The Process of Aging
As I sat in church I heard a petition as someone prayed for a 91 year old that he would be comforted as he went through the process of aging.
I was struck by that sentence. The Process of Aging…. It is true that our hormones change as production decreases and our cells are not replenished as plentifully. But what is not true is the attitude that aging illnesses have to happen and to just accept them.
We are in our sixties. That means that everyone else who was born in the late 1940s and early 1950s are also in their sixties. What we are experiencing now is a chasm that is dividing the people in their sixties from each other.
Which side of the Chasm are you on?
We meet more and more people who have chronic illnesses, are on handfuls of medications, who visit their doctor frequently and many who are in nursing homes, hospitalized and even dying.
Then on the other side of the chasm are the sixty year olds who have taken control of their life by eating with a purpose, exercising for health, and are physically and emotionally conscious of the importance their daily decisions play in the capability and quality of their lives.
In between are the sixty year olds who have had done everything right and still have health problems or done everything wrong and are in perfect health. These last two groups are the outliers and exceptions.
We know that had we not changed our behaviors and diet 9 years ago, we would be on the side with the ill ones. That said, I know that it is a cruel thing to say. That my life would be different if I had not….. or Your life would be different if had….. The truth is for most people, It is not too late.
You Can Cross over the Chasm
The body is so forgiving. It took years to get your body into the disease state, but it will not take as long to get it out of the disease state. Not all diseases can be reversed by most of them can, and if not reversed then changed enough to allow you to leave a better high quality life.
What stops people from changing?
- I like my life the way it is, no need to change.
- I can’t make dietary changes in my life.
- My spouse doesn’t want to change so I can’t do it alone.
- I am too old to change.
- I don’t have the money to eat better.
- I don’t believe that food can make a difference.
- My body will hurt more if I exercise.
- I have tried to change in the past, but I always fail.
- I will just live my life and die when my body wears out.
- I don’t want to live long.
I can tell you that it is much easier when your spouse is on board and right there with you. Maybe you are imagining that your spouse will not do it with you. Perhaps not. I know a couple and no matter how sick the husband gets he will not give up eating anything he wants, he barely takes his medications and exercise is out of the question.
I do not know what causes a person to be like that but I know many of them. It is a discussion that could fill a book on its own.
How Does It feel To be Old?
Years ago I wrote an article that was published in the local newspaper. It was called, “How does it feel to be old?” (Later was the first article in my book, (Voices from My Heart) I have presented this article to many senior groups. The answers I get in return are almost all positive.
“What is old?”.”
“I don’t know. I will tell you when I get there.”
“I don’t feel old.”
My reply, “I feel like the same person I did when I was young.”
I am amazed at how many people call themselves old, or their spouse an old lady or old man. There is nothing that makes us be old. We have experience. We have graying hair. We sage in some places. We choose to retire. This does not make us an inferior person. We still have rights. We are just as important as the 20 year old. We do not have to let go of our dreams, or stop trying for a goal in life. We can still write, paint, play a musical instrument, read, travel, climb a mountain, camp, garden, sing, work, play and live and homestead. We cannot allow others to dictate to us that we are old. We are not. We are older than them, which makes us wiser, more experienced, able to fix, prepare, repair, and build almost anything. We are not devalued by our age, on the contrary. We know so much more that we did 40 years ago.
Try going through a day where you interact with others and a remark about age does not come up. It is the norm but we are out there to change that.
Now you are ready. Ready to leap into a life with purpose, value, and good health.