With luck, most of us are going to reach the age when we realize we are no longer as young and vigorous as we once were.
Jokes about growing old abound in our culture, usually poking fun at those of us who are of a certain age. Drooping skin, forgetfulness, loss of stamina, are all topics that make us laugh a little uncomfortably, as we realize that “old age” will eventually catch up to all of us.
Have you ever looked at Birthday Cards in the store and chuckled at the ones that make fun of anyone over 40? Yes, it starts early, our realization that the clock is ticking and the time is rushing by!
Have you ever met an old friend from High School or College that you haven’t seen in years and think to yourself, “Holy Cow, She certainly has aged.” And then realize that she is probably thinking the same about you!!
And what about those high school reunions? By the 30th Reunion it’s mandatory for everyone to wear name badges!
If you’re like most of us you have probably looked at yourself in the mirror at some point and said to yourself “That can’t be me.”
The good news is that you’re not alone! We humans are all in this together! The years go by, and very slowly we begin to see the passage of time etched on our faces and felt in our bodies and reflected in our inability to keep up the pace that we once enjoyed.
Aging is part of all forms of life. We don’t have a pass at unlimited longevity.
Facing this reality makes many of us very uncomfortable, particularly women who begin to feel invisible and no longer vital during this stage. But it does not have to be this way!!
What is the difference between “aging” and “growing old?”
Aging is the body’s response to the passage of time and is inevitable. But in spite of that it is still possible to live fully and joyfully at whatever age we are.
In my view, growing “old” is mainly an idea, a mindset that relies on outmoded stereotypes. The idea that older people, again particularly women, are no longer useful in important ways, that they are in decline both mentally and physically, that they are often boring and out of touch with the world.
Some of us give up the active life we once enjoyed and accept the premise that we need to slow down and take it easy. By becoming more sedentary we lose strength and energy as well as the desire to stay engaged with life.
The result is that our minds also become “old” without the stimulation of learning and challenging our brains. Does it have to be this way? It definitely does not!
Fortunately there are alternatives to growing “old” and many of us are embracing the idea that the second half of life can be, in many ways, as productive and satisfying as the first . . .
The first and most important thing is to begin to challenge our mindset from the “old” way of thinking and begin to consider what are the exciting possibilities ahead of us in this second stage of our lives.
Second, we need take into consideration our overall level of health and our lifestyle choices. Many of us can definitely make some lifestyle changes to increase our chances of remaining healthy and strong. These include diet, exercise, sleep, stress levels and overall daily habits.
Third, what are your hopes and dreams? Giving up on hopes and plans for the future is a sure way to begin a decline in both physical and mental health.
Fourth, what is your passion? What do you see yourself doing that will bring you satisfaction and joy? Let your imagination run wild as you contemplate your future.
Fifth, take an overview of your financial situation. Do you need to keep working? Can you start planning for retirement? Are you already retired? What is possible financially? If you have a spouse or partner, you can discuss these issues together.
These are just a few suggestions to get you started looking at the life you want to create both now and in your future . . .
If you would like to have help in creating that life, please contact me for a FREE CONSULTATION in which we will discuss the benefits of Life Coaching and how we might work together to help you accomplish your plans, and goals for an exciting next chapter!