Boomers Can Be Ageless
by Barbara Morris
The American way of aging, still steeped in stultifying tradition and conventional wisdom of a bygone era, is changing.
But for now, convention and custom still rule. You know the routine: Around age 50 an accelerating number of sound bites, events and messages caution, “The end is near.” Everything from invitations to join AARP to dire warnings about problems and pitfalls of aging are relentless reminders life is winding down.
Bombarded by countless predictions of impending disability and death, you start looking for signs of your own decline. You begin to question your mental and physical abilities. A momentary memory lapse, which everyone experiences, regardless of age, results in a panicky “I’m having a senior moment.” I don’t know about you, but I have never ever heard a teenager experiencing a memory lapse berate him or herself with “I’m having a junior moment.”
Young people drop things all the time, and don’t give it a second thought. They just bend over and pick up what drops. If they can’t remember, they laugh, knowing it’s not the end of the world. Youth doesn’t sweat the small stuff; neither should older people.
The advent of age 60 can really fire up the “old age” wrecking ball. Tradition says it’s time to retire. It’s time to travel and play golf the rest of your life. You begin to participate in traditional retirement activities and adopt conventional attitudes and behaviors that tell your subconscious you are letting go of life. You kid yourself that you are just taking time to smell the roses but before you know it, the roses are on your coffin and you are pushing up daises.
It’s good news that fewer people are buying into the traditional aging process, refusing to slow down, fall into line, give up and drop out. But not without some bumps along the way.
Examples of interesting and fulfilled mature lives are all around but usually remain unseen. Productive older people often zealously guard their age, fearful of age discrimination, or patronizing comments such as, “Isn’t she wonderful for her age?” or “Isn’t it amazing what he is still doing?”
Expression of amazement for age related competence is anachronistic. Mature adults should be valued and appreciated for who and what they are, without reference to age, and regardless of age. Productive elders need to come out of the “old age closet” to help promote an enlightened society in which productive aging is on an equal footing with the traditional retirement model.
Boomers can choose the traditional aging route as their parents did, or take a challenging alternative path, forging a successful transition from fantasy-driven “young forever” boomer to real life ageless bloomer. They can rejoice that life really can be at its best after age 50 – it’s a matter of choice, not chance.
About the Author
Barbara Morris, R.Ph., is a 76-year-old working pharmacist and recognized expert on unique anti-aging strategies. Author of Put Old on Hold, her message is for Boomers who want to feel and function as a healthy 40 or 50 year old for 25 or more years. She calls it “Liberation Living” – a process she has discovered that bypasses infirmities and indignities of traditional old age. http://www.PutOldonHold.com