Aging Gracefully with the Unexpected
For once I can’t blame bad habits from the past for my bodily grievances. Despite decades of top-of-the line dental care, at the
sort-of young age of 53, my teeth are betraying me. I haven’t been exactly floating on clouds of inner beauty about this. I’ve been angry and confused. And in pain.
Three weeks ago I had a molar pulled. So now I have to do one of the following: get a dental implant, a bridge, or a partial denture (called a ‘flipper’- UGH). Or do nothing and leave a hole there.
I know, I am moping about teeth – tiddly winks compared to what people suffering cancer and chronic painful conditions go through.
I’m ticked because I wanted to go on believing in the youthful myth of being indestructible.
If you are over 50, a popular version of this myth is “If-I-do-enough healthy eating, positive thinking, yoga, weight bearing exercises, take the right supplements, etc., my teeth won’t have to get pulled. I won’t ever need to walk with a cane. Or wear Depends.”
I’m not an advocate for sitting back and watching it all go downhill. Rule #1 of The Art of Aging Creed is “I will age with humor, serenity and to the best of my efforts, health.” I faithfully ‘Flail Around’ a bit every day.
But. How do you deal with the unexpected consequences of aging with serenity and humor?
This community is unfailingly generous with a wisdom that comes from decades of consistently choosing to make the effort to love and show up for others.
We reassure one another as we hop, wobble, flail, crawl, maybe even leap over many different versions of truly old youthful myths. We listen, name them, and let them go. So we can create new stories.
Flippers and all.