Getting old sucks

Health, Fitness, Insurance, ...
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unemployable
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Getting old sucks

Post by unemployable » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:04 am

First Alex Trebek, now Tom Seaver.

I'll be surprised if Trebek makes it past September or so.

I think people here worry too much about global-scale apocalypses and not enough about the ones that may strike their own bodies.

chenda
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by chenda » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:05 am

Yes but it's better than dieing young.

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jennypenny
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by jennypenny » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:05 am

unemployable wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:04 am
... now Tom Seaver.
I'm sad about Seaver, I'm still not over Harrelson. The '86 Mets were fun but the '73 Mets hold a special place in my heart.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:54 am

I think Alex Trebek is a good example of why the investment analogy for health is flawed. I can't summon up anything resembling exact numbers, but with money if you do just about everything right, you can pretty easily reduce your risk of going broke to near nil, but you are only going to gain maybe 30% max better odds over inherent genetics and pre-natal conditions with chosen adult behavior when it comes to health/longevity (as opposed to fitness.)

IlliniDave
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:18 am

In the last eighteen months I've lost an aunt, an uncle, and a parent. Especially with losing a parent, it's a very visceral and tactile thing. Over the last five years I've really started to internalize the unavoidable truth that my day is coming. In suitably nerdy fashion, it was working with a spreadsheet that provided the initial epiphany, if you want to call it that. My iDaveSim 3.0 spreadsheet simulation has a last row, and after it was five years old I was considering whether to add five new rows to maintain the original projection window, and it occurred to me that doing so was probably pointless. The falling of those in my parents generation (both the celebrities and my relatively anonymous relatives) just served to reinforce that.

One certainly should look after one's health even though it is ultimately a losing battle. But I try not to worry about it too much. Better to be grateful for my current relative health and live as best I can along with keeping my "affairs" in reasonably good order. I do give thought to the future beyond me, but that may be due solely to having descendants whom I wish a good life for. But to riff on the Pterson and IDW threads, I still get up every morning and make my bed, stand up straight, put my shoulders back, and do the best I can from there. At any given moment we never have more than the present moment.

Jason
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by Jason » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:35 am

Luke Perry had his death stroke almost to the day I thought I had one (it was Bell Palsy). We are pretty much the same age. His zip code is now Heaven and I am in a certain amount of discomfort but pretty much in normal working order. Believe me, when I thought I was dead, I was not praying "God, if you keep me alive, I will focus more on recycling in order that future generations will live in prosperity".

A week later, I had the uncomfortable task of going to a customer, a husband and wife, and asking them for money which they owed me. It was relatively a small amount, like 2K. I didn't want to do it because we had become friendly, but I had a fiduciary responsibility for another party. She asks me how I am. I say "(Name), I thought I was dead. I woke up and I'm drooling and I look like Sylvester Stallone but it turns out I have bell palsy." I was trying to grease the skids to getting the money. She in return says "I have to tell you something. (Name) died. Name being her husband. I just said "Well, who's the asshole, now." Perfectly health middle aged guy develops a cough, goes to the hospital and is dead in four weeks of lymphoma. So what I thought was going to be a meeting about money, turns into my making some recent widow ball her eyes out and me sitting there with egg on my palsy face.

If people want to worry about 100 years later and whatever is going on then, well, that's their business. But damn, really, who the fuck cares. It's about God, you and the people closest to you. Everyone and everything else can go fuck themselves. The earth will end, but chances are it will be after everyone currently alive will be dead and being blamed for whatever shit the future living assholes are whining about.

chenda
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by chenda » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:26 am

I've been thinking a lot about death recently. Reading the memoirs of old people reminiscing about their childhood, knowing the world they knew and grew up in has vanished forever. Parents gone. Friends gone. Family gone. It's just really sad. I just hope there is some kind of pleasant afterlife which gives a sense of completion to it all.

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unemployable
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by unemployable » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:13 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:18 am
In the last eighteen months I've lost an aunt, an uncle, and a parent. Especially with losing a parent, it's a very visceral and tactile thing. Over the last five years I've really started to internalize the unavoidable truth that my day is coming. In suitably nerdy fashion, it was working with a spreadsheet that provided the initial epiphany, if you want to call it that. My iDaveSim 3.0 spreadsheet simulation has a last row, and after it was five years old I was considering whether to add five new rows to maintain the original projection window, and it occurred to me that doing so was probably pointless. The falling of those in my parents generation (both the celebrities and my relatively anonymous relatives) just served to reinforce that.
Last month I lost another relative on my father's side at the same age everyone else died (~78). Trebek's that age too and has the same disease. That's a number on the wall. I thought once I hit my 40s my worldview would be set and immutable, but I can say in the past couple of years the experience has profoundly changed me.

I have a spreadsheet that models my annual finances too, have had it since 2012 or so. Year X goes by and I set the numbers for that row and start playing with year X+1 instead. Coincidentally it has always stopped at age 80, and I have little reason any more to change that. Though I've mentioned elsewhere there's another reason for that, namely by that time the outcomes seem binary, either zero or more money than I'd know what to do with that age.
One certainly should look after one's health even though it is ultimately a losing battle. But I try not to worry about it too much. Better to be grateful for my current relative health and live as best I can along with keeping my "affairs" in reasonably good order.
Well maintaining good health has plenty of immediate benefits: more energy, feel better, ability to accomplish physical tasks, people treat you better and so on. In the longer term you can take off part of the left tail, but never all of it.
Jason wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:35 am
If people want to worry about 100 years later and whatever is going on then, well, that's their business. But damn, really, who the fuck cares. It's about God, you and the people closest to you. Everyone and everything else can go fuck themselves. The earth will end, but chances are it will be after everyone currently alive will be dead and being blamed for whatever shit the future living assholes are whining about.
Yeah, this. The way it ties into ERE should be obvious. If you're worried so much about the oceans rising, why not just go visit the goddamned beach now while it -- and you -- are still there?

Toska2
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by Toska2 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:30 am

I heard a quote that I will paraphrase.

"People only fear death when they lived carelessly."

prognastat
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by prognastat » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:48 am

I'm at the same time concerned and unconcerned about my death. I definitely don't want to die(to the point where if offered immortality or a near equivalent I would take it as I believe death is the cessation of being) so I do try to be healthy, both in diet and exercise to improve my chances there. However, at the same time I'm not really afraid of dying. If it happens it happens like it does to everyone eventually.

Also despite your lifestyle only having a partial effect on your longevity I definitely wouldn't neglect it as it does improve your day to day life and still might help you in the long run too.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:47 am

prognastat wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:48 am
Also despite your lifestyle only having a partial effect on your longevity I definitely wouldn't neglect it as it does improve your day to day life and still might help you in the long run too.
This is big. I don't think most realize how much the spectrum of health widens with age. Two people can live to be 90; by 70 one needs help wiping his own ass and another is still running marathons. Longevity shouldn't be the goal, quality of life is much more important. I fear the years leading up to death more than death itself.

Campitor
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by Campitor » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:32 pm

Healthy people die young all the time. If it's not a disease/infection, it some kind of accident. However you have to look at the major causes of death in the US: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282929.php.

Take a look at those causes and their underlying mechanisms and tell me if most are not preventable with a lifestyle change (diet and/or excercise). There is even some evidence that amyloid plaques in Alzheimers is caused by excessive dietary fat or lack of sleep which reduces the brain's efficiency for purging the brain cavity of the detritus that builds up during the day. The unflushed brain residue, a byproduct of normal brain activity, builds up and is believed to be a major factor in the development of amyloid plaques.

Anyone of us can die unexpectedly but why give the grim reaper a better foothold? We all have to die someday. Since I try to follow the stoic philosophy which includes the tenet momento mori, I'll end with a few quotes from Seneca:

“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. ... The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”

“And so there is no reason for you to think that any man has lived long because he has grey hairs or wrinkles, he has not lived long – he has existed long. For what if you should think that man had had a long voyage who had been caught by a fierce storm as soon as he left harbour, and, swept hither and thither by a succession of winds that raged from different quarters, had been driven in a circle around the same course? Not much voyaging did he have, but much tossing about.”

"Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man's power to live long."

Augustus
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by Augustus » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:41 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:47 am
+1 Healthy longevity is the goal. As many healthy happy years as possible. After losing that very very close friend of mine a couple weeks back (he was only 40!) I've had a dramatic reassessment of short term and long term goals. I've started doing more things I had back burnered/"some-day'd" in the last 2 weeks than I have in the last 2 years. I've been a downright slacker at work. Life is short and fragile, enjoy it!

My plans have shifted from delaying gratification in order to provide for the future, to ensuring that the future will be provided for but no longer delaying most gratification. If I want a $5 bowl of ice cream, I'm having a god damned $5 bowl of ice cream, now. I'll have to exercise it off right after, and make sure I'm keeping a good savings rate, but I'm no longer concerned about losing 10% of savings rate or whatever if it means a lot more fun and enjoyment NOW.
Last edited by Augustus on Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:42 pm

Some ancient thoughts on the matter some of you may enjoy.

Cicero
Everyone wants to live to an old age, Cicero notes; when it comes they all complain. But "the evils for which ignorant people blame old age are really their own faults and deficiencies." And those unable to find happiness and fulfillment in their final years will have found every age wearisome. We must follow nature and accept the joys and consolations peculiar to each stage of life. Old age is a time of final ripening, as the fruit gets ready to fall from the tree. We can only embrace it, for nature will follow its course regardless.

That is the sort of old age Cicero envisioned, "the tranquil and serene evening of a life spent in peaceful, blameless, enlightened pursuits." He chose Cato the Censor- farmer, soldier, and statesman- as his spokesman. Cato the Elder was 84 years old when the dialogue is set, and this paragon of traditional Roman virtue directly confronts the four reasons commonly given for viewing old age as necessarily unhappy: that it takes us away from active work, that it weakens the body, that it deprives us of physical pleasures, and that it is not far from death.

There are proper occupations for each stage of life, and old age has its own appropriate tasks. Indeed, "there is nothing of which old age should be more wary than yielding itself to idleness and inactivity." The old may find solace in study, writing, friendship, and quiet contemplation; in farming and observing nature through the changing seasons; in mentoring the young; and in providing wise counsel to the republic. Money, property, and position are all helpful in such a life, but these are neither necessary nor sufficient for "decent, enlightened living." The crucial point is that we must keep ourselves so usefully occupied that we do not even notice the "gradual process of extinction."
As for physical infirmity, "exercise and self-control enable a man to preserve a good deal of his former strength even after he has become old." We can husband our powers and exert them according to our capacity. Yet the state of our body is less important than the state of our character.
Cato the Elder:
"To be respected is the crowning glory of old age." Honor is propertly given to the wisdom of elders. And old age can offer advantages in toughness and courage because it has less to lose. But the foundations for such respect must be well laid in early life: white hair and wrinkles alone will not bring authority. In advice that would have later benefited King Lear, Cato notes, "Age will only be respected if it fights for itself, maintains its own rights, avoids dependence, and asserts control over its own sphere as long as life lasts. For just as I like a young man to have something old about him, so I approve of the old man who has a touch of youth." For such a man, "whatever the age of his body, in spirit he will never be old."
Old age also frees us from the youth's most dangerous failing, the lustful pleasures that "cloud a man's judgment, obstruct his reasoning capacity, and blind his intelligence." For the old, conversation and companionship are more important than sex. Enjoyment of food and drink need not be lacking, but that, too, diminishes with age. We can set aside such sensual pleasures along with ambition, rivalry, quarreling, and all other passions in favor of a quieter, more tranquil life.
Cato argues, finally, that death is of no account, and "the wisest people are those who die with greatest equanimity." For if death "removes the soul to some place of eternal life," then "its coming is greatly to be desired." If, as seems more likely, death entails complete destruction of soul as well as body, then, while there is nothing good in it, there is nothing to be feared in it either because all thought and sensation ceases. . .

Jason
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by Jason » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:48 pm

Woody Allen: I'm not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens.

Campitor
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by Campitor » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:13 pm

@Kriegsspiel - thanks for linking those quotes - they are very inspirational.

@Jason - That Woody Allen quote is hilarious. :lol:

stand@desk
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by stand@desk » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:44 am

Death Cafe Talk!

Great place to go to talk about Death but here is the online ERE one. ERE Death Cafe.

My reference point? Just a couple centuries ago ~ life expectancy was around 30 years. A couple thousand ~ about 20 years. So if you get past those points, it's gravy.

Also, living in the first world is a miraculous stroke of luck too, so we are incredibly lucky just to have what we've got but media is designed to make us feel like we are lacking, which funds the dividend payments.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by EdithKeeler » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:02 am

Yeah...death. It’s hard to see our heroes/peers/family die (Ja Michael Vincent died recently, too—age 73, but apparently had a really rough life after his success).

My mom turned 82 this week, and my friend’s mom passed 2 weeks ago at age 78. I’m so happy to have had more time with my mom, but I grimly note that it feels like death is around the corner for her. The effects of her Parkinson’s are getting worse, but she’s lucky—or maybe not (?)—that mentally she’s still pretty ok. I’m not sure if knowing you’re declining is better than being oblivious to it.

The family curse of arthritis is clearly catching up with me, and I hate it. I’m starting to get a lot of creaks, and I hate it. I’m also reminded that working sedentary in an office, I’m not doing myself any favors.

For me, the worst part of getting older is realizing that I still have a lot of stuff I want to do. I’m not scared of dying...but I am scared of lying on my deathbed thinking “I didn’t get to do this or this or this...and fuck—I still have $100k in the bank!”

But someone young like Luke Perry dies—or that beauty queen who recently died at like 22 I think! —and I’m glad I’m still kicking, at least.

On this grim subject of death, I offer these three thoughts:

I used to write this in people’s birthday cards, but when you get to a certain age, it’s not funny anymore:
“And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.”—Pink Floyd

And Andrew Marvell:
“But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.”

And finally: Jim Carroll:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QPNqojbyIDk

chenda
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by chenda » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:45 am

stand@desk wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:44 am
My reference point? Just a couple centuries ago ~ life expectancy was around 30 years. A couple thousand ~ about 20 years
Adult life expectancy would have been significantly longer; the average is skewed by a much higher infant mortality rate.

Campitor
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Re: Getting old sucks

Post by Campitor » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:45 pm

For me, the worst part of getting older is realizing that I still have a lot of stuff I want to do. I’m not scared of dying...but I am scared of lying on my deathbed thinking “I didn’t get to do this or this or this...and fuck—I still have $100k in the bank!”
'

I think it was Seneca who said a person who has lived fully doesn't fear death. This is a core principle of Stoicism: Memento Mori (remember death). We are marching towards death as soon as we're born but we live our life and make choices as if we're immortal. Stoics, realizing their time is limited, makes a list of goals constantly and daily and prunes the things that are not important and works towards those things that are while trying to live a life that is virtuous (becoming a better human being) and remaining true to who they are.

One of my goals was to motorcycle across all 50 states but then I had children - if my life was to end in 200 days what would I choose to do? Ride a motorcycle or spend time with my kids? I would choose my kids and someone else may choose their motorcycle. Neither choice is superior in the context of living deliberately and dying doing what you love; but you have to live with the consequences of those choices as they manifest in those 200 days. If you die regretting not being with your kids and choosing the motorcycle, you chose poorly. Momento mori is the locus for introspection and choices. Who am I? What do I want? What do I want to accomplish? What kind of person do I want to be?

A stoic understands that choices are trade offs so particular effort is made to understand who he/she is in order to make choices that are not regretted later and learning from regret when it does occur. Anything else left unaccomplished should be the result of a deliberate choice and the stoic makes peace with this. We can't do it all so at least make deliberate choices based on self awareness which dictate your goals; if you truly regret something on your deathbed then you didn't know yourself at all.

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