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Old 05-09-2013, 08:15 AM   #1
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Growing Older ... have a HEAVY question

While reading Carols adventure with the tire blowout and Good Sam, the following question popped into my mind. For the guys that have most always done their own maintenance and repair work including tire changes how do you mentally adjust when you just physically cant do it anymore? How do you deal with feeling incapable of taking care of your own equipment? Im 60, although its a little tough getting the knees and shoulders to wake up like they used to I just deal with it. Ive been fortunate to always be mechanically inclined. If a water pump goes out I replace it. If a head gasket pops, I go through what needs to be done and fix it. If a tire fails even on a busy highway, I just pull the emergency flashers, lower the spare, get out the jack, spare on bad tire in back of truck, 20 minutes later Im headed down the road. How do you mentally cope when you just cant deal with it any longer? If I get to that point in life it will be very troubling for me. Most any dealings I've had with today's service sector is beyond pitiful ... this I also dread.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:01 AM   #2
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Doesn't bother me a bit. I used to do those things myself also. If something goes wrong I just wait it out, I'm in no hurry. Why worry if you physically can't do something and folks don't seem to meet your standards. The stuff still needs to be done. What are you going to do, spend all your 'golden years' bi--- ah, complaining? By the way, I'm in my mid seventies.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:39 AM   #3
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At 67 I still do what I can, and let someone else do what I can't. Like you I have done my own home/auto/etc maintenance and repairs all my life. But little by little I am starting to let someone else do the more difficult things. I figure it is all part of life's plan. Nothing I can do about it but try to stay in as good shape as I can, continue to do as much as I reasonably can, and not worry about it.
Just replaced a 50 gal WH in the S&B. Although I have done it before, I was going to let a plumber do it this time. But after looking he said my PVC pipe on the pressure relief valve no longer met code. If he did it he would have to tear out the wall and replace all that pipe to the tune of ~$1,800! I could do it myself and be grandfathered in. That gave me the incentive to do it myself, at least one more time.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:51 AM   #4
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I'm a cancer patient and 68. I've just had to learn to be helped. Not easy for me as I've always done my own. Dirty Harry said, "a man has to know his limitations". I guess that's where I am.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:15 AM   #5
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I'm 67 and do what BB_TX does. I have two knees and a hip and going in for the second hip this coming Tuesday. Oh yes I have had cancer also.
I still change oil, tires and all home fix it stuff and did a remodel at church in the last year. I know one of these days I won't be able to do that kind stuff. That is ok. I will sit on my duff and eat donuts, which I can't do now. Just kidding. I will still do whatever I can do and be thankful for that.
Whenever I begin to feel I may be bad off, I think of all those young children I see on the St. Jude Hospital commercials and it don't take much effort on my part to know that I got it good. Some of those kids have been sick all their lives and have never known what it feels like to be well.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:03 PM   #6
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Like the others said I do what I can and be happy I'm still alive to hire someone to do the rest. When I was thirteen I was told if I didn't quit playing sports I'd have to have both knees replaced by the time I was thirty. I quit playing sports in my 50's and then had one of them replaced. The other probably will last a couple more years then it's got to go. I guess what I'm saying is that, like you, I wasn't willing to accept limitations until my body convinced me. Once I came to grips with being "Not the man I never was" I realized that living life was the better option whether or not I needed some help now and then.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:08 PM   #7
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In my mid 70's--do what I can when I can. Some time's I "can" watch some body else do things. Ain't all bad.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:49 PM   #8
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Your question hit home with me. I am 50, but after having a heart attack and stroke, I find that there are some things I can no longer do, to the detriment of my ego. My wonderful wife champions and supports me which helps to balance the ego thing.

In a pinch, I do what needs to be done, but take more time to do it, like when I had to change a tire on our 5er on I20 in Texas in over a hundred degree heat. I took a few breaks and sat in the TV with the air conditioning on when I felt I was getting overheated.

It is what it is...
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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My first impulse on reading the original question was to reply: "I'll let you know when I get there, but at 80 and counting I'm still feeling pretty able to take care of myself."

But I didn't post that smart-alickey response for two reasons: 1-- it is a serious and thoughtful question and does not deserve a flip answer. and 2-- I'm just fortunate to be able to do as much as I do, and, of course, I am not able to do what I did at 30 and 40 (or even 60 or 70 for that matter.)

I know there are some others on this forum who have as much experience at living as I do, maybe some with even more. What I feel most of all is gratitude for the joy of life and the abilities I still have.

Our plan is to keep going as long as we can, and yet to be prepared for the time when we will no longer be able to go as we do now. We have a 5000 mile trip planned for July which will take us all the way to the Pacific Northwest (where we have never been in an RV before). Last year we made a trip to Niagara Falls (in Ontario where we met with friends from this forum) and another trip to the Dakotas, Minnesota, and return.

"God forbid that I should boast," as a spiritual brother of mine once said, but take these as expressions of gratitude to God and as words of encouragement for those who are moving toward mature years (and who is not?)
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:14 PM   #10
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It's very humbling, I'm one to never ask for help at all, even from my own kids. After dealing with a very bad back over the years and then nerve damage from it, I was sooo dreading the time I had to ask for help. It's been nice to have some friends that would help out when I needed, and any other time I try and get it myself. It's something everyone has to face up to and if your going to be active and not sit in a chair, Gotta ask for help.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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I can no longer do a lot of the things I used to do. Oh, I feel like I can still do what I did when in my 20's -- I just forget what it was I did! There are many physical limitations I have now, but then there aren't that many who are over 81 who are still doing what we're doing. The day is coming closer when I know we'll have to come off the road. That's why we leased a RV lot to be ready for that day.

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Old 05-09-2013, 04:28 PM   #12
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At 68, I have found I can work just as hard as I could at 21. I just don't get near as much done. There are things that I can not change and getting old is one of them. But, getting old does beat the alternative. I will do what I can do, when I can do it for as long as I can. After that, I will hire it done and gripe.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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I just stay comfortably at 29 and therefore can still do all the things that I have always done, it just may take a few days to get over it before I can do something else. Seriously though, after watching my Grandfather years ago work up until his dying day in his woodshop with emphysema and black lung and last until 80, I learned from him that you have to keep the body going somehow, someway or it will stop itself. I am still relatively young (at least DW tells me that) but my body is starting to protest. Goes back to the "bonus day" philosophy. They are not earned, but are given, just as our bodies are our "temples", therefore should be treated as such, my preference is to keep the "temple" working to it's ability, whatever that is at any time. Just my rambling thoughts!!

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Old 05-09-2013, 08:45 PM   #14
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I'll be 70 this September, and all that crep about the Golden years being so great is not so true. as most of us our knees are shot so getting down and crawling around is not such a good idea without a rubber knee pad. lifting heavy things is a task also. I used to do a camp set up in a few hours now it's almost twice as long. and yes I also get the credit card out for the things I just dont want to do or cant any more. I guess thats life.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:06 AM   #15
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Try being a car builder for race cars with a full blown shop and then go fulltiming. Something I didn't research very well. Most campgrounds frown on doing mechanical work at you site. That right there puts you in the need of help from others and having to put trust in someone you really have no idea about. Then add age into that and it becomes even more apparent.

But I still wouldn't change a thing about my decision of fulltiming at me age. We love it and it's worth it all the way.

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Old 05-10-2013, 04:04 AM   #16
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When I was in my 20s I could lift 270#s. Now that I'm going to be 67 I can barely lift 40#s. My friend always told me "don't sweat the small stuff, It's all small stuff." I do what I can do, ask for help when needed and pay when neither is available.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:31 AM   #17
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I asked my doctor what to do with a 25 year old mind and a 73 year old body, he said I had a problem. Still do ranch work but with 2 new hips it takes more time and a change in how I do it. The best thing going for me is a great wife for the last 48 years. Between great daughters, son in laws and friends things get done. Every day is a "Great Day". Also a little wine helps things a lot.

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Old 05-10-2013, 04:48 AM   #18
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In my mind, I'm still 20. Unfortunately that doesn't translate over to my 63 year old (and much abused) body. I don't mind watching someone else work on my things, but I sure hate paying out the money, which is why I still do as much as I can myself. But in the end, when doing things myself, I end up paying in other ways, sometimes for days. I guess it's the old (paraphrased for the censors) darned if you do, darned if you don't!
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:37 AM   #19
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One does not mess with Mother nature. It makes good sense to accept your capabilities as we grow older. I was never handy in doing all that stuff. We have had road service of one kind or another for many years. I have not changed out a tire in many, many years. On the way to Florida we spent a couple of hours having road service change out a spare on the Montana. Had lunch and signed the road service papers. Never broke a sweat.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:40 AM   #20
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Hey Guys! Haven't you heard? 70 is the new 50! Or was it 60 is the new 40....or was it. Huh, I can't seem to remember!
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