Wednesday 23rd June 2021

My Stories About Ageing: My New Blogging Category Is Here! 5/2021.

My Stories About Ageing: My New Blogging Category Is Here! 5/2021.

This image of me: Left: Jan 2006. Right: July 2020. Same person loving the elements. But ageing is definitely showing!

Why this?

Why Now?

It’s time.

I have been considering writing stories about ageing from my perspective and experience for a while.

Back Story.

I am now 71. I still find that hard to believe! It could be because my Dad, at 97 is still well and I am ‘still his daughter’. But…no, it cannot be that I am a kid and he is the adult. He, my friends, is elderly, I am ageing. Oh, who am I kidding!

The catalyst may have been this: a photo of us aged 21 on our Wedding Day in 1971 and a re-creation image in 2015 when we were 65 (me) and 66 (B)….as we ready ourselves aged 71 to share our Golden Wedding Anniversary (50 years of marriage) on 23 January 2021.

Or, it may have been this past year because events took hold of me health-wise in a big and somewhat confronting (for me) way:

  1. I found I had to dig deep into my emotional capacity, and remember how I managed my inner emotional health recovering from head and neck cancer, to do this.
  2. I also found the ‘reasons’ for my rectal prolapse surgery very hard to accept and share.
  3. I now know, of course, I am better without the physical problem and that whilst I waited a long time to admit to needing the surgery, it was a lack of shared knowledge from other women that was part of my resistance.

 

Onto the reasons why I will post about Ageing and Stories About It from Me.

From my perspective: Denyse at 71!

On my 71st Birthday, 30 November last year, I posted this collage of me at 68,69,70 & 71,  and in fun, a ‘this is 71’ photo was taken by my husband (at my request) too.

Groups. People On and Off Social Media. For Me? Not For Me?

  • I love to be social on-line. It is easier for me to be on-line and meet up virtually with a range of people than it is to go out and find a group.

 

  • Before I go on. I did have a social group of sorts when I was in education.However, these were often work-based and even though friendships stayed firm at work, they tend to peter out at retirement time and when moving schools.

 

  • When I first retired I became a volunteer and was engaged in some interesting but mundane work and felt my skills could be better used in a leadership role.

 

  • I found one of those easily and was welcomed with open arms. It was not, however, long lasting as the intent of the volunteer group clashed with my educator’s values.

 

  • I started a small group for colouring mindfully. There was a lot of interest initially until it came time to attend. Very few did. It stopped. Sad to say, the same thing happened just 3 years ago too.

 

  • I am not a sport player nor hobby-mad really and do what I can at home to get my creative ‘fix’ now. I joined a group learning crochet but left as no-one had any idea how to teach an ambidextrous person how to crochet.

 

  • I even joined, not for long sadly, a local community group for women only. It spoke of meeting for coffee and brunches. I liked that idea. I went, I joined in but alas the ages were not close to mine, and again, sadly, the cohort was almost all local to the area whereas we are ‘newish’ here.

My Observations as an Over 70s Person.

Getting older is, for many of us, a privilege we do not always appreciate.

I admit having a cancer diagnosis out of the blue in mid 2017 sure was a wake-up call to thinking “we are immortal” but I whilst never thought I was dying it gave me a new appreciation for health and recovery from cancer.

I know that I am very grateful now to receive a part-aged pension income, which added to my husband’s pensions gives us a reasonable life here as a couple who are renting.

I don’t mind even feeling somewhat invisible as an over 70s woman because it gives me a chance to be an observer and I like that!

What I notice, particularly now, is that on social media: groups on Facebook, communities and twitter and instagram, that I do not see (nor hear of ) people who are close to my age.

Even the groups geared to seniors, older Australians, retirees, generally cater for those from age 50 to say 65.

And, as I found out in COVID 19 times, now that my husband and I are 0ver 70 we are classed as:

  • elderly
  • vulnerable

Why Blog About It?

I feel somewhat left out!

  • By groups even for seniors and older people.
  • The starting age is now 21 years younger than I am.
  • I want to have a voice that matters to others who might want to hear/read stories of ageing….
  • ones that keep ageing  reality-checked to counter balance with the “promises of using certain products to stave off….”

I will continue to write more here.

  • I want to be included but I sense that in my particular social media setting I am definitely older or the oldest of a group’s cohort.
  • In fact many people I love to chat with and catch up with are indeed closer to my daughter’s age and she is turning 50 this year.

But, that is good for me too as I am flexible in how I interact….

Yet, I want to be the voice (here) of reality in ageing as I wish I had known more!

What Do You Think?

Have I gone too far?

Do you every imagine yourself actually ageing with significance?

Every decade I see people bemoaning the zero coming up.

Really?

OK, for some I imagine it is scary.

The unknown perhaps but since the internet is here, maybe “I” can be a better heard voice of wisdom, failures and experiences for turning:

40

50

60

70.

Am I opening up too much?

Would you like to know more about my experience of ageing?

How could my story help you, perhaps?

Maybe you might share your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you.

Denyse.

Joining with Leanne and friends here for Lovin’ Life Linky.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Denyse there is so much to discuss in your post. No you haven’t opened up too much and no you haven’t gone too far. I think what you are doing is wonderful and needed. I’m only a few years younger that you but I do have similar feelings about social media. I do love it but I’m feeling a little left out. Fortunately I have my genealogy community which consists mostly of people my age. Most of my face to face friends have been made through exercise and they are all closer to my children’s age. I’m starting to feel that I don’t fit in them. Looking forward to reading your future posts on this subject.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Jennifer and I can see that we are indeed feeling something in common.

      It is OK that we are both noticing this I am sure as we scroll or comment on our various groups. I know relevance is important to me and I was feeling less and less of that!

      What to do about it, is I suppose, continue both the discussion and see if there is an understanding or interest from those who “are” younger to know more about what I see is the experience of ageing now.

      Food for thought!

      Denyse.

  2. Denyse I’m so interested in this topic. I wonder if you being the top-end of those you interact with online is because you are very online-savvy for anyone, let alone anyone of your age. I also wonder if numerical age matters less the older we get, but shared values, shared interest in hearing different or similar perspectives etc but be the glue that binds.

    • Thanks so much Michelle.

      Those points are well made and yes I can see what you are meaning very well.

      One of my objectives I guess is to rise about the sometime superficiality of ageing “do this, take that..” and so on and I think it can play a part in ignorance. Ageing is actually non-negotiable if we live past …whatever age we think of as ‘older.’

      I am of the Baby Boomer generation and used to having a ‘voice’ so now want to use it to share more. I know my mother shared very little and I am not so sure if my daughter’s and granddaughters’ generation do want to know more about ageing from MY experience and perspective.

      So one thing I will be doing is actually “asking them”!

      Thanks again, your comment is very helpful. More food for thought!

      Denyse

  3. I don’t think you have opened up too much at all. All the points that you made about seniors groups online and about making friends through in-person groups make sense.
    From my perspective of “starting again” with making friends in a new country, I’ve also found it difficult. I don’t know if it has to do with age or the kind of person I am. But I will say that your experiences of groups petering out or of you feeling like you don’t “click” with the rest of the group are definitely things that I’ve experienced as well.

    • I am glad you made the point about starting a-new when you moved and that makes a lot of sense for how it was for me too.

      Not all of what I am experiencing IS about ageing. It’s about seeking and finding a group or place where you have common interests and more.

      That perspective has really helped me think on this some more.

      Thanks so much Katherine.

      Denyse.

  4. I think there is plenty to be said about aging, because like everything, we all attack it and experience it in different ways.And I think finding your tribe is a big part f feeling ‘normal’, even if you have to start the tribe yourself. Look forward to hearing more on this…!

    • Good thoughts here Lydia.

      I lumped in ageing with groups who talk and write about it “as if it is preventable” and some of that was what got to me.

      Now, reading your words and those of others, I can see it is about fitting in and relevance.

      Great to think differently on a topic and you have helped.

      Denyse.

  5. I suspect that you got online when you were older than many others, which is a huge credit to you Denyse. You’re far more internet savvy than most and will to adopt new technologies and accept change. Now that I’m over 50 I feel there’s a vagueness to age that comes from mid 40s onwards.

    Although many people in 50s and above are becoming grandparents it’s not the same ‘divide’ I felt when I was in my 30s and early 40s when my friends and counterparts were having kids and writing about parenting. Now I can relate to the posts most people a decade or so young and several decades older than me write.

    • You are right, Deb. Twitter was my first foray into great conversations and ‘catch ups’ on line after leaving the world of schools and teaching.

      I found it very stimulating intellectually and it was from those old old days of commenting on mamamia posts in 2009-2010 I was encouraged to start a blog. So many of us back then did that and way before me. I met many I remain friends with today and have met in many cases.

      I see it is finding a place that perhaps I don’t need now. I do feel pretty at ease here and responding to readers and bloggers.

      Why I even began to let this bubble over into a post and wanting to write more was a couple of physical changes that have happened to me in recent months (age-related!) and I wanted to say “why wasn’t I told”.

      You do sound in quite a good place in terms of acceptance about where you ‘fit’ ‘lie’ or whatever word that works being able to connect with those of differences of age ranges. That is quite a gift!

      Thanks for your helpful response.

      Denyse.

  6. Well done Denyse and well said! There is a great need to talk about these issues and your blog is the perfect place to start. Many who don’t blog, don’t understand the community of like minded people we gather around us online, but you have a good following of all ages and everyone has something to say about ageing! I think you’ve covered it well and I don’t think you’ve overstepped the mark.

    Although I am just 60, we have a lot in common and our blogging has cemented this into a friendship, despite the fact we’ve not met in person! I am very interested in seeing where you take this new direction. By the way Jennifer nominated you for #Shoutoutsaturday on my blog this week, so you’ve definitely struck a chord – so good on you!

    • Oh wow, thanks for that kind support and I will go slowly as I mull over both responses here and the need for more from me.

      Taking my time is going to help as will seeing others like yourself opening up and knowing the topic so to speak is on the table.

      I have been thinking about writing a series of posts about turning 50, 60 and 70 and all that those changes held for me in the decades onwards.

      I agree, we would chat on non-stop with our common areas such a teaching, living in the country, grandparenting and more…one day, Deb. ONE day!!

      I hadn’t seen that element of your Saturday Shout Out and will do now.

      One thing that I may have mentioned I have changed is my word press account and email system so that I now see when you and others I follow have posted and can check those posts out. I just wasn’t doing that properly for some time.

      Now that I have changed this way, I am also able to use the wordpress system for comments from my blog.

      Thanks again, for your 100% support.

      Denyse.

  7. Hi Denyse, I am grateful for this post as it is a topic that has been on my mind of late. I am 70 and will be 71 the end of April. Not in a rush, but I really struggled with the thought of being 70. I have been welcomed by other bloggers and it has really helped me, but I am conscious of the fact that I have a few years, lol, on those wonderful folks who are just turning 60, I certainly didn’t think I would get bounced out of the group, but I have been mindful of the gap. There is a book I started to read and then bought, but still need to get back to it, “Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age” by Mary Pipher. Have you read it? I was going to take it on vacation the end of December, but that vacation got cancelled due to COVID. Anyway, I hadn’t meant to ramble on, but I will be watching the topic. Blessings, Michele #lLifethisweek

    • Michele, I am so glad you are back and sharing here too.

      Yay for a fellow 71-er! I did listen to Mary Pipher’s book. I felt it was US-centric as it was her experience of her life in the U.S.A. but there were indeed takeaways for this Aussie.

      Whilst I have no particular plan about blogging topics as I move forward I find it heartening to know that you have indicated something I find. There are over 50s groups and of course over 60s on line. I believe as someone else may have commented, I tend to be a bit more ahead of the pack (as you are as a blogger) because there are not many over 70s groups!!

      Let me ponder more on this and I would be very glad of further conversations with you (and others in a very similar age bracket) over time.

      Take care,
      Denyse

  8. I’ve struggled with volunteer roles in the past. Some are ok, but not stimulating. One that frustrated me the most asked for specific skills, then ignored them and just sent you to do the most menial pointless jobs. I’m wary ever since that one. Rightly or wrongly I do need to get something out of it, and the something has never been merely “my time spent”.

    • So so true Vanessa. 100% with you.

      I am “only” volunteering now to do with head and neck cancer as a group member and as an Ambassador. My role is mine to make it as busy or not so as I like fitting within the organisations goals.

      Those who lost me as a volunteer did so because of petty politics and ‘leaders’ not having any idea of how to work with retired professionals who HAD been leaders!!

      Take care,
      Denyse.

  9. I think you’d definitely have a market for these posts, Denyse! You’ve taken to technology so well and why wouldn’t you use it to continue to build connections and spread the message about something relevant to you. Go for it! Looking forward to reading about this journey.