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Ageing - a different kind of stress

As you grow older you also become vulnerable to a lot more advice. Most of it redundant and patronising as if now everyone else knew more about what was good for you than you did. Just like when people talk about the very elderly it is always in the third person; what will he eat or what does she want to do ... no one means to be rude, it is just a deterioration of the dignity of the individual made fragile by age.

The process starts around the mid-40s when the first hints that the road ahead is all downhill manifest themselves. People around you start telling you what is good for you and what isn't. Then strangers get in on the act and start telling you what you should be doing for body and mind. As if all this hostility disguised as caring wasn't bad enough, they have books and magazines loaded with pieces on how life should be lived if you want to live longer... by missing out on all that made it fun in the first place.

Five years down this track and now the heat is really on. The attacks are on multiple flanks. Your food habits are a major area for these offensives and you keep getting told to cut out sugar, salt, milk, friend foods, all dairy products, red meat, white meat, fatty meat, high cholesterol prawns, sweets, chocolates, cakes, tea, coffee and 27 other items, all these flung at you in random order. Then they get after your exercise. For years you have been playing squash or tennis at a nice brisk pace and enjoying the languor in the aftermath and now they want to take that away from you by saying, hey there, slow down, ease up, hang up your racket and take walkies instead.

I have come to the firm conclusion that all these advisors are jealous because people their age can still put in a decent bit of sweat into a game which they cannot do any longer so they go on the attack. I don't want to cut it out. Because once you start giving space to these self styled pundits you are lost, take it from me. Having ruined your food fun and wrecked your exercise plans they now proceed to get your mind. This is a fad thing and this generation is big on stress. Earlier generations called it ambition and effort and getting the job done. We call it stress and it gives us an excuse for everything which is wrong which situation we need to blame someone else, anyone except our own incompetence.

So, if we have messed up our job blame it on stress. If the two ends are uptight with each other and the budget is a mangled piece of machinery blame it on stress. If the children are turning into hoodlums, the marriage isn't flying and the bank manager is on the line, blame it on stress. Having got stressed now watch the fun. You have to get de-stressed and that costs a bomb. So, the odds are that you will get twice as stressed getting de-stressing treatments for your earlier stress. You are a lucky one if you can work that out.

By the time you are hitting 60 they are really going for you, creating regimens that make the Coldstream Guards look like a bunch of indisciplined hoods. What's more, there is a whole industry out there making lots of money on figuring out how to make you miserable. To add insult they call it your sunny years or your prime years and then proceed to give you a hard time.

Take my advice. Resist them. Don't let them tell you what you can and cannot do. If you are 63 and want to go white water rafting do it. If you are lady of 70 and you get it into your mind to fly to Disneyland then go. If you like your set of tennis and would rather hit those fluffy yellow chicks over the net go and hit them and never mind the flipping walkies. I can tell you one thing. You'll be a lot less stressed.

Article by Bikram Vohra
Courtesy: Gulf Today


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