Are You Growing Old

Celebrating life each day at 73!

Next year I will turn 70. Not only am I old, but I am getting old(er). LOL!

I don’t know what it would be like to be 70. What I know is that I will be doing the things I am doing now and keep on doing them as long as I can do them – just like this sidewalk vendor.

She’s 73 yr-old-widow with 9 children and as many grandchildren (some of her children are not married yet).

She has to commute more than 10 kms/day, lugging her basket of green mangoes to sell them on the same spot I met her in one day.

When asked why she’s still doing it at her age, with a toothless smile, she said, “Because I can still do it. I love doing it.”

She lives alone, despite the urging of her children to live with them, because she doesn’t want to get into their lives – as she puts it with a smile. 

“Aha!” I said to myself. Now I know how not to grow old. Or do I? Do you?

Notice my sleight-of-hand use of words – rather than “get old” I used “grow old” because they are different. To “get old” is an inevitability, while to “grow old” is a matter of perspective.

 

Getting Old vs. Growing Old
Getting old means having more years added to your life yet, at the same time, you lose some of your hair, some of your eyesight, hearing, balance, appetite and a lot of other things in exchange.

Growing old, on the other hand, is a way of thinking, a mindset.  You can be old even if you are young in years, or young even if born after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

It is how you look at life. And that’s what I would like to look at myself next year when I turn 70. And you should do the same.

Look at life through the eyes of your youth, your vigor, your thirst for excitement and adventure.

“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” – Ausonius

I always believe that at this age, I have more freedom to do as I wish – even to be freaky at times. And I am not alone.

A new national survey done by the Pew Research Center shows that:

Most adults at 50 feel at least 10 years younger than their actual age…one-third of those between 65 and 74 said they felt up to 10 to 19 years younger, and one-sixth of people 75 and older said they felt 20 years younger.

In other words, if you start sucking a lollipop right now, there’s a good chance that some people of your age will start doing the same.

No, you don’t have to go that far to prove a point. But Paul Tayler, Pew Research Center’s executive vice president and author of the study said it succinctly, “…you are never too old to feel young…”

I never dwell on my age. Instead, I dwell on the experiences I’ve accumulated over the years, and the people who helped shape my life.

At my age, these things are worth celebrating.

 

To be Old is to Start Anew:
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16

Oliver Sacks, a New York University professor of neurology, upon turning 80, wrote a piece for The New York Times. In the first paragraph, he wrote:

“My father, who lived to 94, often said that the 80s had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt, as I begin to feel, not a shrinking but an enlargement of mental life and perspective…”

So never let the effects of old age affect your vim and vigor of life. Rather make use of them to remind you that time is fast running out and you should make the most of what is left.

If you are like me, maybe most of the kids you grew up with are either dead, too sickly to hang out with the boys, or indisposed for one reason or another.

That your not one of them, isn’t that worth celebrating?

Nobody at this age hasn’t had his share of life’s problems, i.e., money, relationship, children, career, etc. They are very traumatic experiences; they scarred you for life, maybe even made you cynical and pessimistic.

But would things be any better if you dwell on them? They won’t. In fact, they will just make you miserable. They will put blinders over your eyes making you fail to see the beauty of being old and alive and experiencing things that we totally sci-fi during your time.

Discard your past, Put on fresh clothes, comb your hair, look your best and say, “Old age, here I come, the new kid on the block.”

Then just dig in and have fun.

I am sure you have not lived the kind of life this mango vendor has lived hers. Yet, her heart is fuller with joy and contentment than yours.

Please share with other seniors so they, too, will know how to grow old.

~oOo~

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Secrets

~oOo~

Mantras to Help You Through Adversities

mantra

Mantra for stress-free days

Do you know that I start and end my day reciting a mantra? I am not doing it because I am into the mind-over-body thing, or I am into this “meditation.“  I do it because it gets me into a positive, hopeful mood; gives me faith that my day will always end right.

But wait, “what is a mantra? “ you may ask.

For a layman, a “mantra “  is a word or group of words or a sound repeated several times to aid concentration in meditation.

The word is Hindu in origin and comes from the words “man,“ which means mind, and “tra,“ meaning transport or vehicle. In other words, a mantra is an instrument of the mind to enter into a deep state of meditation.

For people who are not into meditation, like me and you, a mantra is simply the seed for energizing intention.

Mantras are good to ease the ill-effects of aging by refocusing the mind into thinking positive, cheerful, happy and uplifting thoughts.

 

They help remove stress, depression and can lower blood pressure. And they cost nothing but a few minutes of stillness and concentration.

To get you started in reciting a mantra here are one-liners that are easy to memorize:

 

1.  I love my body;

2.  I am powerful, or I am strong;

3.  I am enough;

4.  I am at peace, or I am where I am supposed to be;

5.  I have love in my life and joy in my heart;

6.  I trust my path;

7.  I embrace change;

8.  I am worth it;

9.  Be still;

10. Breathe in, breathe out.

If you want poetic mantras, try any one of these:

11.  There are blessing found everywhere. I will find them;

12.  I focus on how I feel, not what I want to achieve;

13.  Accept “what is,” instead of resenting it;

14.  Just to be alive is a grand thing;

15.  I am not a drop in the ocean. I am the entire ocean in a drop;

16.  Don’t postpone joy.;

Now I would like to share with you my mantra:

“Sometimes the best thing we can do is not think, no wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.”

I got it online but I can’t remember who passed it on to me. Whoever it was my gratefulness for his act reaches Heaven-wards.

I say this twice a day- early in the morning before I get into my work, and when I am lying flat on my bed for the night.

It works all the time. My mantra gives me stress-free days, and sleep like a baby at night.

Please share to help other seniors who are struggling with adversities all days of their lives.

Image: http://www.reneweveryday.com/how-meditation-could-be-the-key-to-senior-addiction-recovery/

~oOo~

 

Twenty Adorable Quotes for Seniors

quotes

Never been as happy!

Can the life of a senior be described?

No! Objects can be described, but seniors are people and people cannot be described – especially seniors.

You have to live and experience it to know how it is to be one. So if you are not, be patient. You will soon find out.

Suffice it is to say that seniors are a diverse lot and how they live and experience their lives is highly individual-oriented.

But they are all driven by the same desire – to be happy.

These 20 adorable will augment that desire:

 

1.  The surprising thing about young fools is how many survive to become old fools.

2.  lt is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

3.  By the time you are 80-yrs-old you have learned everything. You just have to remember it.

4.  In order to be old and wise, it is necessary to be young and stupid

5.  At my age, I’ve seen it all, I’ve heard it all and I’ve done it before. I just can’t remember it all.

6.  I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

7.  The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.

8.  Wrinkles were not one of the things I wanted to have when I grew up.

9.  It’s frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you questions.

10.  I  have a photographic memory. Unfortunately, it no longer offers same day service.

11.  Young at heart, slightly older in other places.

12.  I’m not aging. I’m marinating.

13.  You know you are getting old when your pacemaker opens the garage door when you see a pretty girl.

14.  You know you are getting old when everything hurts and what doesn’t doesn’t work.

16.  Old age takes away what we’ve inherited, and gives us what we’re earned.

17.  Age isn’t important unless you’re wine.

18.  Aging is not “lost youth” but a new stage of opportunity and strength.

19.  Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.

20.  Sex after 60 is like shooting pool with a rope.

And to inspire you all, be like George…

When asked by friends what he was doing now that he’s retired, his usual answer is:

“Well…I’m fortunate to have a chemical engineering background and one of the things I enjoy most is converting beer, wine, and whiskey into urine. It’s rewarding, uplifting, satisfying and fulfilling. I do it every day and I really enjoy it.”

Groucho Marx said, “Anyone can get old, all you have to do is to live long enough.”

If you are reading this, you have lived long enough.

Please share these quotes with other seniors who need cheering up.

 

~oOo~

 

 

 

 

Whoever said Parenthood is Easy

parenthood

Parenthood is Catch 22

A thread appeared on my FB page asking personal inputs regarding parenthood – more specifically adult children/parent relationship.

I commented that it is never easy; that it is a womb to tomb job.

The author, brought up in a  Western culture, thought my idea was incredulous. Perhaps, but anyone familiar with Asian culture, will know it has a grain of truth in it.

Asian familial ties are lifetime affairs.

Read more

To Use or Not to Use Online Dating Sites

Health Secrets

online

Online Romance

Do you use online dating sites? I do, so does a lot of men and women worldwide.

In fact, about 40 million Americans use dating sites. Among them, the adult sector, 55 to 64 years old, is registering the fastest growth: from 6% in 2013 to 12% in 2015.

Dating sites have come a long way since it first appeared in 1995. By 2002, it had 26.6 million subscribers and by 2007, dating sites became the highest online industry with paid content (next to Porn).

Read more

Do You Want to Set Your Day Right? Do These

Health Secrets

early bird

Early bird!

Do you often wake up in the morning with no motivation to get up? So you stay in bed a little longer until boredom grudgingly forces you to. That’s what happens when you have not set anything exciting and worthwhile to occupy your day.

I used to feel the same way right after my wife died. I was so down and did not want to get up until almost lunch time. Finally, I realized that I was slowly wasting my life away. Oh, I did not mind dying then. But not the way I was leading myself into.

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Don’t Move to a Retirement Community before Reading This

Health Secrets

Home alone

Home Alone, and Happy

Three years ago I thought of moving to a retirement community.

I live alone in my home which, I think, is too big for me. So I scouted around for a community near my home that can give me a simple, quite, and joyful retirement life.

I found two – near enough to my children so I won’t feel isolated from them. Unluckily (or luckily) for me, they did not satisfy my needs.

Both were fenced off from the rest of the world and, except for a small door with a peephole, they seemed so monolithic. My first impulse was, “Oh God, I want to live in a community, not a prison.”

So if you are planning to do the same, read this first before you do.

 

Why Stay Put at Home:

Since then, I decided to stay put until the rest of my days. You should, too, for the following reasons:

1.  Familiarity:
Familiarity with your surroundings has a great effect on your happiness and wellness. You know your home as the wrinkles on your hands. You know the community, the people, and the amenities, down to the name of the clerk in your favorite convenience store.

It removes the hassle of moving into new and unfamiliar surroundings, of being with people you never knew before, of adjusting to the quirks and hang-ups of the guy next door.

Adjusting to a new environment such as a retirement home is difficult and stressful for anybody. It could be near impossible for you.

 

2.  Uncertainty:
Staying home near people you know, like family and friends minimizes, it not removes the uncertainty of immediate help in case of emergencies

To have people, neighbors and family members, around that you can call easily in case you need help removes anxiety and boosts your peace of mind.

 

3.  Availability of resources:
Even if you stay home for retirement, you can still be assured of adequate health care services because these days there are so many providers you can get in touch with.

Other than these home care service providers, there is a multitude of user-friendly hi-tech devices that help you manage your health care needs.

All these means that immediate help is never far away in case you need it

 

4.  Independence:
According to the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), 90% of seniors want to retire at home, mostly for sentimental reasons. They feel that if they have survived all these years at home, they will survive the rest of their days.

Another reason is independence.

Seniors feel that independence is all they have control over in the face of the changes in other
aspects of their lives. It also gives them a sense of achievement, which is necessary for promoting purpose, self-worth, and well-being.

When my children moved out of my home right after marriage, I felt the world tumbling around me. I thought I could never get over the thought of us living separately. But after my period of self-denial, I found out that it was not such a bad thing.

In fact, I am glad they did. It allowed me free use of my time and activities which would have been impossible had they stayed on. A daily riot would certainly be happening now had they and their spouses lived with me.

 

5.  Minimize risk of abuse:
Old people, because of their condition, are often subject to elderly abuse. In fact, the problem is escalating despite the availability of services to prevent its occurrence.

Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and above have experienced some form of elderly abuse.

What is worrisome about it is that in 60% of the cases, the culprits are close family members.

Retirement and nursing homes are not any safer for old people as well. The number of elderly abuse in retirement and nursing homes is unavailable because most of these are swept under the rug and never reported.

This is minimized, if not avoided if you stay alone at home provided ample services are available in case you need them.

 

6.  It is Cheaper:
If your home is mortgage-free, stay put because it is cheaper in the long run. Retirement homes can be expensive depending on the state, services, and amenities provided.

In 2012, a private room average cost was $248.00/day; a semi-private was a little less at $222.00/day.

This could be exorbitantly high even if your retirement income is substantial. It will definitely leave a huge hole in your budget.

 

The Bottom Line?

It is your call. But before you make a decision, weigh things carefully because staying put or moving to a retirement home are not exactly two peas in the same pod. In fact, they are poles apart.

Do your research. Surf the Internet, talk to friends or have a sales person give you a call. Get as much information as you can. The more the better. You don’t want to be caught with your pants down due to your own lapses or negligence.

Focus your attention on total costs, health care services, nutrition plan, activities to promote togetherness and camaraderie, safety, proximity to shopping centers and malls, family visitation privileges, etc.

Make sure you get all the pertinent information and understand them all to avoid future regrets.

Please help other seniors by sharing this. Better still, subscribe to my newsletter to get a weekly update of the exciting and bittersweet life of a senior.

Image: http://www.seniormoneysaver.com/dining_in_cooking.htm

~oOo~

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