How To Grow Old Gracefully
by John Pawlak
We have all heard this resolution: "I am determined to grow old gracefully." It might not have been put quite like that but the meaning was clear, getting older does not equate with giving up. Aging is a journey we all must take and with the proper attitude, lifestyle and a bit of luck, our later years can be very fulfilling.
Perhaps the biggest factor in enjoying our senior years is accepting the fact that we are now older and very normal limitations now abound. The pursuit of a youthful appearance can go only so far until it becomes somewhat silly and even degrading. Wearing our years honestly brings with it a certain dignity that we will benefit from.
We need to tolerate the inevitable loss of our physical strength and realize that asking for help can lead to closer ties with our families and friends. Speaking of friends, now is the time to reach out to old and new ones. If we cultivate the skill of really listening to what others are saying, we might just find that our vast experience gained over the years can be a font of knowledge that is readily accepted by friends in need of a little help.
Many older folks seem to lose the joy that they once had and tend to worry more and withdraw from friends and family. Doctors now say that laughter can be one of the best medicines for a senior citizen. Keeping your sense of humor and being able to laugh at yourself is a great attitude to develop and will increase our popularity with those around us.
Now we come to what I consider to be the most important factor in determining how much we will enjoy our senior years. I believe it is essential to maintain or acquire a passion for some activity and a lively interest in a number of areas would be best.
We will all have much more free time on our hands and using that time wisely will strengthen our zest for life and keep us mentally sharp and active. Traveling, hobbies and group activities all work to keep us engaged and prevent us from drawing in on ourselves and withdrawing from the world; the greatest danger to a seniors state of mind.
A good question to ask ourselves as we approach our senior years is this: "What good does it do us to add years to our lives if, at the same time, we do not add life to our years?" It is a terrific question to ask and our answer will make all the difference in the world as to how we spend our "golden years".