What does it feel like to be old? For me, it feels like me, for you it will feel like you.
When you’re born you discover yourself, the person that is you. Then for your whole life you will feel like that person, no matter what age you are. Sometimes it feels very good, sometimes not so hot, sometimes proud, sometimes ashamed or embarrassed. All the time you feel like you. Your self-identity has no age.
You feel the same at 95 as you did at 25. This can be confusing when you are attracted to someone much younger than yourself. You want to relate to them like you did at their age. You feel the same. They don’t see you as the same. They treat you according to how they relate to other people your age, a parent or grandparent. Not like they treat a friend their age.
When you get old you still feel like yourself only now your body may be weaker, fatter or thinner than it was when you were young. You may go to the doctor and complain about these changes. The doctor sees many people your age. If most of them have these changes at the age you are the doctor doesn’t see anything wrong with you. You’re normal for your age.
You Are You for Life
If you were born with blue eyes, they will still be blue. If they were set wide apart, they will still be wide apart. However, your hair face and body will change. Your hair will change texture, color, fall out, or thin. Your skin will dry have lines and creases. If you are a woman you may grow hair in places you didn’t have any before, like on your face, chin, or ears. You won’t look young any more. With changes to your skin your face and body look different. People who knew you years ago may not recognize you at first when they see you.
You Are More Alone
Over time people you knew when you were young die. Some of your friends may die as you get older, definitely your parents will die. Bit by bit all your older relatives die. The only family you will have will be the people younger than you.
The work you did when you were young you will leave. Over time you will lose contact with the people who used to be your friends at work. You will spend more time alone.
The Teddy Bear Phase
Old people have fewer people to play with and fewer activities that are “play”. Companies make many kinds of children’s toys and games, few make toys and games for old people. There are exceptions.
Luminosity makes games for old people. Whether or not these games are “fun” is another matter.
The only toys I can think of for old people are golf balls, golf clubs, etc. However in some social groups Teddy Bears are given, especially during a hospital stay or illness.
Some old people end up playing slot machines in casinos because there are people there, the games are simple, and they get a reward if they win.
There are as many ways to adapt to being old as there are old people who want to adapt. A favorite elder of mine is Stan Hayward, a writer in his 80s who writes for Quora.com as well as maintaining several websites .
There is no “right way” to be old any more than there is a right way to be a toddler. You just do it instinctively however it feels right to you.
As a person between 70 and 80, I find being this age much pleasanter than other decades. Except for being 40. At 40 you’re still young enough to hang with those in their mid 20 to 30s, yet experienced enough to avoid the mistakes being naïve.
Remember what Robert Brault said, "Taking a step backward after taking a step forward isn't disaster, it's Cha-Cha."