Column: Are we there yet?


Commentary by Lorene Burkhart

If you have ever taken children on a road trip, you probably have heard this refrain from the back seat or in olden days, the back of the station wagon. After a couple of hours, it became a chant, depending on the number of children. The adult response began patiently, but it too, became more strident as time and distance passed. They are fond, fun memories now but not so much back then.

Today, this expression fits us as we age – wondering if we are old yet. I love it when folks say, “You are only as old as you feel.” That’s true to some extent but there are signs we can’t ignore – less hair in some places (our heads) but more hair in other places (nose, ears). What’s happening? Then there are those pesky aging spots that seem to pop up overnight – on our hands, faces and well, who cares about the rest?

Another sign of aging that many of us can’t ignore is the change in our hearing “what’s that you say?” and our eyesight. Thank the Lord for cataract surgery. We may not be as aware of the change in our ability to taste and smell, but it happens. Pleasing the aging palate becomes a challenge!

Did I mention the body parts affecting mobility? Hips and knees no longer spring into action the way they did in earlier years. The number of replacements has skyrocketed as the procedure has become less complicated.

I don’t want to bore you with more aging details, but we can be thankful that modern medicine and good nutrition can enable us to enjoy many good years in our final rodeo days. How we choose to use our resources is the key. We can learn to age gracefully and participate fully in the process or we can be bystanders who wonder what happened as we flip the calendar pages and wait for the inevitable. We are in charge of our present and futures.