38 Comments

It sounds like you are aging well. Being able to walk five miles is really impressive at 84.

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Love this. “Capability with presence” and your wanting to always try first to fix something are the hallmarks of a strong, proud, confident woman who never liked hearing the words “no” or “can’t.”

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This is such a great message. I just turned 40 and I've been giving a lot of thought to how I want to be purposeful in my middle age and beyond. I've been strength training for about four months now--never did it before! But what a difference. PLUS I know this is a gift to my future self. I'm going to hold on to that "message of capability" as a mantra moving forward.

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Janice you walk 5 miles??!!!!! That's amazing. Like Michael said 84 is the new 72.

There are so many aspects to not acting our age. It always brings to mind the book Younger Next Year (a great book!) where they said to look younger make sure your eyeglass frames are current and your teeth aren't yellow. I've paid attention to the eyeglasses and noticed how much of a difference that makes. If we have frames dating back a couple of decades it seems to add years. For those who haven't read that book it's not about how we look. Those two suggestions are the only ones I can remember about appearance, it's about how to be healthy.

Also, I think we might need more police station stories, that must have been interesting.

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Hey. I'm almost 66, and I just took on training a new young horse. Well, he's 8 years old and pretty good-minded, but he's still young, excitable, and he has holes in his training. I'm taking it slow and easy. We'll get there. I notice that the habits I had fallen into with my older mare--sloppy habits including being slower to get into the saddle--seem to have vaporized because I can't do those with this boy.

And Denny Emerson, the former Olympic-level eventer, is still riding and he's in his 80s. Broke his neck at 70 but got back into the saddle. He keeps talking about the one eventer he knew who took up the sport in his 70s. Um. Not me. But I can work with this horse, and he'll keep me younger.

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Well said!

I walk at night with my dog. I heed your advice.

And at almost 72, I don't want to act or be old. There's a wonderful meme online which I printed off and have stuck inside my wardrobe door:

'LIfe's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy shit, what a ride!” '- Hunter S Thompson

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"So, even though I’m older, I know to provide a message of capability with my presence." Every word you write, Janice Walton, is a testimony to your capability! Old ladies rule!

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I’m struggling with this situation with my mother, who is 92. She can’t remember things; I think it’s because her mind is running a mile a minute and she’s not being mindful. Until the other weekend when her grandson visited from 10:30 to 4:30. After I gave her the receipt for lunch, she asked if Daniel had lunch with us. He did, she sat next to him, and even offered him some of her shrimp several times.

My father passed on Wednesday and my fear is that her memory is going to get worse. I don’t know how to handle it. My instinct is to fix it--meditate, be mindful, take your time. And yet, I don’t think any of this will work. 😢

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Exactly! I am 61, I am already worried about aging. Or should that be aging MORE? ;) My parents are 86 and 87, live in a house in the mountains and are doing okay, but slowing down. I worry about them going up and down stairs - then realized that might be what's helping them stay mobile! Thanks for your substack, wish I'd found it earlier!

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Medical encounters require patient assertiveness and questioning of what the medical staff is proposing. That is so important as we age. I am glad I learned that skill while my parents aged.

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Oh my goodness Janice. I just had this conversation with my Dr. yesterday. At the end of the visit we both agreed that "attitude" is probably one of the most important traits to impact our own well-being and that a positive one does way more than we might realize. I recall a line I read on a church board one day.... "Attitudes are contagious - is mine worth catching". I would have to say yours is absolutely worth catching!

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Janice, your writing and sharing what has been going on in your life.....those are things many people couldn't/wouldn't do at any age. When I read your posts, I think of you as strong and brave, with no particular age attached.

And.....I agree with some of the other comments.....more police stories and stories of San Francisco. 💚

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I’m turning 70 this year. And I’m proud to be an old lady after two bouts of cancer I’m so grateful to be going

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I’m three decades behind you, but some of your points apply to me as a person with a rare disease that is chronic and incurable. Am I doing all I can do to remain as independent as possible? I enjoyed your article, as always. Thanks for sharing!

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