Society has a propensity for looking at aging as something bad, we need to start changing the focus – what if we approach aging with curiosity? As something to be celebrated, and worth exploring?
I’ve met and been in conversation with a number of older people, mainly women, all of a certain age and at first a similar outlook on the aging process – they don’t like it. The conversation usually starts with me asking them how they are, and they have not been afraid to tell me! So then I ask ‘what is the best thing about growing older?’ It’s amazing how one question can turn a conversation around!
A time of maturity
What if we look at aging as a time of maturity while keeping and honouring our youthful spirit. Thomas Moore – Ageless Soul suggests that ‘aging is a fulfillment of who we are, not a wearing out’. As I age, I have ‘reminders that I’m getting old’ with a new ache, or creak in my bones that tell me I can’t quite do all the things I did ten years ago, or my stomach is revolting over something I ate yesterday, that wouldn’t have bothered me before. But, what if I ask, what is my body telling me – maybe it is saying enough of this crap, time to treat me with some respect, start feeding me good food. What if my body is saying: stretch your muscles a bit before, and after you exercise – maybe I won’t ache quite so much!
A New Adventure
What if we look at each decade as an exciting new adventure on this journey called life! Ever watch a cat as they age, they move more slowly, rest more but still get energized when they see a bird on the ground, they just approach the problem of catching it differently. Maybe that’s an approach we need to copy, my muscles ache after that bike ride, what must I do differently next ride – stretch before, take more breaks? Don’t waste time complaining about what is lost, instead use the knowledge of years and figure out how to solve the challenge! Celebrate who you have become!
Look at the faces of older people, really old individuals who’ve never done anything to try and change the way they look. Look at the wrinkles, the lines that demonstrate how much they have lived. How beautiful they are… I love looking at the faces of older people, wondering what their life was like, my curiosity has no bounds, I like to make up stories of who they are and where they’ve been in life, a habit that has embarrassed my children more than once as I delve into make-believe lives, out loud!
Savour your Age
Savour your age, attach stories to your wrinkles, Thomas Moore says ‘sensing your old age and your youth at the same time is a signal that you’re aging well’. He goes onto explain that his friend James Hillman thought age relative and that ‘we have a young person and an old person deep in our make-up. You may feel the youth suddenly come to the foreground, full of energy and ideas, and then the old person may rise up, wanting more order and tradition’. He states that ‘you stay young in soul by not becoming a fossil in your life’. Try new things, resist the comfort of always doing it the way you have always done it!
Today I don’t mourn what I have lost, rather I’m celebrating what I have gained – time to myself, for me, I’m able to play more, and do things I haven’t done before. I’ve discovered that getting old isn’t for the wimpy, it’s for those seeking adventure, who are curious, who can nap like cats, and who aren’t afraid of wearing their experiences for all to see.
Let me know
Go find your adventure! And, let me know how much fun it is. And if you need help, contact me. Remember only you are in charge of how you live this life, and that there is plenty of life left in you to live!