This Article is About
old adage
sense of humour
positive attitude
grain of salt
poor health
foreground
good friends
curiosity
two ways
patience
Are You Aging Gracefully?
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Are You Aging Gracefully?

When I was in my 20s I thought people who were 50 or over were "old people". People over 70 didn't really even register in my feeble brain as 3D beings, rather just an old face with an old life blurred into the background on the landscape of life. I tended to consider "old people" two ways: kind and sweet, or mean and bitter. Nothing in between. They were stereotypes. Kind and sweet types were old people that seemed happy, active, wise, kind and full of light. Mean and bitter types were scarey, angry, dark, sad and miserable.

As I got older so did many people I knew and I realized good friends, relatives and even celebrities were slipping into "old people" territory. The blurred faces that I had blocked in my mind were becoming clearer and suddenly these background faces were popping up daily in my foreground vision. I was becoming aware of older people.

Not so surprising was that old people were not stereotypes but just people, gradually aging. So what constitutes that old adage that old people are bitter and mean or kind and sweet? I am sure that youngin's everywhere are making the same ignorant value judgements about old people as I did when I was their age. It boils down to attitude. Attitude makes the difference between aging gracefully (ie. kind and sweet) or painfully (i.e. bitter and mean).

Many people say that as we age we gain wisdom, patience, understanding and acceptance. Having lived through so many trials and tribulations, age grants us the experience to know that crisis' will resolve, things and people will come and go, and most of all that each day brings to us new things. People that age with this in mind tend to take life with a grain of salt, a sense of humour and a wide eyed wonder for whatever may drop in their lap next. If their health is declining, they don't let poor health stop them, they work with it, around it and carry on. This takes enormous will and a positive attitude. It takes curiosity and an interest in discovering and learning new things no matter what age you are. People like this continue to enjoy their lives, actively seeking out new ways to learn, to create, to stay engaged in the world. These people are aging gracefully and are beacons to all younger as kind and sweet older people.

People that take all their trials and tribulations and see their lives as one bad experience and hard luck story after another, who hold on to the negative in life, who see their health as forever declining and as a reason to stop doing what they want to do, give up and give in. They see their age as testament to the useless cycle in life: you are born, you live, you die. Often these people scorn the unknown, bite back at those that try and cheer them up and are basically unhappy. These dark souls are not aging gracefully, but rather withering away and to the young folk out there typify that bitter and mean old face in the crowd.

Attitude is what makes one age gracefully. This starts at a young age and blossoms forever throughout life. Which face in the crowd are you?


Street Talk

tony16  

still the fact that one can turn bitter and disappointed is not only experienced by the old ,in fact very many young people are feeling the same way.life does not treat all people the same way,and nobody can choose into what situation the are being born . it takes an education and a good support system to produce wisdom and insight . if one is being exposed to ignorance and lies ,propaganda ,and bad company ,one does get bitter when it becomes clear that so many opportunities have been lost. too bad most of us are finding out too late to change things .

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yes, I agree. But even if one is dealt a real sour hand, one has to dig deep inside and pull out their best cards. Of course one could always fold. It is like the story of Job, sometimes life seems like one big test to find your breaking point. The younger you are when you realize you do have the power to find some light in the darkest of corners, the foundation will be laid to help you deal better with issues as you age. Also sometimes there is no support system, and the only support system you have is yourself. As a great man once said, if you have five friends you can count on one hand you are lucky, if one of them is yourself you are doing great.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you for your openess & perspective. Only a person with a young soul can age gracefully. Thanks for this article. It will, definitely, stay in my heart.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
maybeniet  

Very well thought out and so true. I am an old person now but inside feel like fifty. Nothing much has changed in my way of looking at things or attitude as to whom I am. What has changed is my mobility, agility and how I look. But as far as I'm concerned I'm still young.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Stacydee  

Nice article, love the picture! Everything changes with perspective and I've noticed in my last decade or so that "old" people are not so old anymore. You are a role model for good attitude. Good work.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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