Seniors: Productive Aging, the Source for Staying Young

Jun 22nd, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Like you, we are seniors who spend part of our discretionary time each day sorting out what it is we need to know.  Senior Citizen Journal has been our means for helping us to identify the kinds of things important to us as we go through the transitions that come with aging and retirement.  Oh, that retirement and all it symbolizes were easy.  Oh, that it were an adjustment that came automatically, without struggle and difficulty.  Clearly, for most of us, it is none of these.

In an effort to come to some understanding about our own aging process and retirement in such a way that we can have some solemnity and peace of mind about ourselves, we chose to create Senior Citizen Journal.  Many of you have visited and choose to visit us with frequency.  You are what keeps us going.  Income from our generating the content of this site is small, thus not a way for us to earn large sums of money to help us through that maze of retirement.  More, it is a way to identify and reflect on the kinds of subjects that are fairly common among those of us who are at or near or even some years beyond retirement.  Adjustments are a fixed reality of everyday.  Adjusting to retirement should be a required course in community colleges around the country.  Instead we launch out, often without a suitable GPS, in an attempt to find direction for living out the balance of our lives.  The result is that we end up grossly overspending energy and effort to find the kind of things that make for a productive experience as we age.

Some spend exorbitant time indulging themselves in whatever seems to give momentary pleasure.  You can identify what those are for you. Others simply sink in the morass of boredom.  Still others waste away wishing for yesterday.  And others yet, chase every imaginable distraction until too tired to walk another step, take another lunge toward whatever we thought we were seeking.

Productive aging is not something that we are given as a gift.  And, frankly, it is not something which comes from reading self help books, taking a course in a community college, joining a variety of groups with activities abounding.  No, productive aging is more than what is outside of you.  It is a clear recognition that your life is now at that phenomenal stage when you have the opportunity to do and be what you have always been seeking:  yourself.  This phase of life is not largely different than the preceding ones.  It is just as full of opportunities and discoveries and pleasures and diversions as all the other periods of existence.  It is that time when being an adult is really okay.  It is that time when no longer do you need to please everybody else, while offending your own sensibilities.  It is that time when you can turn over a new leaf, perhaps the last leaf, and before it falls from the tree demonstrate your true colors, your sense of why you were created, maybe committing to be the last leaf fluttering in the breeze.

Most of us learn by now that there is no fountain of youth.  But what most of us can discover is that there is a source for youth. Most of us can find, that while our bodies may not be so young, our attitudes,  our behaviors, our perceptions, our appreciations can be motivated by a willingness to grow and to stay, at least in some ways, forever young. Seize boldness, grasp opportunity, take hold of today.  Live out this moment as if it were the last.  Find your own source for staying young.



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  1. [...] only to dead ends.  Deciding to put your energy into what you can do and doing it is a far wiser course.  So why do we get detoured by reflecting and trying to change outcomes that have already taken [...]

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