Aging with Wild Courage


A post by my good friend Gail Crane:

I recently read the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. It’s about a young lady who felt she had lost everything after her mother died, her marriage failed,and her family all went their own way.

After dealing with all this loss by using drugs, she knew she needed to get her life together.

She impulsively decided to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone, with no experience or training. She made it only with determination and perseverance.


This reminded me of aging—a journey we will all take with no experience or training.

It’s scary as we have no idea what this journey will encompass—good health or sickness, with or without loved ones or friends, with or without necessary financial means etc.

But whatever we face, we will do it with determination, perseverance, and courage!

Often our physical bodies become tired, sick, and achy from arthritis.

We may not be able to hear well or see well. I, myself, have developed several physical problems, one of which is Menieres, where I experience episodes of hearing loss and then dizziness with nausea and fatigue. The really scary part is that it often leads to deafness—a big fear of mine! It’s horrible while I’m going through it; however, I know it will last about five hours and then I will basically be back to normal.

And recently I have developed voice problems, which they say is essential tremor. It doesn’t hurt or anything, but makes my voice sound all quivery, and I get embarrassed to talk.

Unfortunately there is no treatment or cure for either of these ailments. So I carry on as I really don’t have any other choice.

Hopefully our journey will be made easier by the help of family and friends as well as caring, kind healthcare workers.

Or better yet, maybe we’ll be lucky and not suffer many of the problems the elderly face.

But whatever happens, we must persevere and determinedly keep on keepin on.!

As my 62 year old body is starting to show signs of old age, I try not to think of what may lie ahead but instead to focus on this minute, hour or day.

Little by little, and together, we will make it through.



Gail writes: I am a long-time friend of Barbara’s. Our kids grew up together and we have grown older together.  I am a big cat lover and have had as many as four all at one time.  But now I am down to my one pretty black cat, Myla.  She is 15 years old and we are comforting each other as we go down the aging path together.  I can’t imagine anyone better to accompany me on this journey than my sweet kitty.

13 responses »

  1. Life sure can throw us some curves! Guess that’s why I’ve come to realize how much support I get from friends and relatives. And pets! Love that the author challenged herself. Makes me want to think of my own challenge. Thanks for a thoughtful post!

  2. I have read that book as well and enjoyed it. I would have given up after my shoes blew out!

    Good luck with the Menieres – did the doctor put you on a low salt diet? My husband has hearing problems – some think from Meniere’s. We have been on a low salt diet for many years and it does help.

    • I am on a low salt diet and a diuretic. It has been way better these last couple of years and so far my hearing is in the mid-normal range.

      • Good for you! We have been on low salt for almost 15 years. Larry’s ears feel full if he eats too much sodium but he has never had any balance issues and so far so good.
        I think a result of this is I have really good blood pressure.

  3. ‘Age related illness’ are three very dirty words. I am sorry you are the recipient of such nastiness. I always think in this day and age there should be a cure for everything! As a sister cat lover becoming more cat like is the perfect way to cope with difficulties.

  4. Age related illness is a nice way of saying it. All of my docs just say it is caused by “old age”. Makes me mad every time! I always want to know what causes something and when they don’t know I think they just say “old age”.

  5. Wow…..this sounds like a must read book. I do think challenging ourselves is an interesting concept. Just don’t know how brave i am!! Perhaps cats are the very best remedy for all that ails us!!! Thanks for sharing Gail!!

  6. Thank you for this post! I also loved the book “Wild”. Sorry to hear about your ailments. Family and friends definitely help 🙂

  7. I don’t think there were books like this when I was in my twenties, now that I am least twice as old I am enjoying them..anyone for Sophie Kinsella or Sad Desk Salad?

Comment on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s