By Beth Pinyerd
“Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.” – Anonymous
Old age is truly a gift to us! How are you going to wrap up this gift to us who are older?
Wrapping up this stage of life with the three E’s of encouragement, endurance and embracing aging prepares us for the best yet to come in the journey of growing older. After spending many hours with my elderly friends who are 70 through 101, I’d like to share with the readers some of the advice they gave me.
- Stay encouraged
Old age is a time that we can enjoy being the “person” we have always desired to be. The things of the world that use to be important to us when we were younger such as material gains and jobs just don’t mean that much to us anymore. As we have aged, we have learned to pace ourselves so we don’t overexert ourselves. We are kinder to ourselves. My friend who is 101 years old shared with me that he did not restrict himself from daily desserts like he used to when he was younger.
In observing and interacting with seniors in the community at senior socials, they know how to reminisce and have fun. Putting songs on from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, you will see the older generation come alive with singing, whistling, finger snapping and dancing. The greater generation’s enthusiasm for life is contagious to all. They take time to laugh because they know great freedom comes with aging.
When questioning my senior friends on enduring the daily life of growing old, the immediate response was “don’t get tired of doing what is good.” Even though there may be health challenges, don’t get discouraged and give up. Endurance comes from keeping our thoughts on good memories and “hopeful” promises. Being older and living through the trials and tests of life, cushion us as we approach “old age.”
In working with the elderly population, I have several friends who have low vision, deafness or trouble walking. They have accepted their infirmities with calmness, peace and resignation that this is a part of growing old. They are a joy to be around because they are so positive even though they might be in pain. Part of embracing old age is accepting help when needed.
Another reason to embrace getting older is that an elderly person is wiser and more confident. Because of life’s experiences, older people can make well-informed decisions and they know what is important and what is not. Embrace getting older by having less stress.
Take time to smell the roses, look at the blue sky and enjoy the pitter patter of rain falling. Less stress in our older years means more time to enjoy hobbies you have always wanted to do, family and friends.
I hope this article enlightens you to enjoy and live each day to the fullest!