Friday, January 18, 2013

Not Repeating Her Mistakes Part 1

My 80-something mother in law is showing me the way.

She may not realize it, but I intend to learn from her.  I intend to learn both the things she did right, and the things she did wrong, in preparing to grow old.

The world now differs from the world that existed when she was my age.  Information is readily available online.  Communication, in a lot of ways, is easier.  But she never could have foreseen some of the challenges she faces now.

These are  my "Resolutions of Aging":  Now, at 60, I want to write these things down, so I can remember them and refer to them.   I will devote some posts over the next few weeks/months to this issue, one "resolution" at a time.

The first mistake was not paying attention to balance.

My mother in law taught me that walking is not enough for exercise.  She loved to walk.  She walked with her late husband.  She walked with her friends. But, even while younger, she was prone to falling.  She's had balance problems for years.  Now it has become deadly.  She can no longer walk for long.  She is overweight. She struggles with the stairs that are throughout her split level.  A small stroke several years ago only compounded the problem, and it came despite the great care she paid to her nutrition.

I walk.  I do water aerobics and water zumba.  But that is not enough.  I've seen deterioration in my own balance just this year, with our first major snowfall - the first in two years- and my ability to navigate snow piled at curbs, for example.  An intervention is called for - balance exercises, or even yoga or tai chi.  These resources weren't available to my mother in law when she was my age.  I, however, have no excuse.

My first step is losing weight (I've now lost 11 pounds thanks to Weight Watchers - the true challenge will be keeping it off) to help out my right knee. From there.....

Next Friday - another Resolution.

If you are of an age where you have to be concerned about your aging - have you taken steps to plan long term care, or physical issues?


  1. Hi Alana, I loved reading your blog and congratulations on your resolutions. It struck a cord with me I will be 62 this month and yes I need to watch my balance too. I fell last summer, up a curb, I have always been a bit clumsy. Fortunately I did not break anything. My mother never thought I would make it to 18. I often get preoccupied and find I need to pay more attention as I age. - Maggie

  2. You are very wise to learn the lessons your mother-in-law's life has to teach you. Congratulations on realizing that, and congratulations on your success with Weight Watchers. I, too, am on that program. I hope I can be as successful as you.


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