We are ALL getting older. Every day, every single one of us is getting older.
If you are between the ages of 1 and 21 you may celebrate being even one day older, but there comes a time when a person or circumstance changes the process of aging from an event to be celebrated to an event that we dread.
However, there is a difference between aging and old age.
While old age is a state of being, aging is the process of getting older. It is possible to age without being (or feeling) old.
We can’t stop the aging process, and nobody seems to have found the proverbial fountain of youth, but what if there was a way to bring back the celebration of getting older and not demonize it as something negative.
How could we think about this process of getting older, and appreciate and maximize the journey?
Aging is not a crisis, there is no need to call out the armed forces. Aging is simply aging.
Individuals who deal with the aging process best aren’t thinking about getting old or what they might not be able to do anymore. They accept that changes are inevitable and adjust accordingly.
Individuals that age gracefully have a better perspective on getting older. They celebrate their accomplishments and the wisdom that they have accumulated through the years.
They know that they have outlived many and that they are survivors. They are aware that just because their work status has changed it does not mean they are any less intelligent or that their status as a productive member of society has changed.
Graceful aging breaks the stereotype of “too old to learn.” It is never too late to learn something new.
Set goals for yourself and what you want to accomplish with this newly acquired free time that you have. Plan purposeful activities and don’t be afraid to try something new. Find activities or causes that mean something to you and that have a positive impact on your life.
Your identity as a “fill-in-the-blank” may have changed, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a “new-fill-in-the- blank”.
Reconnect with social groups that you may have neglected during your career years. Make time to spend with your family.
As a life-long learner don’t be afraid to connect with the groups that are associated with your interests. Depression runs rampant through the retired population…find things and people that keep you connected and engaged.
Create and maintain companionship and friendships and create new ones if need be.
Do you need to change your attitude?
Does your perspective need a shift?
Do you want to learn something new?
Do you want to connect with like-minded people?
If you answered yes to any of these it is time to get up and MOVE! Being active is an integral part of aging gracefully.
A strong body helps you maintain your independence. An active body releases endorphins that keep depression at bay.
Moving your body introduces you to others who want to do the same. And if you have never been physically active now is a great time to learn something new.
Another day is coming to an end, how will you celebrate it?