Getting Old Is Unavoidable … Living It Is a Choice
Aging is a beautiful gift from God… the Holy Bible reminds us in Proverbs 16:31 “Gray hair is a crown of glory, it is obtained by following the righteous path.” And Proverbs 20:29 says “The glory of the young is their strength, gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.”
This editorial is very personal to me—since I’m at that age of being part of the Golden Years. But, would you say, there’s nothing golden about being old? I can honestly say I’m excited about the future—of being a part of the golden years—and I can hardly wait for what lies ahead.
In a few short months, I’ll be celebrating my 68th birthday (whose counting?!) and I must admit, there will not be enough room for the candles on my birthday cake this year—and I must admit, it is daunting! This editorial is not about glossing over the debilitating conditions that come with growing old but rather about accepting the maladies our bodies experience and creating memories for a lifetime. I must admit, I am strangely excited for the next chapter of getting older.
I find the older I get, the more comfortable I am. After all, with age comes experience, wisdom, peace and spending more time with our grandkids. I consider this a perfect way to age.
Getting older should be a time for celebration! And there are plenty of ways we can age with grace, beauty and happiness. It doesn’t mean romance with your spouse or partner is coming to an end. On the contrary, it is an exciting journey having more time with each other, not worrying about going to work or getting your young children ready for school.
Getting is old is unavoidable … and we must learn to accept it. Let’s face it. None of us like the idea of getting older. Becoming older will inevitably come with various issues: body aches, arthritic symptoms, bladder issues that keep waking us up in the middle of the night. Time keeps slipping into the future at a faster rate and as the years go by, our once youthful bodies begin to feel the wear and tear from years of use and unexpectedly, the loss of mobility becomes a reality. Oh, how we wish that we could turn the clock back from the days of our youthful activities. We realize a once vibrant young body is now frail and we no longer have the energy to bounce back.
I have learned from my parents the goal of getting old is to live life to its fullest while we are living: be full of joy, laughter, contentment, forgiveness, happiness, vitality, resilience, hope and optimism. The goal is to love and be loved, to make a difference to someone. A good life should be the aim of any person no matter what our age; and living a good life is how we can confidently ensure we age with grace and venerable dignity.
Above all, we must believe in our birthright of choice. We are born with a gift—freedom of choice. Ultimately, the life we have is what we make for ourselves and for those who matter most to us. In order to reach personal fulfillment, each of us is unique, yet we are at our best when giving sincere commitment of service to others for the betterment of our common good. We do this through efficacy, belief in self built upon others belief in us!
Choice. Stress is a choice—define the issue; take care of it; move on. Joy is a choice—find what makes you happy; do it often. Outcome. Take care of you, so others can, too!
So, what are some of the secrets of aging gracefully, and how can we ensure our best years of getting older are yet to come? Here are some of my favorites:
• Weekly dinner with my wife at our favorite local restaurants.
• Spend time with our grandkids and families frequently.
• Write a daily journal on God’s blessings and His amazing grace.
• Avoid stress by tending to our flower garden.
• Get plenty of rest/sleep.
• Laugh often. Laugh hard. Laugh long. Laugh with others. Laugh at myself most of all.
• Move often by our daily walk (10,000 steps minimum).
• Never too old to learn something new.
• Exercise our mind by reading a lot, discussing ideas, exploring new concepts.
• Stay curious, like a child.
• Embrace simplicity.
• Celebrate our blessings by being ever grateful, expressing appreciation.
• Be creative by making something for someone.
• Communicate, keep connections strong.
• Be kind.