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    Six Reasons To Look Forward To Growing Old


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    Join date : 2014-08-13

    Six Reasons To Look Forward To Growing Old

    Post by Jan1 on Fri May 20 2016, 14:04

    FROM MARK SISSON at Mark's Daily Apple Site

    " As someone in his early sixties, I feel like I’m sometimes asked to be a spokesman for those in the “older” generations who are adamant (or even defiant) about staying smack in the center of life. I make no bones about my “live long, drop dead” philosophy (I even made accessories to the effect.) Numerous times I’ve shared that in some ways I’m just reaching what I consider my peak. There are days I genuinely think I’ve never had more fun, contentment and satisfaction in my life than I do right now. Unfortunately, the dominant culture pushes a different message for those of us over 50 (and definitely over 60). I’m talking about the message that these decades inevitably put us on the sidelines, ushering in an inevitable fade-out of all our faculties and enjoyments. But guess what? I’m here to tell you some good news: that doesn’t have to be your destiny. In fact, there’s a whole lot to look forward to as you grow older.

    It’s yet another bizarre, perturbing product of modernism that we don’t focus on the positive aspects of aging. The historical and sociological truth is that cultures throughout time have paid exceptional honor, respect, and social currency to their elders—and for good reason. Our primal ancestors undoubtedly depended on those with the most life experience to help support and teach critical survival skills and adaptive reasoning.

    In fact, a pivotal cultural boon in humanity’s evolution some 30,000-35,000 years ago came in large part, experts suggest, because of increasing longevity. Longer average lifespans meant more older people around who could pass on information and show the rest of the group how it’s done—not to mention offer childrearing support for the young members of their groups. The more life experience Grandpa Grok had, the more practice of many arts he could draw (and teach) from. The more years Grok had seen, the more scenarios and outcomes he could recall for reasoning and anticipating current conflicts and crises. Knowledge matters for survival, and without ample means of recording information (minus cave drawings), it needed to come straight from the direct instruction of older generations themselves.

    But I get it. In a society where aging too often coincides with the automatic surrender to preventable lifestyle diseases, we can get a grossly skewed impression. That said, when we take care of ourselves with a mind toward compressed morbidity (living as well and able-bodied as possible to the very end), our later decades can be some of our most satisfying. Maybe it’s time I accept that poster boy challenge after all.

    Sure, when I was younger I wouldn’t have anticipated this turn of events. I was too busy doing, striving, training, moving onto the next thing. As exciting as those years were with an elite athletic profession, a succession of business ventures, and (later) two small children, I frankly wouldn’t trade what I have now to go back. I was often tired, anxious, overworked, overtrained and, well, unhealthy compared to how I feel now. These days I’m enjoying so many things I didn’t have the time, focus or priorities to appreciate then. And it’s not just a matter of the dust having settled. I’m still busy! But there are aspects of me that have fundamentally changed—aspects that could only transform over the long arc of time and experience.

    In unfortunate contrast, youth more than ever today is set on a precarious pedestal with the message that these are your glory days; the only days you’ll feel good and be the center of attention. From a health perspective, it’s often a case of better live it up before your crummy habits catch up with you. From a developmental perspective, however, there’s something maybe even sadder—the assumption that your best times, your biggest joys, your most valuable achievements are behind you two to three decades in. No wonder so many young people struggle emotionally these days.

    Before I get to the research—to the specifics and stories—let me offer this in no uncertain terms. If you expect your life to be a static continuum of the same activities and ventures, the same routines and figures with equal to increasing gratification, you’ll very likely be disappointed.

    On the other hand, if you’re willing to trust your own life as an exploration through varying phases, interests and redirects, you’ll find that your later decades hold as much (if not more) capacity for depth, joy and enrichment as your younger years. Certainly good health can and will help, but attitude (I’ve so often said it) ultimately determines your course. And that (more than health) is always a choice. That crabby older man you know was probably a crabby younger man. Age, like alcohol, exacerbates the traits that were already there.

    As in every transition—whether it be reclaiming health, choosing a new career path, or having a child, your willingness to change and be changed will largely determine your success and contentment.

    Now let’s dig into some of these benefits.

    1. You may have more of a handle on your emotions

    2. You get better at relationships

    3. You may feel more content

    4. You gain new cognitive and creative abilities

    5. You may be more satisfied in your career

    6. You’ll be better at navigating life’s challenges"

    Read the complete article with all relevant links here

    All the best Jan

      Current date/time is Fri May 25 2018, 06:02