On Becoming a Senior Citizen

Jun 8th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

How in the world do you cultivate all the qualities to be the person you want to be?  Most persons who read this are likely older (classified as seniors, genarians of one decade or the other). However, being the person you want to be is not limited to age issues; it is attached, quite universally, to all of us, no matter our age. 

Discovery of personhood is an ever repeating phenomenon.  I thought I had myself pretty well nailed down by the time I was in my 20′s, and again, for a period in my 30′s, the 40′s slipped up on me with some surprises.  And by my late 50′s and certainly at retirement I came to discover I really wasn’t the person, yet, that I really was seeking to be.

Now, in my 70′s the adjustments and surprises and tricks of aging come almost daily.  So, how is it you can finally make sufficient peace with yourself to really be the person you want to be?  Decades mark our changes, although they are  never clean and clear in their beginnings and endings.  This has become clearer to me as I have come to discover persons, usually around or just past 70, who choose to  check out.  They literally decide to end life.  They commit suicide.  They clearly weren’t or hadn’t become the person they had wanted to be. Life had not met their expectations.  It came to that moment, when leaping into death was preferable to working out the puzzle of  living.. 

Usually, there are no graphic indicators as to exactly why such a choice is made.  There may be suspicions, but few real clues.  They weren’t happy or satisfied or willing to work it through.  They chose to end what they had decided was a miserable life.  And the misery is passed on to others. 

Particularly, in today’s world is it possible to cultivate enough depression, to become overwhelmed with all the bad news that sorting out any positive ramifications for living becomes an enormous challenge.  It is easy to give up. 

However, being the person you want to be requires courage, insight, willingness to evaluate your own attitude, looking for and finding hope, creating some kind of ideological support system, which does not mean adopting some cult that promises answers it can never deliver.  Being your own person means allowing your concept of self confidence to take over.  It means you have a sense of who you are, your own personal worth, your ability to continue to make a difference in your own life and others.

Being the person you want to be is allowing the strength of your own convictions, your own self value to reach into your being and project out of your being happiness, confidence, awareness, self worth that others pick up on and emulate.  Being the person you want to be means respecting all the experiences that have contributed to your being the person you are.  Now, enrich the world with all those experiences and decide that being the person you want to be is the most worthy goal of life.



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