Old Enough to Know Better, Young Enough not to Care

By Sandra Sylvester | Mar 31, 2014

Knox County — Just a Note: I got a note from my Doc in a Box so I could continue my condition of March Madness mostly uninterrupted. Let me explain. It was the weekend and my bronchitis which I’d had for a couple days was getting worse. Nanci and I were watching the boys play and I said, “Well, if we go to the Emergency Room at the hospital, we’ll sit there for four or five hours before we even see anyone and we’ll miss too much of the games. Let’s look up a Doc in the Box (a clinic) and see if there is one nearby and if they accept Medicare.”

Darned if there wasn’t one nearby that did accept Medicare. So off we go. A breathing treatment and two shots and scrips called into my pharmacy and we were good to go. I found the service from Anthony, the PA; and his nurse to be efficient and excellent. He kept me out of the hospital and asked me to come in the next day so he could check on me again. We did, same routine and needless to say, I am feeling much better and was able to catch most of the games. Can’t say I did too well with my brackets but oh, well, at least I got to watch them.

The Aging Process

The real subject for the day is the aging process. I am sometimes called an old lady even though I don’t feel that way most of the time. That is if you don’t count my ailments.

To counteract my old ageness I surround myself with people who are at least 10 years or so younger than I am. I find them invigorating and fun to be around and they do more than anything to keep up my stamina as “an old lady.”

Not to say I don’t love the friends of my own age. It’s just that when we get together we tend to talk about our ailments a lot. Don’t know why that is but there you go.


When you turn 50 the next day you will get all kinds of missives from AARP. Join now! Take advantage of all the benefits available for “senior citizens.” I didn’t really feel like a “senior citizen” at 50 but I joined anyway to get a jump on things. It was a good move. I get the magazine every month and find it informative and inspiring. However, the articles are geared toward the younger end of the “senior” spectrum rather than we older ones. I have used the card to get discounts at motels and hotels, some restaurants, and 10% discount at the grocery store on Wednesdays. So the old lady card does work for you once in a while.

I also use that same card when I need some help like taking groceries to my car as I grab my cane and head out the door with the boy behind me. It can be useful.

Old Enough to Know Better, Young Enough Not to Care

The older I get the more I hold to this philosophy. You have to take chances in life, no matter how old you are. No I cannot still run like I did playing basketball in high school or when I ran home for lunch from the school up on Lincoln St. all the way down to the South End on Fulton Street; then ran back to school again. That’s not happening. I can’t even run to catch planes in airports anymore. Mostly they take me in a wheel chair so I don’t have to stand in line on my bad legs.

I bought a tee shirt lately that says “Growing old is Mandatory, Growing up is Optional.” I plan on wearing it a lot. Maybe I won’t get treated like an old lady so much.

As for chances. I took a chance on writing a book. It took me 12 years to finish writing “The South End” which I started writing on my breaks while I was still working. I’ve had some success with it. This blog was started after the book was written and I enjoy doing it every month. I now have quite a following. I plan to continue it as well as finish the latest book I’m working on. It keeps me young and it keeps my mind active. Two things that are very important as you age.

Some Things Have Improved with Age

As for my physical health, I now take less medicine than I used to. So my pharmacy bill each month is usually under $50 rather than $150 or more. I don’t fall into Medicare’s “black hole” every year like I used to.

Having your cataracts removed like I did a couple years ago was the best thing I ever did for myself. I no longer have to wear glasses for distance and can drive the car without them. I get to wear cool sunglasses instead when necessary instead of the ugly prescription ones. A pair of glasses with double vision used to cost me $400 or more. I can buy the only glasses I need, reading glasses, at the pharmacy for about $15. I have three pairs. One folds up so I can carry it in my purse when I need to read something while away from the house. I use one pair to work on the computer.

Looking Towards the Future

Every March 5 when I turn a year older, I insist that I’m not a year older till 5:30 that afternoon when I was born in 1941 in the old Knox Hospital, now a nursing home. I tend to look forward to the next day, March 6, and what the future after that will hold for me. At some point I know I want to move back to Maine and Nanci and I probably will. I feel the opportunities I’ve had here in the South were great; but now not necessary and I long to be closer to home and friends and family, albeit the tough winters. There’s always Florida after all, if push comes to shove and I’m sick of getting plowed out.

Longevity runs in my family. My dad was 85 and my mother was 87 when they died. With modern medicine I could live much longer than that. Our Aunt Virginia is 103 and still going. Who knows?








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