Life Is A Journey

It is often said that growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional. Therein lays not only the key to longevity, but to maximally enjoying one’s golden and twilight years—remaining young at heart. A “young” heart’s best friend is an active mind. It is imperative to keep learning, keep wondering and keep cynicism and jadedness at bay. One has to remain open to new things, whether they are experiences, music, food, or changing social norms and attitudes. On the flip side, what you enjoyed most as a child will probably still bring you great joy decades on.

If agility allows it, give the hula hoop a whirl. Indulge in ice cream, watch an old movie, spend more time outdoors. It’s never too late to start a new hobby or pick up an old one. These may seem like clichés but don’t balk, because there’s a reason such sentiments have been so oft-repeated throughout time. I could say to drink green tea or meditate (not to detract from either, they are both with merit) but that’s not our focus here. That’s not how one holds on to their youthful spirit.

Life is a journey and it is our travel companions that make the trip worthwhile.

Good tips:

  • Cultivate and maintain lasting relationships with friends and family
  • Write letters or emails, make phone calls, plan visits—the medium doesn’t matter so long as you’re communicating and connecting.
  • Perhaps more importantly, surround yourself with positive people and share in others’ happiness and success.
  • If you have the time, space, energy, etc., foster or adopt a cat or dog. You’ll derive great pleasure from knowing you saved the life of another living creature and in return, you’ll get unconditional love and affection. From both medical and psychological standpoints, studies have consistently shown the therapeutic and transformative powers of pets.

What it really boils down to is staying active and being part of something larger than yourself. If you’re fit enough for physical activity (which doesn’t have to be rigorous, even a leisurely stroll counts), by all means, do so. But we recognize that this may not always be an option, and it’s infinitely more important not to let one’s brain atrophy. If you’re at a loss for what to do, or can’t find others with whom to do it, community centers are great resources. They offer all sorts of groups, classes, and even trips broken down by interest and/or age.

It’s easier said than done but generally speaking, try not to take yourself, or life, too seriously. There’s humor to be found in most situations and the more you let yourself go with the flow, the better off you’ll be. Time is the most precious commodity there is, so be thankful for each day and don’t waste them dwelling on the ifs, ands, or buts. Ultimately, heed the old adage, “Worry is like a rocking chair–it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

On November 2, 2011, posted in: Senior Home Care by

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