Eight Suggestions for Grateful Aging

I’m finding as I move through the aging process that my role models are many. I’m particularly attracted to people who look like they’re, for the most part, having a good time in their later years. Like everyone else in the world, they have their share of problems, but overall, they appear to live a happy and contented life.

Many senior citizens who are aging gratefully have the following in common:

  1.  They are less reactionary. Life is less stressful for those who don’t freak out at every little bump in the road. Drama is something they eschew.
  2.  They exercise because it feels good. These are seniors who want to be strong, and moving their bodies routinely keeps them in better shape with fewer aches and pains.
  3. They see the glass as half full. Positively approaching the daily changes in life keeps these seniors with a more upbeat approach to the world they live in.
  4. They have learned to let go.  These folks are able to easily move on to the future because they’re not stuck looking back in the past. As the Zen proverb says, “Let go or be dragged.”
  5. They get plenty of sleep.  Many seniors experience changes in sleep patterns. Regardless, most maintain a flexible approach to it — getting it when they can but not sweating it when it doesn’t come easily. They celebrate napping!
  6. They try to learn new things every day.  I like to think of myself as a perpetual learner and student. We are so fortunate to have at our fingertips computers that provide new information and answers to our every question. I’m looking up solutions and expanded information about new subjects every day!
  7. The accept their changing bodies. While many are open to trying differing looks that flatter their changing looks, others load on more and more makeup and wear more uncomfortable clothes and signal they’re stuck in the past by trying to maintain an appearance that worked for them in their 20’s or 30’s … but not today. Being squeaky clean and smelling good are always your best bet!
  8. They let go of negative people and situations. Grateful seniors’ time and money and energy are spent on people and things that uplift them, that allow them to celebrate their fellowship with others of like minds, and that bring them the greatest amount of joy.

What characteristics have you noticed about the most grateful seniors in your community?