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Heart Beat

Getting older ain't getting any easier, just more fun

"Getting older isn't always easy," so the press release begins. To which I say, "Duh!" Just getting up in the morning, which I seem to be doing earlier and earlier, takes a lot of concentration.

But I really don't mind getting older. I'm enjoying some of the freedom getting older is giving me. I can be outrageous and people think I'm going through my second childhood. This time around it's a lot more fun - cuz I can buy the toys I want, within reason of course.

I can say outrageous things and wear outrageous clothes and people's stares don't bother me anymore. "Let'em stare," I say. Silly old party poopers. Just cuz they can't carry off wearing pink chantilly lace skirts with purple crushed velvet tank tops with red converse tennis shoes, doesn't mean I won't if the opportunity arises.

I really don't spend a lot of time sitting around thinking about getting older unless someone brings it to my attention, like the press release from Optimal Aging. That piece of information about a new book set me off on a renewed quest of aging denial.

Rather than worry about the interaction of my prescribed pain reliever with my over the counter medicine for acid reflux, I went out and colored my hair. At long last, I decided to go blonde.

"Why not?," I decided. Just cuz I'm not getting any younger, doesn't mean I don't still want to have fun. After being a red head for 10 years, I decided to see if blondes really do have more fun. The verdict is still out on that question. I, however, am having a blast. At least I was until I read that crummy press release about late-life financial disasters.

I am having too much fun to give much thought to the next 20 years of my life. But a lot of people must be, otherwise aging advice authors Kevin O'Neal and Renno Peterson wouldn't have decided to issue a manual which will improve the knowledge of seniors (and we don't mean high school seniors) about improving the quality of their lives. Personally, I think the book, selling for about $30 a copy, would be a financial disaster for me. I'd only use it as a prop for my Elvis collection.

As far as improving the quality of my life, I believe it would be enhanced if I could find a painless way to remove the increased number of crows feet I see whenever I smile.

I'm sure I'd be a lot happier if I could lose that last 40 pounds without having to follow doctors orders to give up French fries, Snickers candy bars and triple cheeseburgers.

As I mark yet another birthday, I continue to refuse to sign up for helpful aging material. I don't think the aging groups have gotten the word of my disinterest yet. They keep sending me mail, bless their hearts. I wonder if I should tell them to quit sending the mailers or just continue to recycle their letters into mulch for my tomato garden.

The latest aging press release to cross my desk deals with a new book, The Optimal Aging Manual. The book is being called a Dr. Spock manual for the baby boomers. I guess, because we were the generation raised on the advice of Dr. Spock, someone decided we ought to be aging according to a Spock-like advisor.

Most of the people I know who have reached that all important retirement age are living much longer that they thought possible and they are loving it. But I don't see any of them sitting around reading up on how to best live out their "golden years" of their life. Folks I know don't have time to ponder their so-called lack of preparation.

While I'm sure I could use information about healthy and financially secure retirement, I don't to access any of that data for quite some time.

The manual I recently received, written for the children of the baby boomers, refers to preparing for my mortality and whether or not I'll ever be willing to give up my car keys.

I can't imagine giving up my car keys any time soon. And, I don't want to waste a chunk of time reading a 1,200-page aging manual. I could die of old age before I get all the way though that one. Talk about mortality issues.

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