Ageing Gracefully

I initially wrote this post while we were still camped in the boonies near Quartzsite.  Ever write a post that you wonder whether or not to post?  Well that’s this one.  I had it scheduled then took it down,  Trashed it then brought it back.  After running into a couple here at Cave Creek Regional Park, a couple we met back in Dec., I decided to go ahead and post.  This couple looks and acts ten to twenty years younger than their physical age.  I had to ask them their secret…….hmmm, sounds familiar………Arizona

So here we go………

It’s Tuesday morning Jan. 29th in the sunny desert outside Quartzsite, Arizona.  Al’s lying on the couch sick and watching an old black and white western on TV.  I glance up from my computer and on the TV I see…..a vast barren desert, a rough make shift road, plumes of dirt churned up from a stage coach…..my how tough and hearty those folks must have been.  I look out my RV window….a vast barren desert, a rough make shift road, plumes of dirt churned up from 4 wheelers…..

aging

The road to our RV home in the desert

ageingBottled water, modern technologies, and RV’s with every convenience may be quite different from the equipment available 100 years ago, but the human spirit remains the same.  During our stay at Boomerville, Al and I participated in some events.  One group discussion I anticipated attending was on “Ageing Gracefully”.   I ponder, “Yippee…..will this be a Botox party?  Fillers, perhaps?  Or a recommendation on a miracle cream?“   Nope, not this group.  This was all about attitude and lifestyle.

Over the next hour, I heard tales… tales of adventure and a zest for life.  Physical age didn’t seem to matter or even be a focus.  The gal next to me was a divorcé, a retired nurse, mother and new grandmother.  She admits to living a nice and comfortable life in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but wanting something more, wanting an adventure of sorts.  She wanted to travel the country in an RV, but didn’t want to do it alone.  After a two-year search, she met a partner via the internet and they now travel the country together in a Motorhome.

aging

My new hat and sunglasses from Quartzsite – does a great job at hiding forehead wrinkles

Another couple met at a bereavement group ten years ago and they haven’t looked back.  Yet another met via the Solo’s and Winds, both are RV Clubs for singles.  One couple lost a child.  In dealing with their grief they sold everything, moved into an RV and are traveling full-time exploring the United States and Canada. In all cases, these folks could have sat home feeling sorry for themselves, but they chose to live, really live, and set out on an adventure.  I see such a similarity between the characters in the black and white western on TV and these modern-day pioneers.  Confronted with adversity they face life’s challenges head on.  They forge their own path without a care for convention.  They seek adventure, friendship, a zest for life without a thought to age.BoondockingThe discussion takes a turn…… aging parents.  I think about my parents versus Al’s.  My parents; after traveling all over Europe on a motorcycle, immigrated to the U.S. with a two-year old child to travel America.  Well, life and more kids happened thus eluding that tour.  With the last one out of the house, it wasn’t long and they were on the road in a motorhome exploring.  Even when my mom turned 80, she would refuse to stay in a 55+ RV Park saying, “I’m not old enough…who wants to hang around with a bunch of old people anyway”?  Boy, I miss her.  What a zest for life and my dad hasn’t lost that zest either.  Whenever I call…..”Have you been to Ajo?  Have you driven that road?  Be sure and check out……..”  I easily hear the excitement in his voice.

Brittany Spaniel

Bear is 14 years old (98 in dog years) and doesn’t let age slow him down. He loves to travel

Al’s folks….well that’s another story.  They stayed home, didn’t have hobbies, rarely socialized, and complained a lot.  They appeared years and years older than my folks although they were the same physical age.  Why did they look and act so much older than my parents?  What was missing or different?  Why didn’t they age gracefully?

Bocce Ball

An active and social lifestyle can lead to longevity – Bocce Ball in the desert

The discussion continues on the importance of staying active and involved; working or volunteering at something you enjoy; engaging in hobbies; maintaining a sense of adventure and lust for life; not allowing age to dictate can or cannots.

So although I was somewhat disappointed the discussion wasn’t on the physical aspects of ageing but rather on the mental, I was enlightened.  It was definitely thought-provoking.

Ageing gracefully?  It’s all about attitude and lifestyle!  Do you have what it takes to age gracefully?  Do I?  Maybe…. but perhaps…… one day….. a little Botox might just help  😉

Eleanor Roosevelt – “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, BUT beautiful old people are works of art.”

Bocce Ball

Playing combat Bocce Ball = rocks and vegetation make for interesting play

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52 thoughts on “Ageing Gracefully

  1. Wonderful post, Ingrid. It’s so true that age is all a matter of attitude. I try not to think about it, and whilst I’m in excellent health, I intend to enjoy life to the full. Love your hat. What wrinkles?? 😀

  2. I saw Dustin Hoffmans film Quartet recently, it was funny and uplifting. And such a lovely change to see some properly old people without surgery etc. And they were BEAUTIFUL! Lively eyes and a spring in the step (while you can!) are the best remedy…just like your parents 😉

  3. Well lets start off by saying, the photo of you… gorgeous.. you don’t look a day over 40… as to the adventures you take… they have to keep you young.. your mind must be being stimulated everyday… botox.. stay away from it… Linda, with all her troubles has often talked of a little luxury surgery, as I call it… I have said to her she remains beautiful and in any case one should wear your age medals with pride.. so the odd thing flops here and there, so what, and the wrinkles are experience lines… the wobbly arms, Grandma wings… and that little extra roundness… oh how a grand child loves a hug from a grandma… it just feels more warm and soft than from their own mother… Ingrid you will live a long and healty life in the style you are doing at present… all I say.. live everyday as though it’s your last… and enjoy.. one can do nothing about tomorrow and the curve balls that may come your way… by that I live…

    • Ah….you’re gonna make me cry! Thank you for this comment and your compliment. The RVing lifestyle definitely keeps us active. We still have our stresses with the business end of affording our fun. That will curtail our journeys, but such is life. I hope hubby and I have the health to do this for many, many years. Thank you again for the very kind and thoughtful comment.

  4. Ever write a post that you wonder whether or not to post?
    Oh yes!! My last one! LOL! But see how many people love this post!! You look gorgeous btw. Must be wonderful to meet so many interesting people!!!

    • Heading over to read yours right now…lol. I have been pleasantly surprised by the response. It is great meeting so many new folks. Some I have an immediate connection and know we’ll stay in touch. Others come and go, but the meeting was equally great. I enjoy the diversity and change of scenery!

  5. Great post, like the hat. Yesterday was our Brittany’s 3rd birthday – happy birthday to your pup! 98 years young – fantastic. I occasionally dream of quitting it all (after I win the Lotto, of course) and then I check the numbers and realize – what they heck am I gonna do? I figure I would stay busy, my mom has stayed busy and she is in a good spot- celebrating 75 years this spring, my dad didn’t and his quality of life wasn’t so great the last ten years of his life… staying busy and connected is the key… when I start acting my age I want to go for a long walk on a short pier…

    • I always enjoy your photos of Ivy. Aren’t Brittany’s special? Hey, that lake home in MI is a pretty awesome property and keeps you busy AND young….no need to ever act your age!

    • Thank you and I enjoy your blog. Daughter (who lives in Westminster) wants me to do a fourteener with her this summer. Your hikes are encouraging – I need to start working a little harder.

  6. Great blog…very pertinent for Dennis and I, who are now watching the sadness and depression our 97 and 89 year old aunt and uncle are facing..They have no children. They refuse to go into assisted living yet, where they would be safe and have friends their age to visit with…and be fed and assisted 24/7. Right now she is his caretaker in their own home, and she is 97..it doesn’t have to be this way..Den says the only way they will leave their home is feet first…very sad, indeed.

    • Oh, Donna….so sorry to hear about this. I know how difficult this can be for all involved. Some of the folks at QZ got together for a seperate discussion on ageing parents, assisted living, etc. Long story short…..do not allow yourselves to be mentally and physically drained….which can easily happen and don’t allow guilt to dictate. That said, this calls for a drink….with an umbrella!

  7. Great post Ingrid. Age is definitely just a number and aging is all about attitude and having a zest for life, whatever it is you enjoy. 🙂

  8. So glad you posted this one! How true! I love the last photo of the bocci balls! I’ve been following your posts for a few months, ever since RV Sue mentioned you. You have a contagious zest for life. I am on the verge of retiring and have recently acquired a ukulele and a keyboard, both of which will go on the road with me soon! Here’s to always setting new goals for ourselves.

    • Congrats on the nearing retirement. Rest up….retirement is a full-time job. Bocci Ball in the desert was really fun and none of us took it too seriously. You can’t when the rocks derail a perfect throw. AND I’ll toast to that “setting new goals”. Stay in touch and maybe we’ll run into each other on the road some day 🙂

  9. I echo the sentiments above — glad you decided to post this one! And so true about beautiful old people being works of art — things like Botox and other “enhancements” mask much of the depth of that beauty. ~ Kat

  10. I’ve been giving myself a trip for a birthday present these last several years. The photo workshop was for my 69th! I’ll have to do some serious thinking to top that for my 70th! I took care of a quadriplegic husband for nearly 20 years, not to mention a mom with Alzheimer’s. Hubby died four years ago, then mom died a year later, since then I’ve been making up for all the times I wished I could get out to the beach. I’m feeling decades younger. The main thing seems to be keeping active and enjoying life. That’s my two cents worth!

    • Wow…..caring for others is so draining. I admire your dedication. AND now it’s time for you, time to have some fun. You also have a job….keeping us novice photographers motivated and entertained. You’re doing a great job thus far. Perhaps a little more travel for you and Sissy is in order?

      • What I really need is an RV that comes equipped with a driver I can tuck away somewhere during the non-driving parts. 😀 I love traveling solo, but I’m scared to death of driving one of them monsters.

          • I had quite enough of driving a mini-van that was handicap equipped. My Prius even feels a bit too big for me. My favorite driving was done in my very first two cars… both VW bugs. Perhaps I just need to wait to get one of them automated things they keep talking about…… 😀

  11. Ingrid, this was a beautiful, honest post. Attitude is everything. Your photos are beautiful as well. Love the one of Bear. He is one very lucky dog. -Maureen

  12. I guess you have a group of appreciative readers. We all seem to think the same about this post. You did an excellent job writing this life lesson. How can one think about aging while living this amazing life style. I wish more people had the courage to jump aboard. My mother will turn 82 this summer. She still walks everywhere in town, goes to the gym, and travels overseas at least once a year. My dad was the same way. Thanks!

    • Thank you. Isn’t it amazing the folks we meet along our journey? Age does not come into play. We’ve socialized with folks old enough to be my parents one day and the next I’m old enough to be the parent and no one cares. We share a common interest and zest for life!

  13. Thank You, I consider this a tribute to my birthday, I will be like your mom, I don’t have to go to the 55+ , but I can if want 🙂
    and as E Roosevelt’s say, beautiful old people are works of art, then I am in!
    A thought provoking post and well done!

    • Ah…..good question. For us it’s been a slow transition. We started with a tent then a truck camper for vacations. Bought the 5th wheel to snowbird, but are getting ready to sell the house and live on the road full-time. Other folks dive right in sell everything and go full-time. If you’d like more info, feel free to shoot me an email livelaughrv@hotmail.com There are lots of blogs out there documenting their journey and finances for RVing either part-time or full-time.

      • My dad started snowbirding after my mom passed away. It was bitter sweet as it was something they wanted to do together. I don’t know if I could do it now as my seven grands range in age from 6 months to almost 13 years old. They all live really close and I can’t go a week without seeing them! 🙂 Plus I have to see my girls often as well!
        But on the other hand, I would love to travel too!

        • Who says you can’t do a little of both. We run into RVers all the time with their grandkids. They take them for a long weekend or even 2 weeks during the summer and hike, explore, introduce them to all kinds of new experiences. What a fun time for all 🙂

  14. So glad you didn’t dump this post….it sure enlightened me this fine morning! What a special upbringing you had…although my parents didn’t have a motor home they traveled all the states, me in the back seat. Now its drilled in my soul. Thank you for reminding me how to grasp aging and live life!

  15. Ditto the above……so glad you decided to post this. It’s most certainly the truth, and I’ve seen it myself and asked the same questions. Thank you for not letting it rest in the trash!! I’m sure it will get alot of people thinking.

  16. I do believe that being engaged in a worthwhile activity/cause, especially service to our fellow man, will keep us beautiful inside and out. You’re looking pretty swell in that hat. You must be doing something right. 🙂

    • Thank you Lisa, such a nice compliment. I must admit, I was thinking of you when I heard stories of how some of those couples met. You’re right about engaging in activities….a sense of purpose and doing good is good for the soul.

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