This guest post is by Pat Hanson, author of Invisible Grandparenting. Her article first appeared in GRAND Magazine.
Like “would’ve” and “should’ve” and “could’ve” statements that are useless after the fact; knowing that what we say and believe about our health and bodies can influence the attitudes we have about aging. ”Used to” is an expression that we repeat far too often as we face the inevitable changes that come with aging.
- I used to be able to sleep through the night, or more than 2 – 3 hours at a time, instead of being awakened by bladder pressure telling me I have ‘to go,’ where? To the bathroom of course. PICTURE TOILET
- I used to put a little make-up on to cover the red skin blotches on my face; but since seeing the same spots on movie stars like Anthony Hopkins when he played the Pope or The Father, I let that go. PICTURE ANTHONY HOPKINS AS POPE
- I used to blow dry my lifelong thin hair with a thickener on it. But since it hardly looks different in zoom close-ups, I don’t do that anymore. PICTURE me blow-drying hair
- I used to not need closed captions to watch movies or TV series or the news. But without expensive hearing aids, I need them to understand even when talking personally to anyone and I’m half-reading their lips. PICTURE closed captions
- I used to be able to remember characters in movies and plots long after I’d seen them. But now I look for those updates on them to see how old they are or if they are still alive. PICTURE Helen Mirren or Ellyn Burstyn who performed at 88 in a great current movie called “Queen Bees”
- I used to know or generally guess the ages of movie stars or comedians like Jerry Seinfeld (he’s 63.) But now I look them up to see how long it’s been since I watched his show regularly. (It ran from 1989 to 1998; for me that was 23 years ago. PICTURE Jerry Seinfeld
- I used to enjoy looking at actresses like Nicole Kidman (now 53) or Meryl Streep (now 71) or Goldie Hawn (now 75.) But now I keep wondering how they’ve made their faces so wrinkle-free. Was it botox? Plastic surgery? PICTURE botox or any of the movie stars
- I used to not need the spell and grammar check when I wrote pieces like this. But now I’m dependent on it. PICTURE definition of a word
Let’s take care of our bodies so we age well and delete the ‘ustas’ from our mind screen.