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BEACON Senior News

100 doesn't scare me!

Apr 04, 2023 02:23PM ● By Arlyn Macdonald

Why is it more difficult for me to turn 81 this year than last year when I turned 80? I think it’s because I suddenly realized I’m an octogenarian! 

Funny how I don’t feel like I’m in my 80s. However, this also made me realize I missed enjoying being a septuagenarian. 

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my 70s. For some reason, being in my eighth decade just didn’t hit the same way. I wonder how I will feel when my octogenarian days are finished and I graduate to be a nonagenarian, and then a centenarian. 

Some people even live to be supercentenarians—those who are over 110 years of age. There are eight known supercentenarians living today—all women over 114. The oldest verified living person today is Maria Branyas Morera of Spain, who is 116. The oldest known supercentenarian was Jeanne Calment of France, who lived to be 122 years 164 days. She passed away in 1997.

Being an octogenarian doesn’t mean I have to suddenly start acting like the stereotypical 80-year-old. I don’t have to sit in a rocking chair and crochet afghan blankets and bake cookies. And I certainly don’t need to be helped across the street, thank you very much!

I’m way too busy to do all those things. I have my morning Zumba class and I play pickleball at least three times a week. I took a clogging class this winter, and I think my flamenco class starts next month. 

I text, Skype and Zoom, and I recently ordered a Bluetooth speaker just last week so my friends and I can play music while we play pickleball. I have a black belt in karate and finally had to give up my skateboard because too many youngsters at the skate park kept getting in my way.

I’m planning a cruise to the Bahamas this summer and I’m thinking about training for a half-marathon this year. I need to get new tires on my mountain bike before summer arrives. Some of those trails last summer were a bit rough!

I sing karaoke on Friday nights. You meet the nicest people when you’re all singing together! A few years ago, I won a karaoke talent contest. I still have the trophy on my bookshelf.

Volunteering at the local food bank on Mondays, the hospital gift shop on Tuesdays and the library on Fridays keeps me pretty busy. I’m looking for somewhere to volunteer on Thursdays, but I have to have Wednesdays off so I can play bridge.

My children worry about me not having enough to do socially. They think I stay home all day watching the Home Shopping Network. Don’t tell them otherwise. 

Being an octogenarian isn’t so bad! A word of advice to all you septuagenarians: don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something and don’t be afraid to give new activities a shot! Eat good food, drink plenty of water, get some exercise and laugh as much as you can! At the rate I’m going, being 100+ doesn’t scare me!


Leave age on the curb

Leave age on the curb!

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