My trusty side-kick, Bo, is always begging for a walk. Rain or shine, he’s anxious for his leash and a nice, brisk walk. All of these walks with my sweet pup give me plenty of time to let my thoughts wander. Oftentimes, these musings are related to the elderly.
Today, as Bo trotted along beside me, my mind was full of thoughts about aging. I was transported back to the time I first realized how arduous the task of accepting aging really is. My then 81-year-old father was sitting in the passenger seat of my car and holding on to the handle bar attached to the ceiling. His short-sleeved polo shirt revealed his aged arm. His gaze caught on his arm for a moment then he commented, “Wow, my arm looks old.” He seemed genuinely surprised, as if the last 81 years crept up on him and he hadn’t realized it.
We all age, obviously. There’s nothing we can do about it. And most of us really struggle with that fact. So how can we face this dilemma that is aging? How can we accept growing old so that we can do it with grace and dignity?
Accepting the Aging Dilemma
Here are some suggestions that will hopefully help you (and me!) begin to embrace the aging process:
Indulge in a Hobby
You likely have a little extra time on your hands these days, so take advantage of it and pick up that hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Or get back into the hobby you left behind years ago. Doing something with your hands and that brings you joy will make you feel younger no matter what the calendar says.
Learn New Things
You absolute CAN “teach an old dog new tricks”! Learn a new language, take up a new sport, visit a museum, or even write a book. Step outside your comfort zone and discover the joy that comes with a challenge.
One of the quickest ways to grow old mentally is to become isolated. We are social beings who need interaction on a regular basis. Make the effort to reach out every day and build quality relationships.
Grab a loved one and visit that place you’ve always dreamt of seeing. Even if funds or mobility are limited, take the time to be a tourist in your own town or the next town over. Enjoy the sights like you’re a kid again. (Find some tips for traveling in THIS post.)
Take Care of Yourself
What’s really scary about aging is declining health. You can slow that process down considerably if you take good care of yourself right now. Implement a regular workout routine. Eat a healthy and clean diet, and be sure to take quality supplements. Schedule regular doctor visits and discuss with your doctor how you can take better care of your health.
Accept the Fact of Aging
It’s a choice to accept the fact that we all grow old. It’s a key part of life. Trying to resist the changes will only prevent happiness. Don’t let the fear of aging hinder you living your best life.
Accepting the aging process isn’t easy. Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. You’re part of the largest club ever: the aging club! Embrace the beauty that is the cycle of life, and enjoy that life to the full.