Is aging truly an attitude? What keeps some people vital and active through the decades while others start saying, â€œIâ€™m too old to do thatâ€ in their thirties?
On a recent Today Show segment in which an expert on social situations was offering advice, a question from a viewer came in. The viewer was irritated that an elderly neighbor woman never thanked, or offered to pay, the viewerâ€™s husband for plowing her driveway after winter snowstorms.Â The viewer wanted to know how to delicately have her husband stop providing the service for the older woman since she didnâ€™t seem to appreciate the effort.
There was some discussion among the Today Show co-hosts and the expert, and then Joan Rivers –who was to be a quest on the next segment–piped in something to the effect of, â€œSheâ€™s an old woman! Just help her out for crying out loud!â€
My husband was listening to the program and said he completely agreed with Ms. Rivers (a statement that seldom crosses his lips by the way). We talked about neighborly behaviors and how our society has trended away from interacting with those around us.
When I was growing up my father worked at construction sites far from our farm during the week and therefore was only home on weekends. If a snowstorm hit while he was gone, my uncle, who lived a fair piece down the road, would plow us out. His kindness wasnâ€™t taken for granted, and yet there was definitely a spirit of â€œhow can we help each other?â€ in place that seems to be slipping given the discussion on the Today Show.
I told my husband that if I had the means to do so I would offer to use our snowblower to clear the driveway of an older woman who lives about a mile from our home.Â Unfortunately we donâ€™t own a pickup, or a trailer, to load and unload the heavy snowblower and cart it to other locations. I heard a month ago that this sweet little woman, now in her nineties, hand shovels her driveway. And, I might add, the driveway is not a short one either.
My husband considered my statement and then said, â€œDorothy would probably be offended that you think she needs help.â€ I did one of those awkward snort-laughs because he had a point. Dorothy is fiercely independent, and manages her home and yard quite nicely with little outside help, thank you.
But, that brings me back to my original question…why do some people–like Dorothy–have a vitality and spunk to live independently, while others complain and feel â€œtoo oldâ€ to help themselves? Iâ€™d love to hear stories from others about this.Â Do you have people you know, or knew, who amazed you with their zest for living regardless of age? Please share, as we can always use more inspiration.