In my experience, every single person who has mastered the great art of successful aging has had an inner grit. Not necessarily with any bravado or flourish, but with a steely determination to look loss straight in the face without blinking.
When it comes to aging gracefully, I'm clearly on the rebellious side. I refuse to give up. I run half marathons, raft with my friends and go to rock concerts. I'm finally getting to fulfill a life-long dream of skydiving next May. To do these things, I stay healthy.
For an aging person, the move to a skilled nursing facility is a costly one. Nationwide, the average annual cost of a semi-private room in a skilled nursing facility (nursing home) in 2011 was $78,110. And the cost is clearly rising.
When I read and see how the millennials conduct themselves, how they date, socialize and lead their lives, I have nothing in my own history to compare it to. That piece on "The End of Courtship" made me feel from another era.
I always take in a person's looks first; I suppose we all do. My own insecurities are numerous, and it is impossible for me not to focus on other women and to compare myself to them, at least a little.
Sure it's fun when I'm mistaken for being 15 years younger, as happened last summer at a thriller writers conference I attended, but how important is that, really? Isn't what kind of person I am and what I've accomplished what matters most?
Mom and Dad have forged strong careers, have financial success and are unwilling to remain in unhappy marriages that are unfulfilled. With a good number of years of healthy active life ahead of them, they are taking a long, hard look at the person with whom they will be spending it.
While all couples contemplating divorce experience more than a measure of sadness, anger, perhaps fear and certainly disappointment, young couples, with short-term marriages, no jointly held assets and no children tend to negotiate intensely over "the stuff."
The general level of happiness in older marriages increases with the years they are together. Compared to couples who marry in their twenties, those who married significantly later report less work-related stress, less marital conflict and more couple interaction and satisfaction.