...scares me to death. I'll be honest, I never thought that growing old was a good thing. Not to say I don't think my parents and grandparents aren't beautiful people as they've aged, but what the body goes through as it gets older, to me, absolutely sucks. I've been taking a gerontology course this semester and although my instructor is an incredibly sweet and intelligent person I just don't find myself agreeing with her opinion that being old is wonderful. Since she told us that the first day of class she has proceeded to inform us of all the things that change as one ages, especially after the age of 65. Just to list a few: age spots, skin cancers, bad teeth, poor circulation, less muscle/more fat, curved spine, shrinking brain, stiffer heart muscles, bone density decreasing, bone fractures, hip replacements, prolonged recovery times, progressively poorer vision, eye diseases, skin diseases, medication side effects, decreased balance, falling down more, increased sensitivity to light, poorer hearing, needing more time to process things, delirium & dementia, Alzheimer's, other cancers...and the list goes on and on.
Now, instead of being in awe of people surviving for so long, I am now scared out of my mind about getting old. Quite frankly, I don't really want to live as long as most people in my family seem to (late 80's, early 90's). Unless I start running marathons and am still running marathons when I'm 75 (see: Jack Lallane) with clear vision, thick bones, and perfect hearing, I don't know if I still want to be around. Honestly. That also brings me to the fact that I continue to think researchers should spend more time figuring out how to improve the quality of life before they continue increasing the span of life. It's nice to say your grandma lived to be 95, but if she had dementia, osteoporosis, several counts of melanoma, was legally blind, and couldn't hear...well, wasn't that a skippy thing for her to endure. Just saying. Point still being though, I don't want to get that old. I've already developed 2 sun spots on my face and it has absolutely traumatized me; I'm already buying anti-aging creams to try and fade them. It's definitely SPF 30 from now on not to mention chugging milk despite my kidney stones and running even though I hate doing it!