Edgar said “ knew, as a youngster, that I was going to get old but obviously I didn't know what old age was going to feel like. “
Not wanting to Shanghai the Job Stuff thread and having a bit to say about 'Old Age' being well into that particular category myself, I have started this new thread for all you youngsters who are desperately not trying to catch up with this old sod! One of two of you may well be approaching 'old age' and I will say that you are as old as you feel, for myself that varies immensely from day to day but most days of late I get measurably older as the day ages!
As cousin Daisy knows I recently lost my wife of 40 years happy marriage which puts a whole new outlook on life in that she (my wife, Daisy's age shall not be told!) was about ten years younger than I. Now don't get all 'what do I say to this fellow I only know on line who just revealed his loss'. Let us just have an open discussion of what old age brings, the loss of a companion being just one of those things, the challenges and solutions that personal and financial changes bring as we age. It may be a bit 'heavy' for these pages but the one or two of us here on a regular basis obviously respect others opinions and its a better forum for such discussions that Facecrap and the like (IMHO) bearing in mind that all such places (here included) are 'public'!
I have a LOT more to say on this subject but will await further reaction to my initial post before jumping in with more about the difficulties of suddenly finding oneself without your longtime partner......
Now don't get all 'what do I say to this fellow I only know on line who just revealed his loss'.
but i'm going to say it anyway. i am so sorry to hear that kanuck. that is so sad. my love to you and you family. you and i may 'only' be online fellows, but i do count you as a friend, so i give you my condolences.
40 years is a long time. wow. i can see how such a loss and change in your life can make you ponder the woes of aging.
i'm into middle age but i feel the old age pull with regard to my parents. they are not 'old' by todays standards, but at the same time they are old people. they have numerous health woes between them but its all under control. but i worry, a lot, about when/if something happens to knock them for six. one fall, and that could mean a wheelchair, a old folks home. i worry about dememtia. a few friends have parents they care/cared for. one friend only lost her mum a month ago. she had alzheimers and was stuck on a loop with old stories and memories. yet curiously she was in good physical health. her body seemed to suddenly pack up, and given she was in her 90's it sort of seems a blessing, compared to some of the horrible situation other friend parents have been in.
my parents have been together for 50 years. i can't imagine if one needed care enough to have to go to a home and the other left behind.
aging is a weird thing. you don't feel old, then suddenly you are.
Thanks.... At my age I worry about dementia also, there are days where I wonder if I just forgot or the old brain cells are fading, not helped by a stroke a few years ago that took a few that I could ill afford to loose. My biggest fear is to loose my mind before my body gives out, but then I probably would not care eh.......
Still got enough cells left to bug you guys though....so far!
Post by thesentientpasty on Sept 11, 2019 22:02:58 GMT
Mrs Bez's father was ... 70. He had a stroke. Had several more. He was placed in hospital, utterly out of it (or was he? We'll never know! I shudder knowing where he was and/or whether he knew it, what he thought about it) and he died, basically of starvation, three months later. 'A blessing'. Hmmm.
Bez's father, a few months later ... 80. Had gone shopping, AM, returned to build a new PC for my Mum, PM, read a book in the evening, went to bed, and ... didn't wake up. Massive aneuryism during the night.
Those of us who have been around for a few decades must be grateful for past experiences and future challenges and take each day as a new opportunity. This thought was brought to my attention as I received a note from a distant relative telling us of the death of their teenage daughter to cancer after quite a few months battling same. Such news makes us older folks be extra grateful for every day we wake wondering what we are going to do to fill the time thus available, and how much longer we are going to be physically and / or mentally able to carry on. So yes Confused, I will keep 'bugging' the one or two folks who drop in here if for no other reason that to simply pass the time........
kanuck, I am genuinely sorry for your loss. I'm not going to write anything else at the moment, as I am currently under the influence of Guinness Extra. There is more that I can write, for sure, just not now - I shall return to this thread.
I'm 57. For me, at this time, ageing feels like 'clapping out'. Things I could once do, I might still be able to but much slower. I'm coming to terms with the fact there are probably things I'll never do again (sometimes, that's a blessing!) It's not difficult to come to terms with in honesty - there's always a last time for everything; visiting somewhere, seeing someone... so I guess I'm philosophical about it, and it probably shapes me. What is it 'they' (tips hat to confused!) say? Do everything as if it's your last time. I was thinking about my first serious girlfriend yesterday and how I'd like to see her again, but then I realised I wouldn't. Initially, there was a sadness about that but thinking about her had brought back smiles - so memories have 2 sides.
Maybe I'm going through of phase of experiencing ageing in terms of 'loss'; things I can't do, people I won't ever see again, etc. Maybe this phase will pass as I begin to see more of that 2nd side of memories; the happiness, the warmth. Maybe I'll start to reflect more on my life, being content with where I am (mentally, physically, geographically) I hope so. There's no doubt old age brings with it changes (the passage of time sees to that) and I think one can develop a peacefulness about that process. Old age brings wisdom 'they' say ('they' get around don't they!), maybe a bit of 'been there, done that' helps. A rueful, knowing smile and a gentle serenity brought on by the warmth of a fond memory.
Ah age 57, I remember way back then when I had sufficient ambition and drive to continue to improve what was then a largely wild 30 ares of bush where I had just completed building my own house. Now some 15 years later I have difficulty finding the ambition to simply maintain the trails and upkeep the house and workshop, looking back I wonder where I found the drive to design and build a whole house almost entirely with my own labor. At the time the biggest driver of that effort was the need to do 'everything with nothing' given the distinct limit of funds available, that and a winter living in a camper trailer as we worked to get the project 'out of the ground'. Such thing tend to focus the mind on the important things …. food, shelter, heat and naturally $$$$ .
I was, and am, so proud of what we accomplished in just a couple of years in 99 – 2000, there is little doubt that I had the right incentive, opportunity, knowledge and physical ability at the right time and place after a number of years of seeking such to come together. We never know what life is going to bring us and looking back now at the highlight of more than 70 years on this ball of dirt I see that the house that I now sit in was one of the major accomplishments over those years. There were a few others some of which I will briefly share with you...
Way back in the 60s I trained as an electrician and spent many hours peddling behind the local tradesman similarly mounted as we made our way to whatever job we were assigned, me with Frank's tools strapped to the carrier on back. Ah the joy when it was a big job that required the Eastern Electricity van to transport materials (and us) to the site.....
By the early 70s I had learned much, become licensed and emigrated to Canada where as an electrical 'service' technician I daily came across and defeated many technical challenges by the time honored tradition of learning by doing. Such learning method has stood me in good stead over the years for even with minimal formal training my ability to learn on the job has left me with an almost unequaled range of basic electrical, plumbing, carpentry, construction and design abilities.
I will leave my journey through life here for now and return to the saga later when the urge to share strikes again.
Bated breath vs baited breath Bated breath is a phrase that means to hold one’s breath due to suspense, trepidation or fear. Bated breath is a phrase first mentioned in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. The word bated is an abbreviation of the word abated, meaning to lessen in severity or amount. Bated is rarely used on its own as an adjective or verb anymore, but it lingers in the English language in the phrase bated breath.
Baited breath is a common misspelling of bated breath. Bait is a substance used as a lure to capture fish or other prey, therefore, someone with baited breath would probably have a terrible case of halitosis.
"learning while doing"... yes, that describes much of what I do these days. Being a computer-type IT person by trade*, I know little or nothing of what might be classed 'manual' labour. I did wood work at school when I was 12 (as I recall, it was actually called 'manual' too!) but other than that, I really didn't know one end of a spanner/chisel from another. So the renovation work I've done here (nothing on Kanuck's scale I hasten to add) has all been very much learning on the job - with all the inherent joys and frustrations that brings.
Some of those frustrations (to pick up on the earlier theme) being due to age; I'm not quite as flexible as I once was, not quite as strong and certainly not quite as mentally agile. Ageing has undoubtedly slowed me and whilst it's far from debilitating at this point, I do notice it happening.
(*yes, IT was a 'trade' for me in the 80s. Much akin to being an electrician or plumber in the way I worked. I was self-employed and writing/fixing software for small businesses, invariably manufacturing. As the 2000s approached and small businesses could buy 'off-the-shelf' software for their needs, my much enjoyed niche kinda shrivelled. I then found work in the finance and related sectors - banking, insurance, credit - but still in IT. The money might have been better but it sucked the life out of me. I missed my visits to the UK's trading estates where the majority of my then clients were, and I was now stuck, be-tied and be-suited, in faceless offices - where the only thing that ever changed were the partitions that divided the 'work spaces' - and those changed according to fashion and fad, employers could say they 'cared' and where 'improving the work environment' but the job itself - that sucked as ever. Sorry, I'm getting a little off-topic...)
I don't find your aside about self employment and computers 'off topic Edgar, this thread is about our life experiences and what we learned both in a practical sense and in life so I will further 'side track' the discussion to follow up on your note about computers. I have had one of those increasingly complex things on my desk continuously for around 35 years since the early days of the C64 on which I learned basic programming which stood me in good stead many years later when electrical and electronics merged. It was only relatively recently that I sold my collection of C64 and Vic20s sitting in the attic to a collector it having been put aside in favor of an IBM with 640k memory, wow ... all that room to operate, I wonder what today's programmers would do faced with such finite limits in memory. I will admit to being very slow to now embrace the new computer technology preferring my 'old' win 7 system to each new increasing complex OS presented by windoze, and avoiding the finger scroll tablets like the plague. Old dogs and new tricks syndrome eh.
As for self employment I have the opposite experience from yourself spending the early years 'working for the man' and later graduating to self employment, I can understand your frustration on being trapped in an office, the walls of that cubical must close in on you more each day!
I wonder what today's programmers would do faced with such finite limits in memory.
At the risk of going so far off topic as to bore everyone else (but I simply had to pick up on your comment as it had instantly taken me back to the 80s!) the computer memory limitations back then were in themselves something that made you think hard about how you'd approach a task. Maybe it even taught you good coding, I don't know. It certainly taught you, um, 'efficiency' shall we say. But, yes, as the years rolled on and computers rapidly became more powerful, you had (comparatively) oceans of memory to play with, and then to the point where it ceased being a consideration at all. Today's programmers don't even need to think about it, they'd freak at only having 256k of addressable memory! Ah, those were the days!
I still keep my hand in with coding, writing noddy little scripts for this and that, but my days of serious code development have long gone.
Edit: something else that I'm reminded of; I had a coding pad. I didn't write a line of code on the computer until I'd sketched out (even if only in shorthand pseudo-code) what I was going to do. We also had a program length limitation (again that magical 256k) so that again forced a discipline. There were also program library size limitations, so you'd write parameter driven re-usable code where possible to keep within the space limitation. Such limitations are effectively absent now and the popular image you see of geeky coders on TV/films these days is off them plonking themselves down at the terminal and bashing out lines of code with no apparent concern for memory or disk space. Whilst that is a media characterisation, it also has some truth to it! Times have (and do) change, that's for real.
Post by thesentientpasty on Oct 11, 2019 10:24:17 GMT
Self-taught coder here, too. I eventually morphed into the (stupidly well-paid) go-to actionScript resident guru.
...And now I stack beans and speak to real people, for a few hours a week. Somedays I run the self-scan tills while dreaming of next year's sailing adventures.
But age IS a thing. I formerly did all my own car maintenance, but these days I realise I'm so stiff and sore the day after changing bits, bent or submerged under the car, that I'm happy to cough up for someone else to do it.
“But age IS a thing. I formerly did all my own car maintenance,.....” Its a thing alright, just not sure at this point in my life what kinda 'thing' it is, OLD age is even more of a thing as I am now finding out, in my case the old bones all still work but much more slowly and with greater repercussions if over used , hell if used at all for anything even slightly strenuous. As mentioned previously I have always been a hands on fix it myself kinda fellow, and yes that included car repairs up to and including engine transplants ….no longer, its not so much that I cant do it as I no longer want or need to do it, the process goes something like 'I should......' 'Ah fk it' !! Fortunately I have an adult son at home who has inherited my affinity for all thing mechanical and electrical so that now when things fail its 'Mike can you …....' as I sit in my chair giving out of date advice! I guess age does have SOME advantages.....
I've just had a few days in Clermont-Ferrand. Why is that relevant here? Well, as I walked around exploring, the effects of ageing once again became apparent. As a younger man, I could pound the pavements for hour after hour and suffer no ill-effects. Not so now. Not only aches (feet, legs and back) but also the need to have more frequents breaks for coffee etc. In my 20s, I would sleep off the limb tiredness and repeat the process the next day. Now, each new stride weighs heavily as the tiredness accumulates until a complete rest day is required.
On the plus side, and age related I guess, we stayed in a cheap and cheerful 2 star hotel (and it was cheerful!) This was the sort of the thing I used to do in my youth (I was never a hostel person) but as I got older, I tended to begin to favour the familiarity of generic but faceless chain hotels (Ibis and the like) Characterless, yes, but known quantities each and every one. And so it was a fond memory revisited to be staying somewhere again where floors creaked and water pipes shuddered, where doors and windows had slight warps from age and no longer cleanly fit their frames. Age again showing its pluses and minuses; things may not work as they once did but at least they were of themselves.
I've been thinking about Kanuck's words too. It struck me that he's experiencing ageing in a different way to me; Kanuck's is more like a lack of motivation, or a sadness due to that lack. I experience ageing more like a frustration, a frustration that my abilities have diminished. I generally find my motivation for things (such that it ever was) is still there. Indeed, still having the motivation is exactly what is leading me to discover that my abilities are going. So for me, at this stage in my life, ageing is experienced as a frustration - that I can't do something any more. Maybe our age difference accounts for the difference of experience, maybe the older and wiser Kanuck has become aware of his physical capabilities and happily lives with them without frustration, but feels the loss of the desire to do the things he used to? I don't know but the difference in the way we talk of ageing does interest me.
In response to Edgar...... "maybe the older and wiser Kanuck has become aware of his physical capabilities and happily lives with them without frustration" Older certainly, wiser is very debatable, Frustrated more than perhaps my words here reveal as very frustrated by that lack of ambition. I want to get out and do stuff but just cant seem to find the drive to do so despite the ability to physically to do so (in small bite). if I dont get something going before the enforced winter hibernation brought on by snowy roads and lack of 'things to do' to maintain my acreage (other than clear the bloody snow) I may go totally nuts! The quiet rural life that I have enjoyed over the years can become a debilitating thing when one becomes too isolated, the loss of a companion of 40 years changes everything.
Isolation is recognised as a big problem here in France. These days, it's part of the postie's role to spend a bit of time just chatting to those that live on their own. It's not just the elderly either but predominantly. Nor is it just rural but, again, predominantly. So Kanuck you fall well and truly into that 'predominantly' category. Not that that'll be of any consolation to you of course. It's dreadful how people become forgotten these days.
My wife's mother is in a retirement home in Llanelli, cared for by those who (hopefully) love their jobs and get a sense of fulfilment from. They're not paid well, of course, and we (i.e. society) takes advantage of them. Anyways, my wife's mother once said, as she was sat in her armchair in the common lounge, "what use am I?" It's very hard to respond to that because, you know exactly what she means. The question is though, I think, not framed correctly. It's not a matter of what 'use' she is but how she feels about herself.
Besides, at it's most cynically specific, she IS of use. Her very presence in that home is providing employment to carers, keeping a business going, she's spending her savings and contributing to the economy. But who wants to be defined as useful in that way? Hardly fulfilling. So I reckon you define your own 'use'.
I've become quite adept at amusing myself for no other purpose than amusing myself. I'm quite 'anal' I suppose (others might say) because I'm quite a slow and tidy worker. I like to clean up in stages. Do a bit, clean up. Do another bit, clean up. It makes for longer tasks certainly but it's a means to manage my anxieties and give myself a sense of knowing what I'm doing, of being in control. I like being active (and it's better for me) but experience has taught me that I can't handle pressure and I will pressure myself if I think too much about the fact I don't really know what I'm doing. I have to tell myself that I'm learning on the job (as we referred to before) and by slowing myself down, I can handle the anxiety that I might otherwise feel.
Yes, others would definitely work more quickly but I tell myself that time is something I have (and money isn't) so my 'use' is defined as 'saving money'. But in truth, it's not really about saving money, not primarily anyway; it's about keeping myself occupied and in good health (mentally mainly) Just doing something, doing anything really, keeps me relatively happy.
“I've become quite adept at amusing myself for no other purpose than amusing myself. I'm quite 'anal' I suppose (others might say) because I'm quite a slow and tidy worker. I like to clean up in stages. Do a bit, clean up. Do another bit, clean up. “
It would seem the we are complete opposites in this department Edgar, over the years I have always had 'something to do' usually building or fixing my own stuff or doing the same for customers or friends, nearly always had a project or two in the works. Now whilst I could probably find something to do I have little that I MUST do and zero ambition to do anything, its not a good place to be. When I was busy 'doing' you would have been appalled for I worked at speed dropping the debris of my efforts around me be it tools, wood, screws or other parts. By the time a project was all done it usually looked like a small bomb had dropped and required much time to sort the debris from the tools and the 'gota save that' possibly useful in the future bits. Never having been one to go out and buy new when 'pre used' stuff was available said pile was (and still is) considerable.
Somehow I think we should confine our 'collaboration' to online chats!
i'm sorry you're feeling so low kanuck. it does seem like maybe you need a project with a deadline?
i've noticed in some cities in the uk (not where i live) there are volunteer groups who do simple electronic or engineer or DIY types repairs for local people, or assist workshops or training groups and the such. if you've got the mad skills maybe you can loan them out to people and socialise and put the world to rights in the process?
i'm sorry you're feeling so low kanuck. it does seem like maybe you need a project with a deadline?
I did attempt to get something going with a local 'home and community support' group that provides services and company for folks that are 'challenged' physically and perhaps mentally but after 3 months of filling out forms, getting a 'police check' (seems I am OK and not a mass murderer) and still no definitive word on any 'placement' I have all but given up on that. If nothing else it has reinforced my disdain for 'government services', it hard to get enthusiastic about such things when the process fks you around for months.....
Looks like winter is going to bring me a 'project' tonight ..... clearing snow and / or putting big blower on the tractor........
Shame that you could not get something going Kanuck. There is an abundance of "Mens sheds" springing up here for exactly type of person. The retired male with skills. Chaps get together and chat no doubt with much tea and biscuits and put their skills to the test fixing items brought to them by the public. The chaps have therefore formed their own community support group for those with time to spare or at a loose end. The bereaved find new friends and company and it all seems such a great idea. That would be so good for any community and you have so many skills Kanuck it could be a huge success.
I'm late to this age related party but age has been on my mind a lot lately. Like confused, I'm noticing the ageing effect on my parents and most of my volunteers are 70+ so I do feel like I spend my life surrounded by pensioners. Add to that the fact that I'm feeling decidedly menopausal - age is dominating my life!
And I do feel like I'm having a midlife crisis. Not in the Shirley Valentine way (I'm not planning to go abroad and get off with a young waiter...although you never know!) but in a "what have I done with my life? what am I doing with my life" sort of way. I'm reassessing everything but not really getting anywhere.
I feel like I want to do SOMETHING before I get really really old. Is this normal?
Define 'normal' but, to answer the question, completely normal.
I share the desire to want to do something, achieve something (anything!) before I consign myself to compost. I think we all ponder our achievements (or lack thereof) as we get older. And therein lies a problem.
People have probably heard the '1000 hours' theory on becoming an expert. That is how long it's reckoned to take to master any skill to the point of sublimity. That equates to roughly 25 to 30 years.... yep, 25 to 30 YEARS! I simply haven't got the time left to become good at anything so I'd have to best settle for mediocrity (at best) if I decided to do something new.
So I'm toying with the notion of trying to accept that this is my lot, as good as it gets. From here on in, it'd be simple pleasures and passing the time doing whatever brings a smile to my face.
On which subject, the cranes have been flying overhead again on their way south to warmer climes. It really is a wonderful sight and sound. When I witness it, I really do feel that it's pretty much all I need to keep me from going dolally.
Know just what you mean Bear. If I could say anything to my younger self it would be take what you are told is right with a pinch of Unicorn dust. They said. Get a job. work hard and hold it down. That is the correct thing to do....Well I did and ended up working years in a not terribly well paid but highly skilled job that took me nowhere but to a quadruple heart bypass. My advice NOW to my younger self. (If only) would be follow your dreams a bit more and live life not just exist in it.
I think it is 'normal' to do a life audit (super wanky new age term) when you reach 40+ (I'm 46 btw). In fact, would it not be strange not to look at your life and think about if you're content or not?
I'm trying not to think 'am I happy', because happy is a fleeting moment in time. None of us can be happy all the time, but I guess we can be content. Content with our lot shouldn't mean settling for less than we want or need though, content should be accepting that what we have now is enough to keep us mentally/spritually/financially sustained - feel free to disagree with me. I'm on a slightly rambling train of thought at the moment so anything could pop up on this post. My problem is I don't feel content. I don't hate my job but long term it won't earn me enough to survive on my own. I don't hate my job but it's not my natural state, I feel like I'm acting like the jolly shop keeper and that is exhausting, as confused and bez can probably understand. I'm not happy with my living arrangements. I am incredibly lucky that I can live with my parents but to be honest, I really really need my own space. Not gonna happen at the moment though. So in a nutshell, I'm really not content but have no idea what to do to make myself feel content. Answers on a postcard to me......