I’ve just had my 89th birthday and I’m one of the fortunate ones who so far does not have a fatal illness of any kind. It occurs to me however that very old age is actually very like a life-threating ‘disease’. There are easily recognized symptoms of the onset of aging process that gradually get worse: you tire more easily, have problems with balance, become less active because of discomfort in joints, and as you lose stamina, you get frail and forgetful, don’t feel like engaging any longer and tend to let things go and to withdraw. As your body and mind deteriorate, you lose interest in life it can make for a very sad end.
Since we recognize the symptoms of aging, I figure we should be able to treat them as we would other health conditions. Research verifies the fact that being proactive about any treatments that are available to ameliorate your health condition makes a tremendous difference to its progress. Having a positive attitude may be the most important factor. It is not an easy choice to decide to do the things that will keep the aging symptoms at bay, I know you must work on it and have the discipline and desire to do the things that will keep you fully alive into old age.
First of all your body’s health is the top of the list. As we age we eat less and don’t assimilate the nutrients in our food as well. Click on vitamin supplements to read why they are highly recommended and to make sure your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it need at the right dosage. It can be complicated and at the very least we need to take a recommended ‘One-a-day’ supplement meant for the elderly. Keeping body and mind active can make a tremendous difference on the well being and duration of your aging experience.
One fact I hadn’t fully expected is that as I get really old, less and less is expected of me and I have much more time to do with as I will. With all of today’s distractions, it is easy to be lazy mentally - old age is not only life-threatening but also mind-threatening - so I actually made a few resolutions this year to tether my tendency to drift. I printed them out and pinned them up so they are often in my face and give structure to my day. I’ve set aside definite times to exercise and to work on current projects related to my long term goals. I am finding I’m happier about wasting time when I have made every day count by doing something worthwhile to mark its passing. But the biggest effect I’ve notice even in the few weeks since doing it, is how much better and stronger I feel because I’m exercising regularly every day. Even though I have to force myself to be more active. I can see already that it has made a positive difference
One of my long term goals has to do with writing down my personal philosophy I’ve worked out over a lifetime and how the ‘world view’ has changed during my long life. Actually, back in 2010 in my first blog posting what I wrote still holds:
‘Most of what I’ve learned, insights I’ve had, and what goes on in my mind will be lost forever when I go. That is unless, of course, I should write. It’s sort of amazing that through the written word an ordinary person like me can leave a permanent record behind. I think each of us is unique and should leave some sort of written legacy - but it is not easy. Most of us are like me - not real ‘writers’ who are clever with words and have a compulsion to write but I often think what a wonderful gift it would have been if my grandparents who died before I was born had written something about themselves. Another advantage of the written word is that the reader has the choice to peruse what I have to say or not.
I’m planning to follow my own advice and fight the progress of the worst aspects of old age - my hope is to be fully alive and engaged as long as I live! Rie