A reflection from the immobile position

The average age of residents out here is high.  I have no idea what it is but my guess is that the median age is somewhere around 55.  Average maybe 40.  We seem to have a lot of 60-somethings.  More 60 plus than under 40, that is for sure.

Thank God we also have 70-somethings.  They are good to see.  Gives me some encouragement.  Something to aim for.

By the time one gets to 70 or so, one tends to slow down some and I am experiencing a bit of a preview of that what with my hip being all banged up.  Once again, I am projecting.  Sorry.  But seeing some active 70-somethings perks me up.  ‘Course there are 75 year-old marathoners and all that but your average doofus doesn’t do a lot very physical after 70.  Seventy, I think is the beginning of old age. OK, 75 fer sure.

I’ve been dwelling on age lately, it seems.  Sal says I am preoccupied.  She says I have been ‘sounding like an old geek’ for some time now. Easy for her to say – she could be the poster girl for Oil of Olay.  Hell, she could be the poster girl for Wilderness Yoga and Kayaker magazine!

I turn 65 in a few weeks and I guess I am just ‘coming to terms with it’ is all.  It doesn’t help (or maybe it does!) that I whacked out my hip and have been experiencing an accelerated sense of aging lately.  But I think it is more than that.  For me, 65 is a big number. A real milestone.

Last real milestone was 30.  I stopped trusting myself.

I have good reason to re-emphasize that thought: I am also setting a record for longevity on my Mother’s side of the family.  No one made it to 65.  Well, I will set the new record if I get past Christmas.  We had a few relatives tough it out into the last few months before their 65th.  But they never made it.  By Xmas, I am it.  I am #1.  Woohoo!  Still, that is a pretty low height that bar was set at, don’t you think?  Russians live longer!!

I’m not that freaked.  Not really.  My dad’s side stretched it out.  Mid 80’s for the most part.  Not my dad, actually.  Seventy-six for him.  But the rest of the family lasted longer.  ‘Course they were generally a wicked bunch and, it is said, that seems to help.  I’m counting on the wicked gene.  It’s my only hope.  I know it is there.

Anyway, this blog is about aging more than it is about me.  And here’s the point: Older people live more rural.  Younger people live urban.  It is not a hard and fast rule but I think it is generally true.  And it makes sense, kinda.  When you are young and trying to get into the gene pool, you go to where the genes are swimming.  And, of course, the more the merrier.  Ergo, the young swim in the city.

But once the genes have paired up, there is not as much reason to stay in the pool.  So, some head out to make a nest.  Some go far.  And that means some of them move out to the country.  That scenario, alone, makes for a slightly older group in the country.  Add to that the stereotypical cottagers who go to live in their lakeside home year round, the possibility of working by computer and the increasing pressures (and fears) in the urban infrastructure and there are more and more influences discharging the older into the country.

It may not show up in the numbers but I think that is because the numbers are dwarfed by the younger set still going in to the city.  The net flow of youth is in.  The net flow of old is out.  But there are more youth so the numbers don’t say it.

When you think about it, it is a reversal of the history of mankind.  In the past, it was the youth who headed out to find their fortune.  Today, it is the old who head out to find peace.  Frankly, I think fortune is overrated.  Anyway – at my age, maybe we should just give peace a chance?

One thought on “A reflection from the immobile position

  1. Overschooled but undereducated is the lot of our youth. Most places in the undeveloped world youths are making a living and putting skills learned to use but not most of our Canadian youth. The reason the population out flow from the city is not youthful is they could not survive in the hinterland as you do. The youth are not prepared for the privations of solitude, fresh air and self-reliance as you have become.

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