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Ursula K. Le Guin writes about old age

And she writes about it brilliantly, as she writes about so many things.


Excerpt (but this isn't the best part. Go read the whole thing. And definitely read the poem she uses as a frame):
Americans believe strongly in positive thinking. Positive thinking is great. It works best when based on a realistic assessment and acceptance of the actual situation. Positive thinking founded on denial may not be so great. (Like, look at Lance Armstrong.)

Everybody who gets old has to assess their ever-changing but seldom improving situation and make of it what they can. I think most old people accept the fact that they’re old — I’ve never heard anybody over eighty say “I’m not old.” And they make the best of it. As the saying goes: Consider the alternative!

A lot of younger people, seeing the reality of old age as entirely negative, see acceptance of age as negative. Wanting to deal with old people in a positive spirit, they’re led to deny old people their reality.
(via Body Impolitic)

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/812594.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 13th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, that is amazing and brilliant.
Jun. 13th, 2013 05:04 pm (UTC)
Kinda wandering off here: she mentions someone's grandma driving at 99. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. I understand not wanting to give up driving because of the loss of freedom associated with that but as a person on the road, I've seen older folks (and I'm 60!) on the road that are downright scary. I beginning to believe that people over a certain age should have to take a road test periodically to make sure they are safe.
Jun. 13th, 2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
I agree. My mom passed her paper driving test when her Alzheimers was already pretty advanced. Fortunately she wasn't actually insisting on driving at the time.
Jun. 13th, 2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
Excellent. Just the kind of stuff I've been thinking about. My walks are becoming ever shorter and slower, and it takes a larger portion of my energy just to get through the day....and I'm only sixty-something. Once I set my goal as living long enough to complete my walk down Broadway. Now it's to live long enough to see the completion of the Sixth Street Bridge. I went to a 100th birthday party at a nursing home on Sunday, and wondered if I will be like the people there someday. All I could do is resolve to be gracious toward my caregivers, whoever they may be.
Jun. 13th, 2013 07:28 pm (UTC)
All I could do is resolve to be gracious toward my caregivers, whoever they may be.

Yep, I think about that a lot.
Jun. 13th, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you. That is wonderful and useful.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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