Stealth Changes as We Age

A few days ago, I didn’t finish my daily allotted one delicious cup of coffee that I lovingly prepare every morning. For some reason, about two thirds of the way into it, a mouth-puckering sweetness roared up. How could that be? I hadn’t changed my prep methods or added anything different in years.

Just for the heck of it, I Googled “changing taste buds as we age” and found that, indeed, after about age sixty, we may begin to lose the ability to distinguish the taste of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter foods.

Oh, great! Another change that we can expect in the aging process. And this change in my morning coffee occurred overnight!

I’m not naïve, I know that changes in mobility and strength are significant parts of getting older. Having this experience with my beloved morning coffee led me on a quest to find out if there are other lesser known or talked about changes that I might need to prepare myself for.

Hearing loss and vision deficiencies are not what I consider “stealth changes.” These are very prevalent body changes among oldsters. Stealth changes also don’t include moving more carefully, a slower response time, and generally more aches and pains. As elders, we get a gradual lead-up time to those changes.

I hadn’t counted on being nicer!

Stealth changes are changes I haven’t read about, changes I wasn’t on the look-out for or anticipating. These changes aren’t obvious and don’t show up for everyone. The stealth changes in my life include:

-being nicer
-being more patient
-being considered more trustworthy

I’ve felt myself being nicer because I am relaxing in my personality and because I didn’t have all the triggers of my younger years:  work pressures, new and changing relationships, major purchase angst (houses, cars), and raising of kids. I never had kids of my own but can imagine shaping them into happy and well-adjusted young adults – especially these days – is a huge challenge involving a ton of worry.

In the last couple of years, I’ve experienced a change from needing to be right, first, smartest, funniest, and most accomplished to being able to sit back and let others occupy those spotlights without feeling less than. I feel this shift directly relates to being older.

Also, another change for oldsters is the belief that older citizens are more trustworthy than younger generations. I have no scientific evidence to suggest this is true except to say it’s my observation in conversations and in observing behaviors. Do you agree with me?

Patience has never been my long suit!

When it’s got to be now … or I think it’s got to be now … I push ahead. There are tons of friends who will attest to me being this way my whole life. I’ve been able to keep the frustration of having to wait on something or someone else under wraps for a short time before I barge ahead to get things done.

These days, however, you’ll see me sit back and let others clamber to the top. It’s been a surprise to see that others are there to act this way. I’ve got all the time in the world. Sidebar:  Rod and many friends are thrilled about this stealth change in me!

Perhaps none of these are changes you were surprised might happen to you as you age. Congratulations, you’re way more observant … and knowledgeable … than I am!