Beautifully quoted by Marcas Tullius Cicero (44 BC). As per the books, the senior age is considered to start by 60-65 but, in its own right, ageing however remains rather subjective. Age is strictly a case of mind over matter, if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter. The harvest of old age is the recollection and abundance of blessing previously secured. If the soul has food for study and learning, nothing is ever more delightful. Let’s know about the positive aspects of aging and redefine what it means to flourish in every stage of life.
A Tale of Renewal in Retirement
A retired banker of age 72 years, happily claims that his time to learn new things in life only begun after the age of 65. He started by giving out free presentations on the banking profession to college students. To him, teaching came wholly as a newfound experience which delighted him thoroughly. The youth’s reverence for the staggering amount of knowledge in his profession bewildered him. He proudly states that, retirement helped him discover a new identity.
Some view retirement as the doorway to a new world, where they can rewrite life and live dreams that responsibilities of middle age had pushed down on the priority list. Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata group recently said in an interview that, he wanted to relearn to play piano after his retirement as the company’s chairman.
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People often worry about the vices of getting old. The prospects of being lonely, weak and dependent on the surface seem disheartening, but on the brighter side, every gray cloud does come with its silver lining.
Growing old is a privilege: Wrinkles are a semblance of laughter, Grey hair reminiscence of care and scars are but reminders of the life so bravely lived.
Delving deeper into the positive aspects of ageing
When asked, a senior citizen reported that the best part of being old and retired is having the liberty to spend the day without any set schedule. Rushing early in the morning to reach the office on time, running for meetings, and managing time for better performances at work are replaced by relaxing early mornings, walking, and enjoying nature, as well as visiting family and friends. One can design the day, as per the convenience. Reading, gardening, travelling, advising, counselling, social work and community services are amongst the plethora of options for one to engage in.
Sixties writers are acknowledged with producing some of the best autobiographical works in literature. Growing old widens one’s perspective and civic sense; thus helping them focus on building a better society. Old age helps in endorsing active participation in social and political services. The focus gradually shifts from “Me” to “Us” and this collective sense of being nurtures the society with the promise of a better tomorrow. Ms. Sudha Murthy, Chairperson of Infosys strongly advocates that “old age is giving back to society what you have earned during your youth years.” This is one of the significant signs of aging gracefully.
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A Journey into Wellness, Wisdom, and Resilience
The upside of aging is to celebrate the age, defy expectations of self and others, to grow and enjoy friendships. Seniors commonly express desires such as traveling around the world, exploring new places, engaging in literary activities, and spending quality time with family, especially grandchildren. The increasingly spreading charm of fitness and wellbeing not uncommon for the elderly has promoted heightened self-esteem and self-worth.
“Successful aging is multidimensional encompassing the avoidance of disease and disability, the maintenance of high physical and cognitive function and sustained engagement in social and productive activities.”- Rowe & Kahn 1997.
It is needless to say that elderly folks possess better coping strategies to deal with life challenges, learned from firsthand life experiences. They trade impatience, impulsivity, and irrationality for resilience, patience, and rationality. Those with a positive attitude and proactive thinking arguably live relatively stress free lives. They accept life unconditionally and deal with problems more objectively. They have better control over their emotions than their juvenile counterparts. Their wisdom and priceless advices become the guiding force for their family and friends. They become more internally motivated than the younger generation thus handle negative circumstances and hardships more effectively.
Spiritual Empowerment and Dignified Living
Another significant side of positive aging is spiritual empowerment. Augmented spirituality and harnessing faith help one engage conscientiously into religious activities, performing rituals on a regular basis, meditation and devotion in prayer.
The old age also reaps a sense of security as stated by a retired government officer. Getting guaranteed income (pension), special preferences, discounted rates, Medicare, social security, respect and personal attention in social settings are namely a few things that together compose a dignified lifestyle. The apparent elegance of ageing is that it’s inevitable, and with the right attitude, it can be turned into classic pieces of art that are treasured for eternity.