Tag Archive: Old Age


 

We all know that growing old has very bad publicity. The fault is not in our stars, but in the advertisers: ourselves.
I propose that we correct that. At the tender age of 61, I am living the happiest time in my life; the easiest time in my life; the most joyous time in my life. Mind you, I planned it that way.
Between the ages of 37 and 41, when I was supposed to die according to the lines on my palm, but mostly according to my mental and physical poor health, I created a plan for accepting the dreaded old age with all its trail of ills and struggle.
I reasoned that I should have something to look forward to. Then I thought that having grandchildren would be lovely. They haven’t arrived yet, and the potential parents are mostly reluctant or too young. However, joy is here!
I decided that I would have an activity that I could carry on or even start in my old age, (I believe lots of people die of sheer boredom!) then I drag out of the bag of memories my 8-year-old cherished desire to become a writer some day, published read and loved. This blog is only my third appearance in front of someone else’s eyes, after a couple of years as collaborator and Editor (once!) of the short-lived Banbury Magazine and a shy appearance in the modest Wheel Magazine. But hey! I am a published writer!
Although the publication date for my first novel, The Secret Life of a God (Book I of The Thermodynamics of Love Trilogy, which started as a single novel in 2000) keeps peeping at me from a forever extending horizon, it will be self-published, hopefully, within the next couple of months. That was a non-disguised attempt at a publicity stunt!
I decided also to do whatever I could to improve my health and therefore my quality of life. And here I am, healthier than I remember in the last 20 or 40 years. Hurrah!
But, along the way I have discovered many other simple, but life quality enhancing, bits and bobs. For example, when I reached 60, I realized I didn’t have to be perfect. I didn’t have to know everything or to have the right answers. It took me that long! I hope you realize sooner than me.
I realized that I could never make my thighs smaller or my boobs bigger, but that thank God, at my age I wasn’t expected to be pretty or beautiful or attractive. Therefore, anything I had and have in those departments is a bonus! I do love when people express surprise when they learn my age. It doesn’t always happen, but it doesn’t depress me or bothers me in the least if they don’t.
I realized that I could take things easy. My level of obligations to myself and others seem to have decreased in inverse proportion to my age.
I wrote this blog every Saturday till the beginning of June come what may. But I have no obligation, and no one is asking for it. If you do, I will be delighted of course.

I also felt that the blog needed another element. Therefore, I will be starting a series of Vlogs soon with more practical advice, taking stock of experiences that in my view have helped me to Grow Old the Righ Way UP.
If you have any experiences to share that will constitute positive advertising for growing old, do please drop us a line or post a comment here at howtogrowoldtherightwayup.wordpress.com, or on my FB personal or blog pages.
Till next time.

By the way if you are curious at all, have a look at my other blog, the Science of the Improbable, and at my websites: www.patrissiacuberos.com and www.thethermodynamicsoflove.co.uk

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

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How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 10th May 2014

 

18. Apple, Pear and Spaghetti

 

 

My mother considered herself enormous: probably elephantine. Not surprisingly everyone agreed with her. I remember her complaining often about her feet and commenting about the strain on them of having to carry “such weight”.

 

However, compared to modern standards dictated by our affluent culture, she was just moderately obese: a typical apple shape with a middle that was, probably 1/3 bigger than her hips and breasts.

 

My father instead was spaghetti shaped: a slim, delicate bone structure supporting what seemed to be just skin.

 

It is interesting for me to read recent scientific conclusions about the effects of body shape on the possible illnesses that will affect your health in the future.

 

My mother, a true apple shape, died, age 73, most probably of a combination of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, but ultimately of a severe sugar drop caused by the difficulty to monitor if she needed an insulin injection or a sugar bust. She had a strong, healthy heart, till the last day of her life.

 

My father had a waistline that would have won a Miss Universe contest. However, he had his first heart attack at the age of 63. The disease finally killed him 10 years later.

 

I am sure my mother, daughter of a wealthy salt mine owner, never knew the meaning of hunger, let alone starvation, but I don’t remember her particularly overeating and, although, in comparison to the average Colombian, she was a sweet tooth, she would hardly fit the current western standards of the misnamed ‘indulgence’.

 

Instead my father, an adventurer, ran away from home at the age of 12, to become a cabin boy in order to escape a domineering mother. He must have endured a fair share of hunger in those days. As an adult, being an Insurance Broker, he used to walk the length and width of broad Bogotá, for 12 to 14 hours every day. His heart should have been strong… Sadly, he smoked: no more than 20 a day, but I suspect he started very young… Perhaps at the age of 12.

 

I am half my mother, half my father. Unfortunately I did seem to inherit my father’s chest, therefore I am a Pear! I hope I have inherited his heart only in nobility, honesty and love. Like him I was the spaghetti type until about 10 years ago (when I met my partner! You can blame him, and blame the ease and happiness of my current life in comparison to my younger years!). I do struggle at the moment, trying to keep my weight down; more so since my Thyroids has had different problems since my early childhood. It has decided to be slow now!

 

So, whether we are Apples or Pears or Spaghetti, more important than being classified or ‘Determined’ by inheritance, early habits, etc, I think moderation is the key, but also the conviction that we can change many aspects of our life/body/mind, with the power of our will.

Most diets work, simply because they regulate our eating habits. But of course watch out for the ‘indulgence’ in excess of dieting.

 

Particularly, be aware that no diet, no remedy, no exercise routine, can replace a peaceful mind, a heart full of love, a purpose for your day, a purpose for your life.

 

Paraphrasing Mystical writer Andrew Harvey: The mind is a berry patch; eat only the best ones.

 

Happy eating.

Patrissia Cuberos

 

 

News: Talking about ‘Determinism’, the publication of my first novel, The Secret Life of a God, and Book I of The Thermodynamics of Love Trilogy, about a boy ‘Determined’ by birth and upbringing to be powerless, yet, ‘determined’ to change his luck, is hopefully imminent.

The novel is dedicated to the hidden God in each of us.

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible  and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

17. Destiny or Choice?

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 3rd May 2014

 

17. Destiny or Choice?

Will I be happy?

Will I be rich?

Will I find love?

Those questions and many more complex ones have pressed the human mind since the dawn of time.

Our ancestors looked at the stars, convinced that if those twinkling eyes could guide them through the perils of a sea voyage, they must also hold answers to guide them through the hazards of life.

They created all manner of divination systems and tried to read the signs of anything and everything that fell into their hands.

But hang on! Hands! Soon enough, they realized that hands had those very peculiar lines, which resembled a map: a personal one, to explore and perhaps to explain the mystery of their lives.

My precocious wonderings started when I was about eight years old, together with an early awareness of the fact that every day there were choices to be made, which could lead to different consequences. I could choose to eat my sister’s boyfriend’s Valentine’s gift, a chocolate dog that sat day by day sad and forlorn on her shelf with “eat me!” written all over his face. But the consequences might be very costly! More so since my sister was 15 years older than me, and enormous in my view!

I opted for the middle way choice, and nibbled it slowly and consistently, starting with the tail. My sister only discovered my mischief when the only bits left were the front paws and the head. With my clever choice I delayed the punishment for a couple of months, and it was gentler than if I had eaten the whole thing in one go. She couldn’t help finding my cunning very amusing!

Soon I discovered the map written on the palm of my hand, so curiously different from the ones on the hands of my brothers and sisters.

By the age of 10, aided by my own instinct and the one book on the subject I found in my limited home library, I became a School Celebrity as I undertook enthusiastically the reading of palms, surrounded by a circle of curious, huge 16 to 18 year olds.

Soon enough also, I was worrying, literally to death! about the fact that my lifeline was noticeably shorter than most people’s. This discovery only came to confirm existing fears as I had been born and grown up against all odds, with a murmur in the heart, a weak liver and a very fragile constitution.

I wondered if having been born and having survived was my fate and if it was all written in immutable characters all over my hands or….if I had any choice.

I worked out, aided mostly by the Greek system that my life would end at around the time when I would reach 41. My increasing poor health seemed to confirm this possibility.

Part of me accepted this happily. I dreaded old age with all its health hazards of which I had already experienced more than my fair share. I also hated the idea of becoming even uglier than I already thought I was.

But then, one day, I reached 36. I was by then the mother of two young children, and I was convinced I had only 5 years to live!

I went into a huge depression. Then, helped by homeopathy and weekly visits to a psychiatrist, but perhaps more than anything by my resilience and my unorthodox faith, I pulled out and I decided I wanted to live. And I wanted to live a full life, free of fear.

From that moment on, my life became a whirlwind of events, some happy some very unhappy. By the time I reached 41, I had experienced a several forms of death, represented by the horrors of two years of sever depression, and the death of my marriage to a man I loved very much, but also by the death of my old self. Instead I experienced the birth of my wonderful youngest son, together with my own birth as a new, stronger, happier person.

I had to face life alone in a foreign country, with four children, no family or relatives, no money or support. Yet, I’ve never fallen into depression again.

Curiously enough, the life and love lines in the palms of my hand developed extra branches as I found a fulfilling way of living and a wonderful love relationship….

 

To summarize, in my view, hands, and other forms of divination, probably contain some sort of map which shows our genetic heritage and the particular circumstances that surrounded our birth. But as with all maps, it also contains thousands of possible turns and routes, which are entirely our choice to take.

Till next time, trusting you will make the best choice for your life today and every single day of your life.

Patrissia Cuberos

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible  and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

Since I didn’t make time to write a blog this week, here are a couple of links that might interest you

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2012-02-28/horizons-three-minute-exercise-plan

and http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2014/04/11/intermittent-movement.aspx?e_cid=20140411Z2_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium

Just going to do mine!

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 22nd March 2014

 

My blog today, is a bit longer than usual. It is an article that was published in the Banbury Magazine in 2007 and that I consider very relevant to these series. It also relates to an idea I brushed upon last week: Are we making a living? Making a dying? Or much better in my view, is our life in the making, as all of our lives are until the last second of our existence?

It is also a true story. Only a few details have been altered, simply because I didn’t remember them exactly. I hope you enjoy it.

Making a Living or a Life in the Making?

 

It was April, spring, bright and hopeful. So was my dancing partner.

We were jumping to the manic rhythms of a fast Milonga – one of the many derivations, declinations and inclinations of Tango.

My dancing partner’s spirited feet didn’t quite match his white hair or his many wrinkles, but they matched, indeed, the glint in his sparkling blue eyes and the joyful mood he was in, despite being a beginner as he confessed.

As the workshop ended and we stopped to have tea, my husband and I happened to sit opposite my cheerful dancing partner, and another white haired fellow attending the same weekend of workshops.

After a couple of minutes, it was pretty obvious to us that there were a striking number of similarities and differences between the two older men: they were both white haired, blue eyed, rather handsome, slender, with good posture, and they both looked healthy.

However, my dancing partner looked as fresh as a fifteen year old on his first outings, all the world opened in front of him with so many attractive ladies offering themselves to dance with him like flowers on verandas. Actually there was an enormous difference between him and most fifteen year olds I know: he was genuinely full of life and happiness but more than anything he was full of that unselfconscious confidence that only age’s wisdom and a healthy ‘couldn’t care less about what other people think’ attitude brings sometimes to the deserving ones.

The other gentleman, once one got over the funereal wistfulness that pervaded all his countenance, was physically just as attractive as the first one, with a still supple body, and poise and elegance not born out of his own social background, but of a lifetime of good health and particularly, of good posture.

Dying to find out how they could be so similar and so different, I started with the obvious: their professions: they both had retired the year before. The coincidence created an interesting dialogue between the two men that kept my husband and me, fascinated during the course of the meal.

Both had worked from nine to five, for forty years of their lives.

The cheerful man had retired with a small pension. He had to top it up fixing computers and doing all sorts of odd jobs, in order to survive and to be able to do all the leisure activities he was interested in.

The sad man had enough income to do, pretty much, whatever he wanted.

For the cheerful man, in his own words, ‘life’ had ‘started when he retired’. He had found himself still full of energy, healthy enough to enjoy all the leisure and pleasure, and with enough time in his hands to develop his personal interests, which his work and family had prevented him from pursuing before. He was attending Spanish evening classes, he was teaching himself Geography and he had started a map collection. He was a very keen reader and, he was learning to dance Tango and Salsa. Days for him didn’t have enough hours to fit the innumerable things that attracted his attention. His only small regret was that he wished he had retired with a better pension, so he wouldn’t have to worry about making extra money to pay for the extra activities.

Our sad man felt, in his own words that ‘life’ had ‘ended when he stopped working’. He couldn’t work out what to do with his time. He had plenty of money to travel or to do nearly anything he wanted, but he couldn’t face doing any of it alone. The same as our cheerful man, he was divorced and lived on his own. He wasn’t very interested in reading. He had never had any hobbies, and he couldn’t even consider that he could start having one this late in life. He was –he sadly confessed- only waiting to die! He had been convinced by a friend to start Tango the year before, but he felt, being this old, he could never learn!

I found the experience very interesting and it made me realize that:

  •  Our perception of events is what dictates the choices we make.
  •  Retiring from making a living can sometimes mean the real start of making our own life as we would like it to be.
  • It is never too late to learn, to love, to enjoy and, let alone, to be happy.

Many examples come to mind; not least the recent best-selling writer who got his first novel published age 91! Or my old friend, Phillip, joyfully getting the best grades in his English Literature degree, age 67, well ahead of his fellow students, who were a few decades younger than him.

What are your own thoughts about retirement? Will it mean the start of a new life, a new career, new relationships, new hopes and prospects? I do hope so.

Happy retirement!

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

 

0. This is a purely fictional story. Any similarity with any person, family or circumstances is mere coincidence.

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. Whenever possible and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 15th March 2014

Sour Grapes and Generous Wine

 

 

I expect nobody needs a definition in order to understand what a sour grape tastes like. It is important to remember though that sour grapes can look just as tempting as sweet ones.

This is the online dictionary definition for:

Generous Wine: Having a rich bouquet and flavour.

As we all know, in order to acquire that rich bouquet and flavour, you need to be old in wine terms! But you also need to have grown in sweetness and depth.

Personally, I would like to grow old like a Generous Wine: ever up in virtue. As I have mentioned in former blogs, Faith, Hope and Love: in ourselves, and for ourselves; in others, and for others, are deep truths to live by. Today I would like to add other virtues, coming also from my Catholic upbringing that I consider would help me to become a more Generous Wine:

Prudence or Cautiousness, which simply keeps us from harm. I could have done with a bit more of it many times in my life, particularly in my youth!

Justice: How can we live with ourselves if we don’t, at least, attempt to be just and fair with ourselves and others?

Fortitude or strength: Well… we know life is a bit tough; therefore we need a degree of toughness to put up a fight for what we love and what we believe in.

Temperance or moderation, which keeps us from excess, not only in drinking and eating, but also, in respectable areas such as work and exercise. Remember, you are supposed to be working to make a living, rather than working to make a dying!

To those 4 Cardinal virtues, I would like to add Modesty, which keeps our relationships with others oiled and in running order.

This week, this blog is late again because I was visiting my partner’s mother; she won’t read this; yet, I want to raise my cup of tea to a woman who is like “generous wine”: growing older, ever cheerful, ever kind, and ever up, in spite of hardship and difficulties. I also want to raise my cup of tea, to my lovely friend Nancy, whom you will meet soon in this blog, for keeping growing sweeter, wiser, more beautiful and graceful every day.

Let’s keep growing up; let’s keep growing sweeter, more generous and kinder, more loving, more canning! (not cunning).

I just created a new word:

Canning: Willing, therefore able.

Have a “Generous Wine” week. You don’t need to drink it, but of course you can if you like (in moderation!). Most importantly, BE THAT GENEROUS WINE.

Fate, Fortune and Will

 

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 15th Feb 2014

Fate, Fortune and Will

Some people are fortunate enough to appear to have it all: health, a roof over their heads, enough food, warmth, clothing, love and security, opportunities for learning, work, creating, enjoying life. However, all too often, they are unfortunate enough not to recognize it.

If you are reading this, it means you, like me, have been spared from the distressing and even tragic consequences of the latest storms. Perhaps, like me, you are reflecting on your good fortune.

After having planned this week’s post, one of my dearest friends asked me, pretty much what the protagonist of one of my books always asks himself:

“Is our destiny determined by genes, birth, upbringing, past choices?

Or can we determine the course of our existence?”*

My answers, based on my personal experience and my observations of life and people, are:

  • 50%, Genes, birth, family, education and upbringing:
  • 50%, What we decide to make of our 50% lottery.

In my personal experience, we can change even our health, and overcome many other seemingly impossible challenges, quite dramatically. We can change, of course, the effects of education and upbringing. We can transform ourselves, our lives, our health and our level of happiness.

In my view, it is the power of our will what can take us all the way, from simple wish to the intention; from the intention, to the attention and focus necessary to work our wish into the desired result. Perhaps you will care to have a look at my nephew Juan Acosta’s project,  http://ThoughtsintoResults.com (By the way, Juan has grown up in USA, and I have had no influence whatsoever in his upbringing. However, obviously we are into similar missions!)

But, how do you train your will to will what you need to will in order to transform your life?

My suggestion for this week is to observe, and if necessary to change your attitude to your life and your circumstances. Essentially, I suggest that you strive to see your glass, not even half full but full to the brim with the unabashed and pretty permanent joy of being alive; of having learnt what you have learnt; of experiencing the love you experience for and from people, places, objects, whatever form love takes in your life.

Will, have Faith in yourself; work at it and/or open space for it. Remember:

“Never give up hope and good luck will find you”

(From the Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story)

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. Whenever possible and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

*From “The Secret Life of a God”, part of “The Thermodynamics of Love Trilogy”, hopefully to be out and about this year. I won’t give up hope!

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 25th January 2014

Self Belief: The Hardest Creed

 

Many people are happy to believe in God, in their Doctor, in the Government, in the Social System, in their Rights as Citizens, in Charitable acts, in their families, in the remedies they take, in the sky, the stars, the sun, the rain, the soil, being there all the time for them.

The reality is that the only thing we probably can believe in is ourselves. We can turn into sophistic logic of some description and even try to deny that. But that is difficult. Because we believe we know we are here; we experience hunger, cold, pleasure, pain. Paraphrasing Decartes’ “Cogito Ergo Sum”, we think, therefore we exist.

Yet, when it comes to the value of our existence, our purpose, our direction in life, even our wishes and desires, it is incredible how often we doubt. And we doubt to the point of not caring about our bodies and minds; we doubt to the point in which we discard and refuse to search for or acknowledge our purpose, our direction in life. How often this essential doubt leads us to squander our health; our ability to be happy; our time; our money.

I keep thinking of creating more of an order to these posts… but perhaps at the moment I value much the spontaneity of having thought I should continue with one of the 3 pillars of physical health, and yet in the last minute deciding, I wanted to speak about the cardinal Virtue of Faith in ourselves.

I leave you with a quote from one of my books: “I don’t know if God exists, but I am totally sure God believes in me.” (From The Thermodynamics of Love)

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. Whenever possible  and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.