Excuse me?” That was coming from a friend who was completely horrified that the guard was leading her to the senior lane of the check-out counter. If a look could be lethal, the poor fellow would have instantly dropped to the ground lifeless. To be called old or to be seen as being old almost always manages to offend even if unintended. For most of us women and maybe for some men, just like politics and religion, it can be a contentious topic and is best avoided if you want to espouse world peace.
Is aging a cause of concern? Absolutely! The mere thought of the inevitable decline in physical and mental capabilities is more than enough to incite feelings of dread and impending loss. But more than the damages on a molecular level, aging inadvertently symbolizes limits. One needs to accept this reality to better embrace the eventuality and the sooner, the better.
Warning: This will not be easy.
Age 65. For the majority of the country’s working population who are employees, this signals retirement from service and an end to a routine. Routine once disrupted throws most of us off-balance and leaves us momentarily wondering what to do next. For those who are still healthy and agile, this life in pause is severely restrictive and can be a major cause of anxiety or even depression. I have seen this among relatives and friends, and even random strangers. Maybe it is like being classified as a second or pre-owned car, wherein you know you are still of use and relevant but as society views you otherwise, your worth doesn’t even approach a decent resale value. So where does that leave you eventually?
Aging limits. Say these words out loud, and ask yourself how it strikes you. Does it discourage or make you feel more excited? If you happen to answer the latter, then you are all set. If it is the former, do not despair, for as long as you make the conscious choice to change or angle your perspective toward positivity you are going to get there.
So let me help speed up the process by sharing realizations from people who have learned to embrace aging.
1. You can live with the nonessentials in life and be happier.
2. You don’t need to sweat the small stuff as you know what real problems are.
3. You now have the audacity to weed out your toxic friends, and choose who to be with.
4. You are responsible for your own actions and the only one to blame if you are unhappy.
5 . Life will become shorter if you do not learn to declare an expiration date for past hurts and unsavory experiences.
These are only a few, so let me follow this up with snippets of the acceptance speech of Dr. Aniceta Po, an obstetrician-gynecologist, and loving wife to Dr. Manuel Po, who was recently awarded as the Most Outstanding Catholic Physician of the Catholic Physicians Guild of the Philippines. Be inspired to push that restart button if your life happens to have been stuck on pause.
“As septuagenarians, we have learned to daily be encouraged to take the excellent but difficult road of morality and goodness and affirm that no beauty shines brighter than having a good heart. We try with our maximum capabilities to be candles [that] burn and glow to give light to others. We learned that time and finances are not ultimate factors in spreading the faith but managing them is of the essence. Asking others for help is a practice in humility while reaping the fruits in cash, in kind, or service towards our goal visibly reflects God’s intervention and His Divine will. Ours is a very minute contribution to evangelization, reevangelization, and wholistic healing and we have vowed to take thus apostolate unto our deathbed.”
“To whom much is given, much is expected.” We have all been given…
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