Don’t Travel Alone The Aging Process; Learn From Others
I have always liked having older folks as friends. I’m talking about people in their 80s and 90s. The reason is pretty simple: they’ve been there and done that.
At some point in our western social and cultural development the pendulum of wisdom swung from the elders to the young. Experience became secondary to the glow of youth and in the process we – young and middle aged – lost plenty.
In our shortsighted view of the world we have forgotten that regardless how many diets we follow or how much cream we buy, we will all age or die. But instead of having a road map from the people that have gone through the process before us, we end up having to discover the way all over again by ourselves. Questions like: is life still worth living when we look like prunes, can we still have fun when we have to move a little slower, can we love, can we have intimacy, what are the things in my life now that when I get to be in my 80s I will realize were not worth losing sleep over, go unanswered.
My neighbor is 87 years old and she lives by herself. She travels either to Hawaii or Vegas once every two months. She flirts and her social life is intense. I ask her questions. From her I learned it is possible to be content at any age. It is possible to still be curious about life. It is still possible to want to love. And it is still possible to be physically active. I look at her and I realize – unlike what I hear and see from the media – that life is worth living at any age. She inspires me.
I hope I will have her around for a long time so I can continue to get directions as I travel through life’s journey.
Please read on…
Get Happy: 5 Surprising Resolutions from the Wisest Americans
By Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.
Work. “Ask yourself: Are you glad to get up in the morning?” When it comes to your job, the elders propose a diagnostic test: How do you feel when you get up on a workday morning? You may be ambivalent about your job and have your ups and downs. But when it comes down to it, how do you feel when you are having that first cup of coffee?
Are you at least in a tolerable mood, looking forward to something about work? If instead you feel dread and foot-dragging, the elders say it may be time for a change. As Albert, 80, put it: “It’s a long day if you don’t like what you’re doing. You better get another job because there’s no harsher penalty than to wake up and go to work at a job you don’t like.” …Continued