It all starts when we join AARP, and become familiar with other acronyms, such as BMI, HDL, LDL, EKG and UTI.
We suffer aches and pains and arthritis; take antioxidants, buy arch supports, celebrate anniversaries and investigate assisted living.
We deal with bunions, bifocals, bladder lifts, botox and yes, brown spots, all while trying to maintain our balance. We baby-sit, dog-sit and make hospital visits. We indulge ourselves at buffet bars and sit on benches at the mall. We monitor blood-pressure readings and dream of bucket lists.
We cruise, undergo cataract surgeries and colonoscopies; keep track of cholesterol readings and where we can get canes and walkers and comfy seat cushions.
Doctor appointments are many; dry-eye syndrome is prevalent, as are droopy eyelids.
Need we mention dermatology visits, dental care and defensive-driving courses?
And don't forget early-bird specials, Ensure, eye care and brain exercises.
We pay attention to fiber in our diet, experience floaters, get flu shots, live on fixed incomes and attend funerals.
Enjoy the grandkids and the golden years, decide to gray or color, and say our good-byes over and over again.
Search for handicap spaces, high risers, hip replacements and hearing aids.
IPads, iPhones, Blackberries, and Kindles are all around us.
Jar openers are a must;
Knee replacements, too.
Large print becomes necessary, lines and wrinkles proliferate, leafy greens, life alert, leisure time are daily happenings and long-term insurance looms over us.
Motor homes, McDonald's, museums and Medicare are fixtures.
Nonskid rugs and naps are helpful.
We enjoy "oldies but goodies," and devour obituaries in the daily paper.
And, prescriptions, prunes, probiotics and primary care are a must.
Restrooms are mandatory; reunions and retirement parties are tolerated.
Senior care, senior center, senior citizen, senior discounts, we love them all even as they dominate our lives.
We become familiar with Slim Fast, spurs, skin tags, shingles, sleep aids and sleep apnea. Social security is our theme song.
We thank God each day when our feet hit the floor.
We vacation, we volunteer, we visit friends and family on Facebook.
We wear walking shoes, join Weight Watchers and try to avoid wheelchairs and X-rays.
Yoga is popular, Zumba is catchy, but "oh, my aching back."
Danelle Lund is the wife of a retired Navy master chief, mother of two and a grandmother of three. Born and raised in southern Minnesota, Lund and her husband have lived in Mount Pleasant for the past 14 years. Her favorite pastimes include reading, writing, traveling, beach walking and yoga.