Well of course one has little choice when it comes to it does one - grow old or don't grow old. And even whether one does it disgracefully or otherwise is down to a few things - physical condition being I suppose one of the main ones. After lunch Priscilla and I will do our perambulate - how we could make it in any way disgraceful it is hard to see. I suppose I could decorate her or perhaps wear a purple hat a la Jenny Joseph. In perfect health (is anybody at 88?) maybe I could make a bit more effort. As it is just the sheer effort of getting all the way round the circuit and arriving back home is enough.
A friend is 89 next weekend - five weeks before me, so I can always joke that I am not as old as she is - at least for those five weeks. I do try to keep young in my head by keeping up to date with the news and things like that, and I do the Mind Games in the Times daily in an effort to keep brain gremlins at bay. But when all is said and done one's life span and the way one approaches death is in the lap of the gods. But one thing is for sure - I have had a much longer life than what I now have left. So best to soldier on and live each day as it comes.
There is a lovely old lady, W, in our town who is 100. She carries no excess weight and is reasonably nimble on her feet. Until Covid I used to collect her every Sunday and four of us would lunch at the same restaurant. I met her at the doctor's surgery last Monday. Sadly she didn't recognise me but she said she recognised my voice. Her mind is getting a little forgetful but she still lives alone but surrounded by her family. She is totally content, which is lovely to see.
In yesterday's Times there is a photo of an old lady of 101 who has been trapping lobsters since 1929. Three mornings a week between May and November, she gets up at 3am and gets on her boat with her son, who is himself 78. Her son sees to the boat and hauls in the traps, she measures the lobsters and throws back the small ones and then ties the claws of the ones they are keeping. A few years ago a crab cut her finger and she had to have stitches. The doctor was interested in why an old lady of her age was still doing such a job and when he asked her, her answer was "because I want to"!
Perhaps that is one of the secrets of a long and happy life. Don't sit around waiting for death to arrive - "do precisely what you want to!" It will arrive anyway when it wants to.