GETTING OLDER 

Try to avoid ageing of you can! Craig Dennis/Pexels

Occasionally, I feel older. It happens when some person, a thought or a feeling, reminds me that I am no longer young. Otherwise, I am not aware of it. 

Anyway, I tell myself, at least I am not getting oldLike everybody else I know, I am merely getting older. And if the feeling persists I have to jump into action. Action negates lethargy. Languishing in bed until mid-morning is not a good start to the day. Singing in the morning shower often seems to herald a productive day, refreshing both mind and body.

Each day, we old-timers ought to have a couple of projects to fulfil; otherwise, we need a routine of disciplines. There are several other ways to stave off the feeling. We can go for a walk, as brisk as possible, on steep, rough terrain, clambering uand down steps or slopes. This brings a rush of adrenaline and we feel fine again. 

One characteristic of ageing is moaning and complaining about things we cannot fix. We could associate with younger people, or those young at heart, who tend to be more positive and more tolerant. 

We need to try to avoid dwelling negatively on better or more youthful times. It’s nice to reflect with gratitude on friendships, experiences and places that have given so much pleasure in the past, but not with frustration that they are no longer there. 

The haunting but sad beauty of Tchaikovsky’s last two symphonies is no antidote to ageing. Neither is music invoking nostalgia for past loves of people or experiences. Listening to joyful symphonies of Haydn uplifts my spirits. Similarly, New Orleans jazz, Neil Diamond or the early Rolling Stones bring happy memories of the joys of being young – I mean younger – and there are no bitter regrets.  

Personally, I need a good laugh every now and then, but humour today has succumbed to political correctness.  I normally find Jeremy Clarkson’s style of writing amusing, but he is not to everybody’s taste. In the late fifties, I used to snigger aloud on public transport at the humorous columnists Basil Boothroyd and Patrick CampbellSome of George Orwell’s essays combine wonderful humour with the passion of serious social issues. If I want a change I can run old videos of “Fawlty Towers”, Bob Monkhouse or Victor Borge. 

The important thing is to lighten up and not take everything seriously. 

Observation of attractive women is a harmless rejuvenation therapy. We are no longer allowed to wolf-whistle our appreciation in public. But ithe predatory instincts have subsided, we can enjoy female beauty in the way that we appreciate butterflies and birdsong. Well, kind of!    

Finally, it is helpful to remember the power of the mind over matter. Just as a positive mind is capable of healing so many physical ailments and so much mental distress, it can also conjure up a feeling of immortality.  

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Cassandra

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