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Aging Gracefully
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Let me start out by saying that "Aging Gracefully" is not a phrase I would use. There is nothing graceful about old age. Your brain gets slower; your reflexes aren't what they used to be; your healing period from injury and illness is more protracted; your hair is gray and your skin wrinkled; joints arthritic; bags and sags.

My good friend, PK, is 10 years younger than I, out of shape, though he's a former athlete, and a person of enthusiasm and energy. Quite recently he went on vacation and had a great time playing basketball one-on-one, eating too well, water skiing, sailing and partying. He went all out and now pays the price.

Last week he was sunburned and limping; this week he is prostrate with pain, unable to walk or drive.

The "graceful" part of aging is when you realize that you're not 25 any longer and you adjust your activity level to what your body is able to perform without major damage. You adjust your driving habits to reduced reaction times and slower visual perceptions.

Within some reductions of parameters, you continue to enjoy life and function as well as you can, but acknowledge that there are limits.

I'm truly sorry he is so ill, but I also think that he needs to accept the fact that he is staring 60 in the face and that if he wants to live like he's 25, he needs to stay in shape and know how to treat his aging body well.

That's getting older with grace.

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