PROCESS OF AGING: A SENIOR’S JOURNEY

Oct 31st, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Aging is a Process

Discussing the stages of aging may seem like a trite, overworked exercise.  However, it is a profound and persistent challenge to all of us as we reach 60 and beyond.  It starts long before 60, but the magic of 60 is likely prompted by our having already been a member of AARP for a few years, considering retirement, looking at the issues surrounding medicare, experiencing a few health matters that remind us of aging, and knowing that the slope of the hill has changed from climbing to coming down off the mountain.

So we begin evaluating our own aging and what is in store for us.  Birthdays, we admit, take on a different sheen.  They are more grey and less red and blue and other exciting colors that remind us of happy childhood.  Continuing to find ways to celebrate by marking the decades (who hasn’t had an over the hill party?) attempt to inject frivolity, an avoidance of reality, and an escape, at least for a while, from the invasion of aging.

Let us go on record, there is no assumption here that aging is or has to be a negative pull on one’s life and experience. Much of what happens as we age comes about as a result of predictable biological change and adjustment to and accommodating those changes.  Anger, fighting the changes, employing stubborn resistance all may be ploys to deal with it, but most such behaviors simply exacerbate what will and does happen to us.  The commercials that promise us the ability to look and behave as if we are 20 to 30 years younger may tempt us.  Likely, there will come some age related surprises that will contradict the commercials.

Positive and Healthy Lifestyle Choices

A senior’s journey deals with the dynamics of change. Those changes are inevitable.  Are there ways to discourage some of the dramatic impact of change?  Yes.  Of course.  But do not stretch the reality quotient beyond what is practical, reasonable and likely.  Head off as much deterioration as possible.  Exercise, watch your diet, have regular check ups, watch your meds, stimulate the pleasures of life, including sex and laughter. Expand constantly your circle of friends and acquaintances.  Becoming an isolate contributes to depression.  Don’t take that road. Find ways to occupy your thinking, explore, imbibe your senses, stay curious.

Downers, while a fact of life and living, are not a necessity.  It takes work, hard work, to keep downers at bay.  But keeping them at bay is a must if one’s journey is to be fulfilling,  pleasant and rewarding.  Thinking and choosing on the positive side when presented with negatives will insure a huge difference in your disposition.

Start before its time. Developing routines, habits, behaviors, disciplines which will enrich and enable your heart to pump freely, your muscles to work splendidly, your colon to be healthy, your blood vessels to be unblocked, your organs to work proficiently all will assure full and happy days.

When is the time to do all of this? Now, no more delays, no more “but, I’ve gotta do this first,”  no more “but, I’m too tired” excuses.  Now!  Right now.  Get your ticket punched for the greatest journey of your life.



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