Dr. Robert Bortz wrote a book with a wonderful title, We Live Too Short and Die Too Long. We all know he is absolutely correct. Haven’t we all been “getting old” since we were 29; moaning about turning 30, using the magnifying mirror and shuttering when we discover our first winkles; pulling out our first gray hairs? Would I wish myself to be 30 again? No. Would I wish myself to be 50 again? Absolutely!
When we reach the age of 60, we begin the third act of our life. If we challenge ourselves to look at aging as a time of continuing personal growth and not the time of deterioration, we will add life to our life because that is our intention. We have the power to take action today which will directly affect the quality of our lives 20 years from now.
What are perceived losses? They are the “could have/should have/would have thoughts” that run through our minds, depressing our every cell. If we consistently have negative, critical thoughts, we will depress our immune system and become a sitting duck for the flu and colds and the stress based illness which are too numerous to count. Dick Cavett, when describing his clinical depression said, “It is as though there is a magic wand sitting on a table across the room. All I have to do is walk over there and pick it up and I can have anything I want. But it is too much trouble to get out of the chair.”
I need to learn to trust my instincts when I am pushed into a situation that puts me at risk. Walk up to the Acropolis? I don’t think so… I think I will look at it out of my hotel dining room window. Yes it is exercise, but is it appropriate for a woman prone to arrhythmia? I will probably never learn to sky dive or learn to ski, regardless of what my friends are doing.
My 103 year old book cover model told me the secret to living to age 100 is having a positive attitude and moving very carefully.
Dr. Wayne Dyer has a one liner that sums up the need for empowerment as we age. He says, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”
This article is written by Suzanne Roberts, author of The Handbook for Children of Aging Parents
Visit her website at www.childrenofagingparents.net