SENIORS: GRACEFUL AGINGOct 24th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Dr Jerry Elrod's Senior Moments Blog
Choices in Aging
Aging brings with it a plethora of personal choices. If, when you were younger, you imagined yourself at a later age, that was a way of imaging who you would become. Some of us selected mentors, admired adults, persons’ qualities we found worthy of emulating. As we matured, we picked from among those impressions characteristics of our persona that we thought might work for us. The way we carried ourselves, our choice of dress and wardrobe, our mannerisms, our sense of etiquette, our personality were likely all influenced by persons we observed and admired.
Among those identities would be those we would fashion and improve upon in progressive stages. We don’t change our persona consciously, for the most part, and certainly not on a time line. It usually comes about gradually, sometimes without ready awareness that we are making or have made a change. Usually, but not always, it is for the better. Most of the time, most friends and family perceive the change and will comment upon it, if they take it to be something of an improvement.
The goal of aging is best served when we refine ourselves through graceful choices in how we hone our value system, how we carry ourselves, how we speak, thoughtful manners, admired behaviors, the sharing of wisdom, the careful tending of others’ feelings and sensitivities.
Many of our choices turn out to be negative.We may emulate someone who smoked or bit their fingernails or used obscene language. These, for all their captivating influence, turn out not to fall under the category of admirable.
Evaluate Your Behavior as You Age
Sorting out the difference in graceful and abrasive is a task requiring watchful observation of your own behaviors, of the response that others seem to have to you, being aware whether persons gravitate to you or not. If you are generally involved in conversations with others at a social event, this likely suggests you are welcome in that circle. If you find yourself at a distance from others, this may indicate your own discomfort and that of others toward you.
Finding ways to be a presence sometimes requires a careful inventory and objective analysis of who you are in the company of others, how you are received, how you are brought in to the dialog.
Graceful aging brings with it a series of do’s and don’ts, which require careful tending, much like that of a spring flower garden. As one ages, confronting the alterations that come with that is also necessary. Some behaviors, vocabulary, shared stories no longer hold attention or relevance. Know how to keep yourself “in the know.” Know how to curb those tendencies which may give affront to others. Know how to introduce humor. Know how to be a good listener, an appropriate contributor, a comfortable presence. Your own sense of how you are accepted will enable your behavior to be rewarded and reinforced.