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Growing old does not have to mean that your life is over. As a senior citizen, time is all yours now. So go do all the things you could not until now.
“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”
― George Bernard Shaw
Who wants to grow old? Someone once told me ‘It’s just a number!’ so once I crossed that threshold they call ‘senior citizen’ I decided to protest. I hate the thought of being called old or senior. After all for me, age was always an issue of mind over matter. ‘If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter’.
But ageing was going to happen whether I liked it or not. It was better to face it gracefully than fight it. I decided to live life king size and do all the things I did not have time for during my working and family years, right from learning craft on-line and making gifts for friends, to acting, to giving voice-overs, to pestering my actor friends and going to watch shoots, joining a women’s forum and organizing workshops. What’s more I pushed my husband to join a singing group. Even if I have to hear him sing loudly at home without a care in the world!
You too can find that one thing that was pushed on the back burner during those years when you were busy raising your family. You might have heard this all already, but humour an elderly lady (who, me?) and hear me out.
Where and when do I start? Maybe from the day our children become adults or maybe from when we become grandparents. That’s when the mind begins to think “hey, I am over the hill,” and you begin to feel it too. It’s that time when you are no longer burdened by responsibilities and demanding careers and the children are raised. A lost feeling takes over and then you take that walk in the park and look at people your age, and ask yourself, ‘Are they looking older than you or are you looking older?’
That’s where we are wrong because it’s now that time when actually “time” is yours to use the way you want. Time comes free for you to use and spend. Time will stop for you, if you can learn to use and control it. You get the point don’t you, so why put off it off saying when I get the time? The time is now and ‘time’ is what you have plenty of.
So make that beginning. Just get started and don’t waste precious time. Make that wish list of things you would like to do before you leave this world. It doesn’t have to be anything drastic like jumping of a plane or climbing Mount Everest, but if you can do that, well, go for it. Try just simple things that you wished you had done earlier. I made new friends and then more friends by the day and as the family of friends grew, so did the activities that I could participate in like workshops, outings and new hobbies.
Do the things you like and of course things that make you happy. You won’t be able to do everything like you used to, neither can I, but when I started doing things I loved then nothing came in my way – not even my creaking bones. The more you begin to find new things to do the more engaging your life will become.
So simply just fight fatigue and that afternoon long nap which is so common because we feel nothing is waiting. Play word games and recall exercises by yourself, like I do often. Say a word for example, ‘senior’ and then a next word with the last alphabet “r” and so on and you will find yourself enjoying your own company too. I love to check out car numbers and make a total of the numbers, observing objects during a walk and recall them when back home. It certainly makes my brain keep working.
Join a class and learn something new or just your expertise. Ageing does not necessarily need to stop us from learning. After all as someone said, ‘there is a lot of valuable gold from experience that comes with the silver in the hair!’ Break the boring routines and the change will make life interesting.
Most important of all; you and your spouse need not have to do the same things or share the same interests. After all, no two human’s like the same things anyways. So let loose your spouse to follow his/her interests and encourage each other to do whatever interests him/her and watch the bonding and sharing multiply multi folds. You don’t have to do everything together. After all as we move on in life we begin to appreciate different things.
I do believe that there is a wonderful future and loads to learn and experience beyond the certainty of growing old and ending our days on earth, but it’s up to us how to use that time and manage the later years of our life with grace, dignity and fulfillment.
Image source: senior citizens by Shutterstock.
At present a freelancer in •Transcriber - interviews from audio/video to Word Document,•Translations - English
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