ANGER & AGING
I’m sitting in France, DISCONNECTING from my regular world to chill and rejuvenate. A close friend here was talking about his mom, and her added stress. She’s in her 70’s which today is not too old, but she has had a hell of a time with some medical problems in last 10 years. She and I are friends, and a few months ago when I was here, we went together to say good bye to someone she had known for many years. There is a language barrier so I decided I’d send her the following letter so she can translate and her son can help her little by little. His concern was how her stress is causing them to argue more. I agreed that there IS ANGER induced a bit by our AGING process. I feel it and and I’m sure she does. I told my friend, I would send this to his mom, sent him a copy ahead of time, and said it would also be what I would say if she were my patient as well as friend.
It was nice to see you the other night… tomorrow you are heading out for a few weeks, so have a great time on Holiday. I’m sorry my not speaking French is problem right now
because I want to share some things with you. I don’t mean to be rude by sending you an email, but you may be able to translate it easier, than if we are talking live to each other. Plus you can have your son help explain what I’m saying to you.
1) You and I are same age, and are facing aging issues.
2) If you haven’t had these thoughts I’m going to share, you will, but aging has MANY problems.
3) We Stress Out easier, we get more impatient, we often feel sad inside but can’t tell anyone because if we do tell them, it seems like we failing at life and we don’t want our friends/family to know how we really feel.
4) We realize that we have MANY MANY MORE YEARS BEHIND us (70 plus), and FEWER YEARS ahead, maybe 10, maybe 20 (but not the 70 we’ve just had). So this means, we have to realize that we not only HAVE to enjoy what time we do have ahead, but now make decisions about which things and what we want to do. This gets us even more stressed inside, which sometimes we take out on ourselves, getting mad at what we can’t comfortably do anymore, and at times take it out on our friends and family. Some times we get mad at our God, higher being, inner self, with “Why are you doing this to me?” I talk to God often when I’m in the airplane, or sitting by the ocean about this.
Is there an easy answer to this? NO, we just try to handle it all the best we can which is ALL we can do and we try to enjoy our time we have left.
These days I spend many more hours in teary times, not always big cries but many choked up moments. For example, I had teary moments when I heard your friend Josette had died, she was a person who I didn’t really know well, but did enjoy her company when I was in Paris. AND that same week another friend in Los Angeles, who I had just talked to a few days before, died unexpectedly at 71 due to an ‘age’ based issue… WHAM, he was gone. I had, and still have some teary moments for both of them, as well as others folks who I am very close too. I will miss them, and I know some will really miss me too. I know, my good friends will ‘cry when I die’ and they will sincerely miss me as I will miss them.
We are MORTAL which is hard to deal with at times. Being MORTAL is often what is behind what makes us mad at others, and stressed out. Mortality has its limits. Hang in there, I hope you have someone you can talk to about these things. I do, and talk often to others about it too. My very young friends are hard to talk to since they don’t understand yet what aging is!! but they do listen and they will learn in time.
And thank you for being part of my extended family since my birth/natural family was small, and is now down to one 99 year old aunt! And thanks for introducing me to Josette, and letting me have that last visit with her. I cried a bit on the plane home after that trip knowing it was last time that I would see her.
But having FEELINGS is good, having Feelings takes STRENGTH, it is NOT a sign of weakness, but of REALITY, Mortality. Having FEELINGS also partly PROVES we are STILL alive, to feel, to love, to care, … to BE.
JimGordonPhd.com / BHcounseling.com