doing those daily walks, or "hobbles", as I began to call them. The day I was able to do a +/- 400 ft elevation change (with the cane, let's be honest), I thought perhaps it wasn't arthritis. But these short scares make you appreciate, ever so much, life's little pleasures. Such as trudging up hills and working up a sweat. Then looking down, at where you were. An allegory, as it were, for one's life.

Its interesting how pain can grab ones attention!
As others have recommended i would take a look at "Younger Next Year"........... used on Amazon.

adave
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Re: On growing old

Post by adave » Tue May 29, 2012 9:18 am

How do you guys cope with thoughts of regret as you age? I don't have many, but at age 35 currently, find many times when thoughts of regret about things I didn't do in my youth, or sacrifices I made in my young days for career etc. pop into my mind a lot more. I have very littel to complain about right now, but do find these thoughts tough to deal with sometimes. I did give up a lot of fun in my youth for a successful career and (hopefully) financial security for me and my family - but wonder often if it was the right thing to do.

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Re: On growing old

Post by midareff » Tue May 29, 2012 9:27 am

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Valuethinker. I watched my parents age and finally pass weeks apart 17 years ago. Dad was weeks short of 94, Mom weeks short of 90. I'll be 65 this December and if you believe in small worlds ..... my fourth grade teacher at PS 221 in Brooklyn, NY, who will be 105 years old this October lives on the same floor of this condo down the hall.

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HardKnocker
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Re: On growing old

Post by HardKnocker » Tue May 29, 2012 9:33 am

adave wrote:How do you guys cope with thoughts of regret as you age? I don't have many, but at age 35 currently, find many times when thoughts of regret about things I didn't do in my youth, or sacrifices I made in my young days for career etc. pop into my mind a lot more. I have very littel to complain about right now, but do find these thoughts tough to deal with sometimes. I did give up a lot of fun in my youth for a successful career and (hopefully) financial security for me and my family - but wonder often if it was the right thing to do.


My regrets are not about things I didn't do but about things I did do.
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett

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Re: On growing old

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue May 29, 2012 9:52 am

HardKnocker wrote:
adave wrote:How do you guys cope with thoughts of regret as you age? I don't have many, but at age 35 currently, find many times when thoughts of regret about things I didn't do in my youth, or sacrifices I made in my young days for career etc. pop into my mind a lot more. I have very littel to complain about right now, but do find these thoughts tough to deal with sometimes. I did give up a lot of fun in my youth for a successful career and (hopefully) financial security for me and my family - but wonder often if it was the right thing to do.


My regrets are not about things I didn't do but about things I did do.

I answered this question when i retired two years ago.Forget the past, reinvent the present and make plans for the future!

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Re: On growing old

Post by RobertAlanK » Tue May 29, 2012 10:29 am

I’ve been thinking about mortality a great deal in the last few days. My younger sister who lives 800 miles away recently ended more than 25 years of sobriety with a descent into depression and drugs. She has lost her job and soon she will likely be homeless on her way to re-visiting life’s bottomland.

Earlier this month in a message of apparent repentance after another binge she texted me that more than anything, “I want to live.” Her next message was on Saturday from the hospital to let me know she was out of danger after a failed attempt to end her life with pills and a bottle of booze.

My wife reminds me that everyone dies and that many lives end tragically. If I can suspend judgment (and also some guilt over having somehow escaped the vein of addiction that runs in my family to create a wonderful life) then I can offer the love to my sister that my heart wants to give, even as it breaks for her.

While I have the choice I will do my best to live in the moment and pray that I will never have to instead choose the moment when I want to end it all. And it’s enough to simply be thankful for all my blessings while I await understanding or enlightenment. And I also pray that it will be a pretty long wait.

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auntie
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Re: On growing old

Post by auntie » Tue May 29, 2012 10:32 am

How do you guys cope with thoughts of regret as you age?


I've always done what I believed to be right at the time, so my conscience is clear. Those things that didn't work out as intended come back to haunt me in the night sometimes, but in the light of day I can forget about them.
High risk does not equal high reward. It equals high risk of no reward.

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HomerJ
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Re: On growing old

Post by HomerJ » Tue May 29, 2012 10:45 am

"I have the happiness of the passing moment"

-George Gissing.

Pay attention to the now. To the THIS-ness of each moment.

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Re: On growing old

Post by BlueEars » Tue May 29, 2012 11:52 am

Muchtolearn wrote:I am approaching 60. I have over the last 4 or so years come to peace with life and death. I remain healthy, running (even did a half marathon last month) and hopeful. I am still working. I do not know why. However, no matter how many things we do on "bucket lists" (I do not have one) there would always be more things to do. So I am comfortable that I have done enough, hopefully can do more and that when my day comes, it just comes. Once it does whether I took an extra trip somewhere, worked a day more or whatever won't really matter. My only wish is that I do not have a painful suffering type of end. THis is not meant to be morbid, just that I fell free and at peace that I am not fearful of death. Why we are discussing this at a financial forum I do not know. :confused

I think maybe the answer to "why discuss this" is that there is money and there is time. The two are interlinked and you really need some of both. Many of us tend to think time is on our side and abundant. But it really is a precious resource.

As I get older time becomes even more important in my planning. This is why in retirement I try to make sure we spend and enjoy our money to the limit of prudence.

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mlebuf
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Re: On growing old

Post by mlebuf » Tue May 29, 2012 2:36 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:
adave wrote:How do you guys cope with thoughts of regret as you age? I don't have many, but at age 35 currently, find many times when thoughts of regret about things I didn't do in my youth, or sacrifices I made in my young days for career etc. pop into my mind a lot more. I have very littel to complain about right now, but do find these thoughts tough to deal with sometimes. I did give up a lot of fun in my youth for a successful career and (hopefully) financial security for me and my family - but wonder often if it was the right thing to do.


My regrets are not about things I didn't do but about things I did do.

I answered this question when i retired two years ago.Forget the past, reinvent the present and make plans for the future!



While it may be a mistake to forget the past we sure can't change it. All we can do is learn from the past and resolve to do better. My young friend, Tim Olsen put it this way when he was 13 years of age: "When you lose, don't lose the lesson."

Take time to enjoy the good times and savor their memories after they have passed. Someone once remarked that we are given memories so we can have roses in December.

As for the future, the best way to have a great future is to create it. In addition to good health, having something to do, someone to love and something to live for determine a lot of happiness.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

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Re: On growing old

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue May 29, 2012 2:46 pm

mlebuf wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:
adave wrote:How do you guys cope with thoughts of regret as you age? I don't have many, but at age 35 currently, find many times when thoughts of regret about things I didn't do in my youth, or sacrifices I made in my young days for career etc. pop into my mind a lot more. I have very littel to complain about right now, but do find these thoughts tough to deal with sometimes. I did give up a lot of fun in my youth for a successful career and (hopefully) financial security for me and my family - but wonder often if it was the right thing to do.


My regrets are not about things I didn't do but about things I did do.

I answered this question when i retired two years ago.Forget the past, reinvent the present and make plans for the future!



While it may be a mistake to forget the past we sure can't change it. All we can do is learn from the past and resolve to do better. My young friend, Tim Olsen put it this way when he was 13 years of age: "When you lose, don't lose the lesson."

Take time to enjoy the good times and savor their memories after they have passed. Someone once remarked that we are given memories so we can have roses in December.END QUOTE.
Let me clarify.The problem with recalling the past is the painful nostalgia that comes with it. I dont mean the bad stuff. Thats already gone. I have little to no regrets about my life but i sorely miss my parents and i realized before they died that i may slip into the common habit of perpetually eulogizing them in my head after they were gone. I therefore took full advantage of them (so to speak) while they were alive. Now i spend the time following the other two..... reinventing the present and making plans for the future. They would have wanted that for me anyhow. Just as i want that for my own children. I will obviously never forget my parents but i do not want the love we had for each other to become a punishment of nostalgia.

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Re: On growing old

Post by black jack » Tue May 29, 2012 11:47 pm

Valuethinker, let me add my condolences on the loss of your father. It sounds like he had a good long life and a quick death, which is about the best any of us can hope for.

adave wrote:How do you guys cope with thoughts of regret as you age? I don't have many, but at age 35 currently, find many times when thoughts of regret about things I didn't do in my youth, or sacrifices I made in my young days for career etc. pop into my mind a lot more. I have very littel to complain about right now, but do find these thoughts tough to deal with sometimes. I did give up a lot of fun in my youth for a successful career and (hopefully) financial security for me and my family - but wonder often if it was the right thing to do.


Well, what kinds of regrets are we talking about, exactly? That you didn't ask Sally out in high school, that you didn't spend a year backpacking around the world after college, that you didn't take vacations to exotic places with your wife before you became parents?

You say you have little to complain about now, with a successful career and likely financial security - and you're only 35. You gave up some fun to attain this? Lucky you, there's still time to have fun - decades worth, if you're really lucky.

Like Hardknocker, the only keen regrets I have now in my 50s are of things I did, not things I didn't do - occasions when I carelessly or needlessly hurt people. Perhaps that's because of my family; any of the alternate paths I might have taken would not have brought me to them, and balanced against them, those other possibilities seem no big thing now.

Also, in looking back over my thoroughly mundane life, I'm sometimes shaken to reflect how, on several occasions, ordinary situations suddenly and unforeseeably (well, maybe once or twice I was being a bit foolhardy) became near-death experiences, and the fact that I didn't die was due entirely to chance. I believe this is true for everyone. You can't be sure that a different choice would have turned out well; you might have been in a car crash while out having fun, that Saturday that you decided instead to go in to the office.

When I was in my 20s and early 30s, I was more concerned about paths not taken, "mistakes" made, etc. At the time, I found two perspective helpful:

First, that the way to be happy is to focus on the wonderful things you have, and the way to be miserable is to focus on the things you don't have (or didn't do).

Second, from someone whose life was far harder than your own sounds (thus far):
Against remorse.-- A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions--as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all. To be annoyed or feel remorse because something goes wrong--that he leaves to those who act because they have received orders and who have to reckon with a beating when his lordship is not satisfied with the result.

-Nietzsche, "The Gay Science"


"Regrets, I have a few
But then again, too few to mention..."
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)

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Re: On growing old

Post by fundtalker123 » Wed May 30, 2012 12:11 am

MP173 wrote:Within a few years my father, then my mother, and then my wife died. It leaves you with a sense of vulnerability, yet for me there were no profound thoughts that came out of it except...

My job on earth is not done. I have considerable amount to do to raise two boys and see them into manhood. At that point in time (upon the passing of my wife), my focus changed to what was truly important in life.

Ed


I salute you and wish you well in this endeavor!

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Random Musings
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Re: On growing old

Post by Random Musings » Wed May 30, 2012 9:38 am

Carpe diem.

For who knows how many moments are left?

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ

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Carpe diem.

Post by Taylor Larimore » Wed May 30, 2012 9:52 am

Random Musings wrote:Carpe diem.

For who knows how many moments are left?

RM


A former sailing student of mine who became a very good friend named his sailboat "Carpe diem" (Seize the day).

In my opinion, it is a perfect name for a boat--and an ideal way to live our lives.

Best wishes
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Re: On growing old

Post by abuss368 » Wed May 30, 2012 11:52 am

Hi Valuethinker,

A very moving thought.

Taylor, I really liked your reply noting the name of a boat. A good point we should all consider in our daily lives.

Thank you both.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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Re: On growing old

Post by hazlitt777 » Wed May 30, 2012 7:51 pm

You have my condolances Valuethinker. May your father rest in peace.

I remember Henry Hazlitt in his "farewell" or final address talked about his life of over 90 years that he knew was coming to an end. He said he was most thankful for his many friends and friendships. I never forgot that talk/article. He hit the nail on the head for me. I think at the core of life are our friendships, with God and with one another.
Sounds like your father had good friends and good family. That is a life well lived whether long or short in my humble opinion. Hopefully all of us here will be blessed in that same way.

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Re: On growing old

Post by SnapShots » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:13 am

VT, I lost my mother 2.5 years ago and think of her every day. I understand and I'm sorry about your loss.

I felt lost, after losing my mother. Although, she did not live with me, she required daily attention due to illness and frailty. I quit working and became isolated from friends while caring for her for several years.

Needing something to give me a jolt back into life - at age 62 - I learned to ride a motorcycle. My husband and I bought two Yamaha motorcycles. Scared me to death. Had a couple of panic attacks during motorcycle training classes. When first learning to ride I sometimes got the runs before going out for a ride. We ride jeep trails and back roads in the mountains and most recently went to Big Bend. A great place to ride. You may not see a car for 30 miles.

I now have over 1,000 miles and we are planning a trip to Jackson Hole this summer and taking our bikes with us. (I know my mother's stirring around in her ashes over me doing this.)

At the same time I took photography back up. I'd been a photojournalist in my younger years. Took a digital photography class to reconnect with people. And, have been taking online Photoshop classes for the last two years to learn how to turn to my pictures into photo art. Recently, had a couple of people pay a substantial price for photo art I donated for a fundraiser.

I had to chuckle a bit when someone called themselves "elderly" because they're two years away from RMDs. My husband is one year away and I have a hard time thinking of him or myself as elderly.

Losing my sister (she was only 51) and my mother (81) reminds me time is limited.

We need to do things that scare us a little to keep lift interesting. :sharebeer
Last edited by SnapShots on Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
the best decision many times is the hardest to do

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Re: On growing old

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:05 pm

SnapShots wrote:VT, I lost my mother 2.5 years ago and think of her every day. I understand and I'm sorry about your loss.

I felt lost, after losing my mother. Although, she did not live with me, she required daily attention due to illness and frailty. I quit working and became isolated from friends while caring for her for several years.

Needing some a jolt to get me back into life - at age 62 - I learned to ride a motorcycle. My husband and I bought two Yamaha motorcycles. Scared me to death. Had a couple of panic attacks during motorcycle training classes. When first learning to ride I sometimes got the runs before going out for a ride. We ride jeep trails and back roads in the mountains and most recently went to Big Bend. A great place to ride. You may not see a car for 30 miles.

I now have over 1,000 miles and we planning on going to Jackson Hole this summer and taking our bikes with us. (I know my mother's stirring around in her ashes over me doing this.)

At the same time I took photography back up. I'd been a photojournalist in my younger years. Took a digital photography class to reconnect with people. And, have been taking online Photoshop classes for the last two years to learn how to turn to my pictures into photo art. Recently, had a couple of people pay a substantial price for photo art I donated for a fundraiser.

I had to chuckle a bit when someone called themselves "elderly" because they're two years away from RMDs. My husband is one year away and I have a hard time thinking of him or myself as elderly.

Losing my sister (she was only 51) and my mother (81) reminds me time is limited.

We need to do things that scare us a little to keep lift interesting. :sharebeer


Thank you for such interesting and open thoughts-- very touching.

My father died in an accident, very suddenly. It was not something expected nor could we assign it to a hitherto undetected health problem. No it was straight external agency.

That means there has been no warning and that meants all the tangled emotions that Kubler-Ross documented happen all at once, I think.

Losing your sister at that age must have been very hard.

Yes our time is short. We just have to grasp the possibility of what is there.

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Re: On growing old

Post by reggiesimpson » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:46 pm

Yup its time to order the more expensive wine at dinner tonight!

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Re: On growing old

Post by SnapShots » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:51 pm

Value Thinker: Thank you for such interesting and open thoughts-- very touching.

My father died in an accident, very suddenly. It was not something expected nor could we assign it to a hitherto undetected health problem. No it was straight external agency.

That means there has been no warning and that meants all the tangled emotions that Kubler-Ross documented happen all at once, I think.

Losing your sister at that age must have been very hard.

Yes our time is short. We just have to grasp the possibility of what is there
.

My sister and brother in law were killed in a small plane accident in 2002. She was 51 and he was 62. Sudden and unexpected. Certainly, changed my life and my mother's. Horrible news to have to deliver to your mother. It's a tremendous loss to lose a sibling. And, very hard to lose a parent. But, for a parent to lose a child; it's incredibly heartbreaking to watch. All losses are hard. I'm not sure if a sudden loss is harder than watching a loved one suffer for an extended period of time.

Time helps. Eventually, my mother was able to laugh again. And, I have moved on. But, we never forget those we love and always feel their loss. VT, it takes one day at a time. One day you will smile again. :beer
the best decision many times is the hardest to do

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Re: On growing old

Post by englishgirl » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:17 pm

VT, I'm very sorry for the loss of your father. But you've certainly brought an interesting thread to life, with much to think about and digest. Lots of very thoughtful responses here.
Sarah

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Re: On growing old

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:44 pm

englishgirl wrote:VT, I'm very sorry for the loss of your father. But you've certainly brought an interesting thread to life, with much to think about and digest. Lots of very thoughtful responses here.


Sarah

We don't yet have all the information as to what happened.

Yes I think people have made kind, and superlatively thoughtful contributions here, and I am grateful to them all-- too many to thank individually.

We all I think have personal tales to tell of tragedy.

What I hope to focus on in this thread is living for the moment, and living with an optimistic and outward view of the potential of life and our interactions with our fellow (hu)man.

Whilst we hold that, as Dad did, then our mortality and that of those we love, may rest more lightly upon our shoulders.

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Re: On growing old

Post by BlueEars » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:48 pm

Valuethinker wrote:...

What I hope to focus on in this thread is living for the moment, and living with an optimistic and outward view of the potential of life and our interactions with our fellow (hu)man.
...

Living in the moment, some observations:
(1) Dogs do this very well and we love them for this. A well adjusted dog is happy and makes us happy too. He is happy as long as there are no threats and he has the basics.
(2) All we have to do is decide to be happy ... then just do it. Much easier said then done in practice.
(3) The smarter we are, the harder we might try to find secrets to even more happiness. But the point of diminishing returns is reached quickly and you don't have to be smart to get there.
(4) Humans seem to need to understand their place in the grand scheme. I agree with my Corgi (now gone) that there is no scheme, just the now. Just be happy and accept the time you have on Earth. Enjoy your time with your friends and loved ones. Do not over analyze this stuff ... well, if you must then realize it's not necessary. :happy

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Re: On growing old

Post by GregLee » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:24 pm

BlueEars wrote:Living in the moment, some observations:
(1) Dogs do this very well and we love them for this. A well adjusted dog is happy and makes us happy too. He is happy as long as there are no threats and he has the basics.

But he also needs work. Our dog needs to warn the mailman, the FedEx and UPS people, various proscelytizers, that our house is private property, and they would need his permission to approach. Once I've convinced him to stop barking and growling, that it's okay and I'm on it, he'll stalk off, stiff-legged and proud, woofing under his breath, "Well, that's all right then." Have you ever watched Cesar Milan's series of shows on dog therapy on the National Geographic TV channel? Sometimes Cesar straps water bottles onto dogs, so on their walks, they have useful work. Sometimes, without any purpose in life, dogs can get a little crazy.
Greg, retired 8/10.

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