Growing old disgracefully?

Written by Jane Baskin. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on May 02, 2012 with No Comments

Growing old disgracefully? Why not, says author
Kick up your heels in the second stage of life, she advises

Should you age disgracefully?
Author Jane Baskin thinks you should.

“People say there’s something to be said for aging gracefully,” said Baskin, author of “Jane of the Jungle”.   “Baloney. Between the longer lifespan and the economy, it’s time to age with attitude.”

  • If it sags, lift it. 13.1 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2010.  Why not?
  • If it’s gray, dye it.
  • If it’s baggy, throw it out.
  • If it’s stuffy and sedate, avoid it.
  • If it’s lonely, check out www.Meetup.com. (This is not a dating site)
  • If it’s still lonely, run as fast as you can to the nearest saloon and talk to strangers. It’ll do in a pinch.

To the many seniors crippled by the recession Baskin said: “If your choices have been cut back, you may be bent, but you don’t have to be broken. Hit the road. Live cheap. Live in an RV, stay with friends, live in your car. Be like you were when you were young and carefree and thumb your nose at misfortune.”

Mind you, Baskin is not trying to deny aging.  “Of course we’re going to get older. But over the hill has become a very long trek these days,” she said. “We have to do it differently.”

Longer lifespans are becoming the norm. Social Security estimates that most baby boomers will live to an average 93 years of age.

“It used to be you worked until 65 or so, hit the rocking chair and waited,” said Baskin. “In most cases, it wasn’t that long of a wait. But now, it could be 25 or 30 years or more. That amounts to 2,912,000 rocks for the duration of your retirement. Are you kidding?

“I believe in a whole second stage of life – ‘Life 2.0.’ Rather than becoming sedate, this is the time to kick up your heels. This is the time to not give a tinker’s damn what people think of you. It’s a second childhood, the last one you’ll ever have. If you really want to bake cookies, do it in between adventures.

So, skip the muumuu and the rocking chair. Skip the tea parties unless the company is lively and the tea is spiked. According to Baskin, “Gray is for cars and gun barrels. Dye your hair. Lift your face if you want. Work out, run, dance, use it or lose it. With modern medicine, nutritional and exercise science, you can be healthier than some thirty-year olds when you’re in your sixties and beyond. So I ask you, why not?”

“And if some kid in the saloon where you’re playing trivia for free drinks calls you ‘grandpa,’ tell him, ‘Fasten it, kid. I’m old enough to really know this stuff.’ And then go ahead and win the trivia. You could take a snapshot of his face on your cell phone, but that might be nasty.”

“Of course we’re going to get older. But over the hill has become a very long trek these days. We have to do it differently.”  Author Jane Baskin

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About Jane Baskin

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Jane Baskin is a former Boston TAB features writer and clinical social worker. She lives in the mountains outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and their herd of dogs and cats. For more on the adventures of aging disgracefully, visit Baskin’s blog, Forever Kinda Young, at foreverkindayoung.blogspot.com.

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