Is 60 the new 40?

devorahJanuary 1, 2009

That was a question posed in the Dove advertising site on MSN. Lots of people responded with how wonderful they feel and how they plan to keep up their favorite activities until they are 80.

I am 61. My doctor says that my heart will last 5 - 10 more years. I also have diabetes, chronic kidney disease, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis etc. I think that my family thinks that I am letting them down by not being the strong, vibrant grandmother they want for their kids. My doctor had my DNA tested and I am also at very high risk for Alzheimers if I live beyond 65. There is a good chance that my FIL will outlive me.

This past Christmas we were snowed in and I couldn't help but feel that I was losing 10 - 20% of my remaining Christmases. That seems a bit harsh.

So how does life look to you if you don't backpack in Tibet at the age of 70? How do you make peace with getting a Chevette engine instead of a BMW? I keep reminding myself of how lucky I am to have made it to 61 with few mishaps. I was lucky that my son-in-law recognized the symptoms of appendicitis because it would never have occured to me to go to the hospital and gangrene had already set in. Looked at in some light, I am already living on extended time and should be greateful for it. I have had a cold now for 2 weeks and it is now in my chest so I don't have the cheeriest outlook today, but I would like to know how your philosophy protects your mind from negative thinking. I am a Christian, but it doesn't always help.

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Ignore advertising! LOL After all advertisers are only interested in selling product. I realize that the question was only sponsored by Dove - and I think that the people who answered are not in the majority.

I am 60 and have some of the ailments you listed, although not the more serious ones. Last year I had a 3-4 months of a head/chest virus (sent to cardiologist to verify all was ok there); followed by my father's death, followed by a staph infection for 6 weeks in my nose, well it felt like I was ready for no tomorrows!

When I am 'well', there is no way I have the energy or motivation to accomplish anything I might have attempted at 40. But, I do try to exercise daily (even if it ligh), watch what I eat, and look for opportunities to laugh. My mom taught me to laugh at everything in the 2 years she lived with me following her stroke until her death.

I think laughter does a lot and helps us enjoy situations that might otherwise aggravate us. Do what you can with your grandchildren - it doesn't have to be physical activity, read to them, make up stories, let them be the chef while you supervise.

I am a Christian also. You can email me if you like.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 1:31PM
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Is 60 the new 40?......certainly not in my case. I was in good health until I reached 60 and from there on (67), it has been all down-hill. My entire body has been consumed with arthritis....had some discs fused, a hip replacement that went bad...and need two knee replacements....pain is my constant companion. I also have a precancerous esophagus, so the diet is very bland...and oh I miss my Mexican food~~ I miss the days when I could dance all night in high-heels, get down on the floor and play with the grandkids, spend hours shopping, go for walks, etc. I battle depression every day....and with the economy's down-turn, my finances are in the drain. Days are long for me....but I do try to volunteer in a elementary school two days a week. I seem to have lost interest in living....but like you, I try to hold on to my faith...God has a plan....but it might not be "my" plan.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 11:51AM
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thank you so much for you kind words Rose. I am not normally depressed, it just set me off that our entire age group was presented as being healthy, happy and without problems, when that is so clearly not the case. I think it feeds the idea that is gaining prevalence, that if we are not healthy and strong, it is our own fault.

Phoggie, you really have it rough. I applaud you for continuing to try to find meaning for yourself. My church just lost its building because of freeway construction, but we found another, older church to move into. It is going to be a huge challenge for us to make it there. Helping with that is my project. I teach the adult Sunday School so I am going to have to work really hard to make it interesting, fun, and substantive. My brain is in a total fog right now from this bronchitis I have, but that should lift. Best wishes to you. God's plans can be very hard to discern.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Hi devorah,

I wish that I were in your Bible class - I'll bet that, between us, we could make it interesting!

And fun?

I'm not above being somewhat irreverent, at times ... even if a (former) reverend.

But I do prefer that people do some thinking.

I hope that you have really fine New Year, given your limitations (which I was sorry when I heard of). May it bring the fulfillment of some of your dreams ... and the envisioning of some new ones.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 2:15AM
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Thank you for your kind wishes O.J. I think we would have fun doing a Bible study. My favorite Christian scholar is John Dominic Crossan so that should give you some idea of the kind of study we do. Last year I did some of the parables. That was so eye-opening for me. Wow! We also did Crossan and Marcus Borg's book on Christmas. That was fascinating too. I have taken Hebrew classes at a synagogue in Seattle and that has been an immense source of interest. I love all the notes that comes with the BHS. I wish I knew some Greek, but I don't even know where I could learn it at a reasonable price and a reasonable distance from home.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 3:39PM
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Maybe 80's the new 60?

While I've been thankful to have been enjoying good health, a couple of recent minor difficulties have made me even more thankful for the good fortune that I've enjoyed in that department, over the years.

We have been building this huge emphasis on youth, and age sort of gets lost in the dust.

And obsession with health. Concern to have good health, and nurture it, is one thing and important and useful - but it seems to me that we've been overdoing it.

I did some Greek ... and some (ancient) Hebrew ... over 55 years ago.

Have hardly used it at all, since.

Haven't been a clergyperson leading a congregation in ... close to 30 years.

It seems to me that some of the problems besetting our countries these days relate to having felt in recent years that we've moved beyond those good old Christian value systems. Many of them also part of the ethos related to other relious systems, as well.

Almost every action ... has consequences.

Sometimes we figure that we can have the fun .. but avoid the usual consequences. And we may get away with our irresponsibilities for a while ... but ...

... the mills of God grind slowly ... but they grind exceeding small.

Good wishes for you, your loved ones and your church in the coming year.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 5:41AM
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Devorah, good wishes in your new, if older, church. Think of it as new beginnings!

OJ, I have no doubt that as Christian values diminish more problems develop.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 11:47AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Hello, I just happened upon this forum today and this thread caught my interest. I'm 61 and am also not a glowing advertisement for the golden years. I have fibromyalgia, some arthritis, have very little energy and am taking medications for anxiety and depression, without which I couldn't function at all. I also had a heart attack in 2000 and it was my good fortune that I work in a hospital and was there at the time because one artery was completely blocked and I would have died within a very short time without prompt medical intervention.

I often feel guilty because I'm too tired to cook, clean or do much of anything for any length of time but feel fortunate that I'm still able to work four days a week. I do believe that our modern sedentary lifestyle coupled with poor nutrition and an increasingly more toxic environment have caused many of our chronic health problems, and that it will only get worse. Never have I seen so many seriously overweight children and young adults, which you rarely saw even 25 years ago. Cancer and heart disease can often be linked to lifestyles and the environment, and I'm afraid we have a huge national health crisis in the making. Given that and our current economic woes, it is difficult to find happiness in everyday life. I believe that love and the beauty of nature, at least for me, are two mitigating factors that still allow happiness to exist. I'm not a religious person and so cannot wholly agree that a lack of religion has made our current situation worse, but I do believe that a lack of ethics has. Ethics, or morality if you will, is certainly a part of religion but it can also exist apart from religion, as can spirituality. We each have different things to help us get through life, but overall, in looking at the lives of friends and relatives, and being privy to what patients of our age and even younger experience healthwise, I do think that a very large number of people of our age group have to grapple with serious health issues. But then I tell myself that in the Middle Ages the average life span was 38 and there were no indoor bathrooms, and life doesn't seem so bad after all!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 5:30PM
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Don't know because I'm 71 & don't remember age 60...nor 40 either!
Fortunately, however, I'm in good health & take no medications. Well maybe a Tylonal (sp?) a few times a year for an overworked muscle. My main exercise is fast-walking.

My husband will be 81 in May & has already gone down-hill skiing twice this year. Needless to say, he's the oldest member in his ski club.

Healthwise, we've both been extremely lucky. But I don't think we are QUITE where we were at 40...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 12:00PM
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How much we tend to take our good health for granted.

When I hear of the many aches and pains with which many here (and in our local communities) have to contend, I am even more thankful than usual for the good health which I enjoy.

We can choose to fuss about the things that we used to be able to do but can't any more, if we choose ... but that seems to me to be rather a fruitless enterprise: I'd rather spend my time and energy doing some enjoyable things that I'm capable of, and with people whom I love, on occasion.

As many of you know, my daughter invited me to Phoenix last month to see the home that she bought last summer ... and to celebrate my 80th birthday ... and about half a dozen relatives gathered from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Georgia to surprise me - so we had a lovely time together - including enjoying daughter's new-to-her home.

Brother and wife gave me a nice sweater-jacket and sister a button saying, "I survived damn near everything!" ... and daughter gave me a baseball cap with the text, "Did you remember my senior's discount?" ... plus airbus London - Detroit and air fare Detroit - Phoenix.

Some said that it didn't appear that I got much loot ... to which I replied that when one hits 80 - just what does one need?

It's time to start disposing of one's stuff ... to make less chores for one's loved ones in dispersing one's stuff after one's departure from this dimension of life.

It was a warm, sunny day here today, after a fairly long spell of snow, cold, wind, rain, etc. ... so everyone had a smile on his/her face!

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 7:47PM
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    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 11:11PM
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