38488127 - sports pedestal. 3d

After two weeks of watching the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, my thoughts turn to those who do not get all the attention.  With  all the effort necessary to get to compete in an Olympic event, why is is so easy to overshadow the significance of those who almost made it.  We see the rewards on the faces and the necks of those who measure up but what about those jwho tried their best?

What has this do to with growing old?  Striving to stay independent throughout most of our later years is no small challenge. A good part of it is being able to recognize what you need and get it for yourself.  I commented on another  Well blog article from the NYT this week.  It is about  older people being ‘hacks’. Actually that is a compliment from the geek world. Translated it means someone who can re purpose or design a useful tool out of the ordinary.  In this  context  it means  older people doing sensible  things to keep themselves safe without needing  a design degree. What a wonder, older people can innovate to  help themselves big time at home. Would love to hear if anyone has done something similar.  See the article:  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/08/15/hacks-can-ease-the-trials-of-aging/?_r=0

This will not be as newsworthy as  the 100 year old woman in Queens  who can still do the 50 yard dash in  whatever seconds.  Sure the ad world will always catch our attention with the 86 year old nun who is still doing triathlons. That  either inspires you or appalls or maybe even discourages you. We always seem to measure our success by others. 

Part of the glory of being older should be that we do not have to regret the 1/100 of a second that separates us from placing for our best . The media will not find you when you are still doing your exercise routine at your own maximum effort level  in 10 years.  As with  many ‘runner up”  finishers you try not to screw up, disqualify yourself and place as well as you can.

Aging is as much a mental game as it is a physical challenge. Recognizing that you need to do a better job of keeping track of appointments, medications, or passwords and finding a way to help yourself deal with it, will be part of our aging in place challenge. 

But  effort is key whether it is trying to learn more  about using a more complex cell phone so you have the glories of GPS and  texting to stay in touch.  Maybe you finally signed up for that in person class to learn a new way to exercise or  tackle the computer.

It is not just  sitting in the bleachers observing what others  can and can’t do.  As I once heard comedian George Carlin say in concert, sometimes you have to be your own audience, the person on the other side of your desk, applauding your own good work!