BY PAT HANSON
“Usta” is a phrase we seniors can’t escape…
Like “would’ve” and “should’ve” and “would’ve” statements that are useless after the fact; knowing that language can influence the directions we take; ”used to” is an expression that we iterate far too often as we seniors (elders), whether grandparents or not face the inevitable changes that come with aging.
- I used to be able to sleep through the night, or more than 2-3 hours at a time, instead of being awakened by bladder pressure telling me I have ‘to go,’ where? To the bathroom of course.
- I used to put a little make-up on to cover the red skin blotches on my face; but since seeing the same spots on movie stars like Anthony Hopkins when he played the Pope or The Father, I let that go.
- I used to blow dry my lifelong thin hair with a thickener on it, but since it hardly looks different in zoom close-ups I don’t do that anymore.
- I used to not need closed captions to watch movies or TV series or the news, but without expensive hearing aids, I need them to understand even when talking personally to anyone.
- I used to be able to remember characters in movies and plots long after I’d seen them, but now I look for those updates on them to see how old they are or if they are still alive.
- I used to know or generally guess the ages of movie stars or comedians like Jerry Seinfeld but now (he’s 63) I look them up to see how long it’s been since I watched his show regularly it ran from 1989 to 1998; for me that 23 years.
- I used to enjoy looking at actresses like Nicole Kidman (now 53) or Meryl Streep (now 71) or Goldie Hawn (now 75 and now seniors)but now I keep wondering how they’ve made their faces so wrinkle-free. Was it botox? Plastic surgery?
- I used to not need the spell and grammar check when I write pieces like this, but now I’m dependent on it.
So let’s take care of our bodies so aging well happens and delete the ‘ustas’ from our mind screen. We seniors deserve it!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – DR. PAT HANSON
Pat Hanson. Ph.D. is a seasoned health educator, public speaker, and workshop facilitator. She is the author of Invisible Grandparenting: Leave A Legacy Of Love Whether You Can Be There or Not. She lectures nationally on Aging Positively and is a columnist for the magazines: Crone: Women Coming of Age and GRAND
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