Whenever the word ‘age’ comes up, we immediately think of our grandparents, the old newspaper vendor who can barely stand and of course the movie stars we often used to admire, before they graduated to the senior side of life.
This in turn fills people with a false sense of the term ‘aging’. It is not really a matter of competition, with either yourself or others for that matter. Everyone is subjected to this fate and should be content in which they are to be in life. It is always believed that aging is one process that often takes away with nothing to give back. Nothing could be further from the truth. Aging does give back, just not in the currency that we would often value or understand for that matter.
In a bid to gain a clearer perspective on what it means to age, it is important to appreciate that aging is not simply a physical process. A lot more goes into it, and such needs to be considered if one is to live a good, long, and healthy life.
The body aches
Aging characteristically wears down the body cells. The rate of use, repair, and replenishment of the body’s cells is no longer harmonious, and the body processes begin to struggle to achieve the same effectiveness that they did years gone by. This aspect of aging is familiar as the changes are visible; gray/white hair, wrinkles on the face, and aching/tired muscles. These effects are easily seen.
The memory fails
Mentally, people age as well. The once upon a time keen and well-engaged mind begins to struggle to correlate events, names, and people. This is aging as well, and is often noticeable, especially by close friends and family.
The patience runs out
It is often noted and misunderstood when the senior members of society become overly harsh and rude or even unkind! From a fun-loving individual to one of the grumpiest neighbors, aging affects the emotions as well. It is unnerving for an individual who at one time was self-dependent to see themselves at the mercy of others. For some, the loneliness creeps in and as time flies by, the familiar fizzles out into the forgotten. This destabilizes them and sets them on edge.
In as much as these are some of the things that making aging the dreaded stage of life that it is, they are all no excuse to live life fearful of the time you will grow old. Your well-being will always largely depend on you. Knowing what to expect is half the battle won. These are some ways that growing old is embraced:
Change of activity
Elderly people have a hard time adjusting because, for many of them, they are subjected to a sedentary life when they would prefer excitement, activity, and fun. Many societies are now looking into ways of inculcating curriculum for the elderly so as to empower them to realize they still can give back to the community.
Change of perspective
Oftentimes, battles are held, worn, and fought in the mind. The purpose that with all these eventualities on the way, you will prepare accordingly, and embrace aging for what it really is- a chance to rest from the toil of earning a living while you guide others on how to toil for them! There is a measure of wisdom that comes with experience. This season in life allows for the full use and appreciation of that gift.
Change of lifestyle
Many would take this to mean placing the elderly in a home; this is an option to consider but not always. Sometimes all it takes to effect the change is a different activity, or a trip to visit with family, or even a radical change. The idea is not isolation from the familiar but a change from the norm.
A time to continue
It is not the end of thinking, creating, inventing, trying out, and experimenting. All aging does is awaken the individual to new needs and ways to meet them. It is a time to tap into unexplored potential! It is about time that the stereotype linked to growing old be substituted with an admiration for lives lived well through and through. Growing old does not start with the first sign of white hair or an aching back, growing old begins the day you are born. Staying young, however, begins anew every day. The choice to embrace it is yours, rea