Worried About Getting Old? You Should Be Grateful.

I've been thinking about ageing, and death, quite a lot recently (I really am a ray of sunshine). There are reasons for this, but first...

A few weeks ago I read an article in which Judi Dench complained about her age, claiming that 'There's nothing good about being 80.'

Actually, Judi, there is something good about being 80. The good thing about being 80 is that you got to 80. Some people don't make it to 50, or 30, or even 10.

I haven't been thinking about ageing and death just because I'm an obsessive, cynical, depressive; there are other reasons. The first was that I went to visit my Grandma (who's 81) in her nursing home on Saturday. It broke my heart to see such a head-strong, formidable woman left frail and fading away because of Parkinson's Disease. Honestly, I hope that she doesn't have to suffer much longer.

The second thing that happened was, a couple of months ago, an old school friend died of cancer. At (only just) 29. If Emma hadn't died, then seeing my Gran would probably have made me feel incredibly depressed about ageing, and dreading getting to 80. Instead, as much as I hate my Gran's current situation, I really am happy that she had 79 happy (well, up and down but generally happy) years on the planet.

The more I thought about Dench's comments, the more angry I got. How dare a woman who has lived a privileged, healthy and successful life complain about the fact that it's gone on for a long time? Does she not realise how incredibly lucky she is?

So, what's the message here?

If you're reading this, and you're well enough to leave the house, then you're in a privileged position. Sometimes we all (and I most definitely include myself in that) need to remember that and take time to enjoy just being here. We really are bloody lucky.


P.S. If all this grief talk has left you in need of a good, cathartic and ultimately uplifting cry, this might be worth a watch... It's beautiful, and it made me cry like a baby when I watched it yesterday.




[note: I debated including a semi-ironic 'YOLO' in this post but I couldn't bring myself to type it, even semi-ironically]

3 comments

  1. Interesting post. Personally I want to live as long as possible. 100 would be pretty cool. My grandma is 87 and still going strong - she's proud that she's lived the longest out of all her family. The late comedian George Carlin had some great points on the positives of old age. One being you get to leave anywhere early by just saying you're tired! Oh and thank you for not typing YOLO! :) x

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  2. What's a yolo? You make good points in this. I'm sure Dench had had an Amazing life, so she's been a lucky one. It is a difficult one between not wanting someone you love to have an agonizing or sad existence but at the same time being grateful they got that far. X

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    Replies
    1. YOLO = You Only Live Once. Carpe diem for idiots, basically! x

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