Those of us, who are facing the challenges of aging, will not deny that there is much truth in that old cliché, or as the glamorous actress/singer Cher recently said, “Growing old sucks!” No one will argue that there are challenges to aging, but as with every stage of life, it is how we handle those challenges to aging, but as with every stage of life, it is how we handle those challenges that are the test.
We have to adjust to a changing world where we are no longer in demand or in control. It is easy to allow ourselves to become angry at our limitations and take out our frustrations on those around us. On the other hand, we can value each day with the knowledge that we are still here to face those difficult challenges. We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can change our attitudes and behavior. If we expect kindness from others, we have to be gentle with ourselves. If we treat our limitations with respect, we will teach others how we expect to be treated.
It is true that we are not what we once used to be. But the truth is that we were never what we used to be. From birth on, we were constantly struggling toward the next stage of our development. As babies, we struggled to survive; we started out dependent and needy and have come full circle. We did not like it as babies and we like it less as adults. As tots, we struggled with each step to maintain our balance; today we face the same challenge. As children, we had to survive childhood diseases and today we struggle with the disease of aging. As teens, a mere pimple could send us into a tizzy, now a wrinkle can do the same. As parents, we had to make decisions for our kids, now our kids have to make decisions for us. As adults, we struggled to make ends meet; now we struggle to make it to the end. But we are the lucky ones, with all our limited faculties and abilities we are still here. We are the survivors!