Being inspired about the aging process has kept me engaged and curious and has expanded my mind over the years. I’m always learning new things and solidifying ways to improve my time. I’m the one who Googles myriad things daily to keep learning and growing. If there’s a question and I don’t know the answer, I’ll stop what I’m doing and look it up on my phone right then and there!
Daily we are given the choice about new ways of thinking and of being in the world. The expansion of options and methodology is ongoing. With all the choices available, it’s been my goal to stay put in a place of positivity during the aging process. Yes, staying positive is easier to do when health and curiosity remain strong. However, like any other good habit, it takes work.
Here are some of the things that helped me stay put in engagement and inspiration:
Talking to or reading about old people. Old people other than ourselves are our role models. I love reading about people who have sparkled in spite of the difficulties of being old in today’s society. When I see an older friend doing something I wish I could, like not worrying or staying slim and healthy, I ask them how they do it. It never hurts to learn someone else’s secrets for ways of being that work for them. Then I keep my mouth shut and just listen to what they have to say. I’m hearing them, not sharing what I do or what my struggles are … or why I couldn’t possibly do what they do.
Expanding relaxation techniques. I’ve stepped up my meditation practice in the last year, and it’s been particularly helpful in dealing with the stress and anxiety of COVID and world events. My mental health has remained strong with more and longer meditation.
The bonus of increased kindness is directly attributable to greater mindfulness too! I think we can all work on staying put in kindness; it costs nothing but returns a bounty of goodwill.
Journaling my concerns and new ideas. I’ve always admired people who can stand next to a towering stack of journals that they’ve created and kept over the years. That hasn’t been me; I come and go with journaling, but I agree that the process has always increased my awareness. Journaling has recently helped me set some new goals relative to two huge events in the coming months, the second of which is turning 75 in January. The first event will be the 10th anniversary of this blog at the end of this month. I never missed one week during the tens years; it’s such a goal!
Poetry. Reading more poetry by and about older adults fits nicely with my desire to be engaged and inspired. Here are two poems about getting older I’ve enjoyed recently. Hopefully, you enjoy them too:
Poet: Julie Hebert, © 2012
One day you’ll wake up,
And feel an awful ache.
It’s then you’ll realize you’re candles,
Won’t fit upon your cake.
It’s an inevitable thing,
That we all will get old.
It’s how we look at it,
That will tell how life unfolds.
Do you see it as good,
From this point on life will be great?
Or do you see it as bad,
That soon you will be dead.
If every time you cringe,
When a birthday rolls around,
You might as well sit back,
And watch your life meltdown.
You have to think of aging,
As something more than that.
With aging comes great wisdom,
And that should be looked at!
Aging mean’s you’ve lived,
And birthdays mean one more.
Have a happy birthday,
As there is still so much to explore.
Let Me But Live
Poet: Henry VanDyke
Let me but live my life from year to year,
With forward face and unreluctant soul;
Not hurrying to, nor turning from, the goal;
Not mourning for the things that disappear
In the dim past, nor holding back in fear
From what the future veils; but with a whole
And happy heart, that pays its toll
To Youth and Age, and travels on with cheer.
So let the way wind up the hill or down,
O’er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy:
Still seeking what I sought when but a boy,
New friendship, high adventure, and a crown,
My heart will keep the courage of the quest,
And hope the road’s last turn will be the best.
Staying put to me means making the best of what’s out there for me. There is goodness, talent, abundance, and self-care.
I’m staying put the best ways I know how.