Musings and Amusings

Friday Cuppa Joe

April Tangle 2015

If we were meeting for coffee, I’d tell you how  tangled tickled I’ve been to read the daily posts from each of you A to Z Challenge participants. From veterans to newbies, you all have such humorous, thoughtful, educational – and varied – topics, and you write with such exuberance and confidence.

A tip of my mug, and Hearty Congratulations to all of you!

Hang in there; you’re nearly at the finish line.

I’m looking forward to your Reflections post at the end of the Challenge because that’s when I find out what this year’s Challenge meant to you. You all seem to be sailing through with nary an unsettling wave, but sometimes it’s totally chaotic behind your sails and we don’t find out until you ‘Reflect.’

spring 2015

Has this happened to you? You’re reading a news event about an ‘elderly’ person and, when the age is mentioned you think, “WTF?!? Elderly??  That’s MY age!”

I’ve been trying for ten years to decide what to call myself. I’m not middle-aged (not planning to live to130), yet I’m certainly NOT elderly. Dad and Mom are just shy of 90 and still relatively healthy and active. They might be elderly.

I am not.

So how do we label those of us past our mid’s but not yet arrived at our eld’s?

Good news!

Researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria have decided old age “should be measured not by age, but by how long people have left to live.”

And we are living a lot longer.

Statisticians say today’s average 65-year-old should live another 24 years. That’s 50% longer than the average for our parents’ generation. (I must congratulate my parents for being WAY above average!)

Those Viennese researchers suggest that Old Age should be defined as having less than 15 years to live.

Good news, indeed. I have a decade until I reach statistical Old Age. In the meantime, what do I call myself since I’m way past middle age?

Since Living Longer is the variable that turned researchers from ‘age-focused’ to ‘years-to-live’ focused, I think that’s what we should call ourselves … The Living Longers.

And I’ve heard that a second cup of coffee goes a long way to ensuring that outcome.

Loving Living Longer

Loving Living Longer

Comments on: "Friday Cuppa Joe" (53)

  1. Lovely post Sammy D thank you and the photograph says it all … I’m on my 3rd cup of coffee – think that will help? Being older focuses us better I think? Gratitude for all that is, what we have experienced?

    • Thank you, dear Susan. I do think we focus better because we know what time we have left and have the experience to know not to waste it worrying about what we can’t control. The experts say 3-4 cups of java gives the most benefit – I’d be too wired to do anything! Two’s my limit 🎀😘

  2. Cheers, Sammy. I raise my mug (of tea, this morning) to you!

  3. I was very happy to see this in my inbox Sammy. I too am looking forward to what the A-to-Zers thing come May 3rd or 4th. As for “elderly” or not, last year, I was in Iowa for my mother’s 89th birthday. I turned 60 last November. At her birthday dinner, she looked at me and my brother and said “you boys are getting old” – Yeah, the 89 year old calling the kettle black.

    The photo is wonderful, and I don’t see any old folks 🙂 Have a great weekend.

    • Thank you, Dan. I’m sure our parents, while raising us, never gave much thought to us reaching this age! My parents still call my siblings and me ‘you kids’.

      I only wish my dear son-by-marriage (he’s more than a stepson to me) could have been in the shot instead of taking it!

  4. I think of elderly people as old people who’ve lost their ability to self-care. Like at church, when we make casseroles or bake cookies to deliver to the elderly and the infirmed. Can’t drive anymore, can’t see to read, can’t shop alone or use the stove unsupervised…those are elderly people.
    My parents and in-laws are older than you and they’re not elderly, either.
    I tend not to use the word elderly. I had an elderly neighbor once. Mildred. I loved Mildred. She was in her 90’s and she lived across the street from us. She only left the house on Tuesday, when one of her daughters would come take her to run all her errands. She influenced me a great deal, as a young mother, as a gardener. She was wise and kind, and I thought, rather spry. But she needed day-to-day help.
    If she’d been 60 and like that, I would’ve called her elderly, so it’s definitely not an age thing for me.
    All my grandparents lived to be about 80, (I may well be middle-aged now!) and my dad is now *maths* 73, and for about the last five years, he keeps saying he can’t believe he’s still living, he never thought he’d make it this far. I always say he could live to be over 100, he doesn’t know! His eyes always grow big when I say that, I’m not sure why. But he’s in great health, all around. Definitely not elderly.
    “Living Longers” sounds good to me.
    I like old people. Old people, of course, are people who are older than me. I will never be old, because my own age determines the word old. I suspect it’s that way for many of us — because just yesterday I was 4, and 16 and 25… 😉

    • I like that definition joeyfullystated!

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Joey. I tend to think as you do – the age labels are based more on abilities and attitude. I just wish reporters would stop using the term elderly. I don’t even know why age is relevant to most if their reports but if they need to use it, state the age in years, not a stereotypical label!

      I am happy you’ve had influential ‘living longers’ in your life. We were raised with many neighbors who had reached their latter years, and i was also influenced by their work ethic, sense of duty and dignity.

      I love your final sentence as I’ve never heard it put quite that way. We truly are many ages in any given day or week. It’s a lovely way to think.

  5. Good post, and great picture. Nice to see you with family. I’ve been reading comments but for somereason my “like” button is gone and so I am reading quietly. . . . huggs

    • Thanks, katie. I was in a lot of pain that day but it all fades when that little ray of sunshine (aka granddaughter) is within reach. Raqi raises feel good hormones in me like no one else, and I know it’s reciprocal.

      Hope you are mending …

  6. I love it! I, too, continue to follow quietly. But I am having a coming out party again. Hi, Sammy! Hi, world! To tweak your “Living Longers”, since most of us are in lifetime learning mode, how about “Lifetime-ers”. I have so missed you and the group that I can not stay away. Went on a long spring break and once again reinvented myself and am now rejuvenated once again and ready to plant more seeds. See you soon,

  7. “The Living Longers”—I like that. As you mention, there are some people in their 70s and beyond who are so active and vibrant, I don’t think of them as ‘elderly.’ Perhaps it’s a state of mind as much–if not more–than a physical definition.

  8. I’m in total denial about my age. La, la, la… 😉

    • La la la living la vida longer la la la – Laurel !!!! My computers are giving me fits and I haven’t been able to access your blog or comment for days. I don’t know why my computer is so fickle about 2-3 of the blogs I follow, but sooner or later I’ll get through !!

  9. Love this! Very tribal…

  10. Lovely photo! The Live Longers. That’s good. I wouldn’t mind being called a Senior (rather than Senior Citizen) because it implies outranking those younger. My parents are at the 80 mark and haven’t slowed down much. My grandparents lived to be mid-90s to 103, so I’m hoping we all have a ways to go yet. Hope you are feeling better!

    • Thanks, Lori! I never thought about the longevity in my family until I hit 60. Now I hope I got those genes!! I am doing better; thanks for asking 😉 i hope it’s the start of a new, improved ‘normal’. Have a great weekend!

  11. Sammy D., I’m all for the word LivingLongers! I’ve even adopted the thought “if I could live to 150 years old,” what would I do differently. That opens up a world of possibilities, with all the time in the world to do whatever! Happy family picture! Love those smiles! Christine

    • Thank you, Christine. I’d only want to hang around 150 years if I had control of global affairs and a really good technology assistant 🙆🏼

  12. I love it. “Statistical old age,” I like it. I associate the term “elderly” with fraility more than a number. I remember watching a video of a 92 year old man who built cabins as a hobby…I could never call this man elderly, but I could call him “old” and “strong” and “amazing” but not “elderly.”

    • Thank you for stopping by! I agree it’s mental or physical fraility, not a number. I just sent my Dad (who is 89 and golfing 2x per week in spring/summer) an article about a 96-year-old-golfer who is still working on finding the perfect golf swing 😍

  13. I admit I struggle with the whole aging thing and I’m completely in denial. lalalalalalalalalalala.

  14. Coffee works miracles for me. So lovely to see you smiling in that picture, Sammy. You are what you feel at heart, I think. My mother in law, age 67, is one of the most active women I know. I have a hard time keeping up with her. She is definitely not defined by her age. You look great, my friend. And thanks for being there throughout this Challenge. I am just barely hanging in there, and am not commenting nearly as much as last year, unfortunately. Pretty much just staying within the comfort of friends this time around.

    • Thank you, Silvia, for your warm encouragement. 💞🎀

      From what I’ve seen, many A to Zers stayed ‘close to home’ as you say. I tried to read some the first few days but ran into too many who hadn’t removed Captcha or are on Blogspot rather than WordPress and it’s too time-consuming to fill in the info on those. I find enough good bloggers during my own WordPress searches so I gave up on selecting from the A to Z list.

  15. Bang on target with my second cup of coffee, Sammy, and agewise too 😦 Love your Zentangle and the philosophy. I think mine must be ‘don’t stop to count’. 🙂 🙂

    • Thanks jo!! Not counting works, too 😀

      I’m thinking of telling folks I’m 85 then enjoying all their invigorating remarks about how young I look ( au naturelle, of course,,)

  16. Great post and awesome tangle! I guess I’m “middle-aged” but I hate the way that sounds. So I reject the labels. (it sounds a bit better en français…je suis “une femme de la quarantaine” 😉 ) I like “LivingLongers” but I have to tell you that you look amazing and I would just say, “Oh, she’s at the age where she gets to have fun!” Funny but most of my friends are “Living Longers.” That’s the group I love to be around the most. We “femmes de la quarantaine” who don’t have kids (a small-ish subset of women!) love to hang out with people whose kids have left the nest and therefore have great experience to share and who also have time to do stuff like take classes and travel and dine out and go to museums and stuff like that 😉

    • It’s funny you mention hanging out with older women and women without kids (or empty nesters). Those are mostly the friends I’ve had through the years for the same reasons!

      I agree – i’m not elderly and you aren’t middle aged!! Labels for age groups simply don’t work.

      And thank you for the compliment 😍

  17. I love the pic of that beautiful family!!! I have been thinking about the same thing myself lately. I never did feel middle-aged. I remember getting mad at a teacher who said at 35 I was middle-aged. Waaaa? I felt that i was young. Now I’m way older and know that according to “standards” i’m past middle-aged. Really? I feel like a different sort of mid-range age, I guess. And I have no idea of how much time I have left. My dad entered hospice (the facility) yesterday and, at 86 and dying, he’s still not elderly. Trust me, he’s not.

    • I know what you mean about our parents, Luanne. We’re old enough now to realize that although their bodies show wear and tear, they are forever young inside where their souls reside. That’s how I feel most of the time – like ‘inside’ I still have years and years to go even if my outside is giving way.

      I say a prayer each day for you and your family – knowing it’s the natural order doesn’t make your loss and sorrow any less.

  18. Great post and lovely photo! I wish everybody all the best!

  19. Just lovely, Sammy.

    With heart,

  20. My grandmother was bedridden for the final years of her life and her body may have been old but I swear her sense of humor and joy was stuck somewhere in her 20s. My theory is you’re a kid until you’re 25, young until you’re 50, middle-aged to 75, and then you’re vintage. But “living longer” will work too. 🙂

    • I do like ‘vintage’ ; I will definitely use that 😋

      Your grandmother sounds like a peach – keeping her positive spirit even while bedridden. They are/were such a remarkable generation.

      Thanks for dropping by!

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