Who wants to be old? Our society, unlike some others, gives old age a bad rap. It is not thought to be the most desirable of all the stages in one’s life, not at all. Partly to blame is the huge anti-aging industry, those businesses and corporations on a campaign to sell their products or services so we can prevent getting aged. They helped create the idea that looking and feeling old was not what we wanted.
alive, we will get old; it is unavoidable. But, as Dr Christiane Northrop, tells us, “While getting older is inevitable, aging is optional. “
If we choose to stay youthful or ageless, what are the rules on how to act when we pass seventy? We have too few role models to look to, since most seventy year olds are living beyond the age when our parents died.
It is good to take a look at our behaviors and attitudes when considering if we feel or appear old. Here are a few sign posts and characteristics indicating we’ve lost the qualities of youthfulness. Consider....
. Are you more impatient, irritable and complaining? Is your annoyance level higher? Do you often make comparisons to how it use to be, and how much better it was back then? Do you regularly complain about the weather or find fault with many situations? When in a restaurant do you find yourself grumbling over where you were seated, the temperature of the food or the slow service? These things never bothered us much when we were younger.
- Have you lost your curiosity? Do you avoid risks? Taking fewer physical risks is probably a good idea as we get older, but we also become less willing to take emotional risks, or to try something different. Notice if you tend to come from an automatic “no” when something new and alternative is suggested.
* Are you often losing things and people? Searching for the keys or cell phones or the parked car can become a source of stress. But, there are many important losses associated with getting old including what may have been good eye sight and hearing.
We lose a steady income and sometimes financial stability. As we age we lose more people we love; we have begun to read the obituaries, recognizing more of our peers are passing.
We may lose our shape and our good looks; it can be a battle just to maintain. But, more than how we look, taking the extra weight off, through a regular program of exercise and eating well, helps ensure we feel good, with renewed vitality and a zest for life.
Now that we have addressed some of the hard parts of being past our prime, it us good to recognize some of the gains of arriving at an older age.
- We have more time to take care of ourselves and pursue our personal interests, those things we may have put on the back burner when we were younger. And, we just don’t care so much about what anyone else thinks of our choices.
- We now have a greater understanding and (hopefully) acceptance of who we are and what life is abou
- If we choose to, we can continue to reshape and redesign our lives to bring meaning to this part of our journey. As we retire from the larger world, we have more time to turn inward, to devote ourselves to exploring some important questions. What is our purpose in this life, why are we here on earth, and what is still left for us to do?