Seniors: Setting Out on a New Course

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

Periodic change of direction is both likely and predictable as we age.  A friend of mine, a former District Judge in Texas, says he changes his course about every ten years.  Some do it intentionally, while it just seems to occur for others.  It isn’t a bad proposition to look ahead and begin drawing a map of how the next 5 or 10 years may look.  None of us is likely to come up with a correction proof course, but it is deserving of interest that we think about what we would like the future to hold. 

One thing is rather certain.  We won’t be where we are now within another half decade or so.  By the way, did you know the word “decade” originally referred to days and not years.  So, assume you are projecting out ten days, if years intimidates a bit much, and you will get the idea of how to proceed.

Our power over the future is limited, of course.  But our expectations can be tailored in a way that help us do our best to come up with as much positive about what MAY happen as what will. 

  • Begin with a set of assumptions:  My health will be reasonably good.  Why?  Because I intend to be disciplined in my care of myself with diet, exercise, rest, mental acuity, checkups, and healthy interactions with others.  
  • Stress will be kept at a minimum:  Why?  Because stress is an inducer for other problems, physical, mental and emotional.  Relationships and problems which contribute to stress will be corralled and scrutinized for their negative influences on me and my day to day life.
  • Picking up on the theme from the movie, “The Bucket List,” I will try to create as much adventure in my life as possible.  Why?  Because having something to look forward to do is a healthy way to keep your adrenaline and endorphins popping.
  • Worry over things I can do nothing about will be overcome.  Why?  Worry is not a credible problem solving technique, if anything it creates problems.  Examine what, why and how to eliminate that stifling practice in your daily life.
  • Try to keep some stability in your life, but be open to flexibility.  Why?  The two together blend into making for a more pleasant and enjoyable existence.  One without the other will either create too much rigidity and boredom or so much unpredictability that you won’t know what you are doing next or why.
  • Depending on the nature of the course change, let other people know what your intentions are.  Why? Help others realize you are making projections based on your needs and willingness to open up your life to spontaneity and freshness.  Some might even help you keep on course. 

Being intentional about changing your course, practicing good daily habits that keep your mind, body and spirit open to change is the best start!



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