May 5, 2020 Blog No Comments

The image of aging, when I was young, is sure different than the reality. Now, I’m aware that there is so much more to getting older than getting old. Thankfully, there’s a world of new attitudes out there about aging.

I had a birthday in the midst of the Covid-19 restrictions. As a May Day baby, I just had my first maypole dance a few years ago; as the picture suggests, it was a wild party. I’d love to do it again, but no, now we’re challenged to celebrate. With plenty of outdoor space, good social distancing, a fire, party lights, BYO everything and just a few people, my birthday was perfect.

I have no intention of getting old.  I think I take after my aunt, who became my Mom. She’s going to be 101 this year and is still going strong. She said when asked how she feels about being 100 – “Oh? I don’t feel that old”. How old do you feel, Mom? “Well, about 57”. Yup, I get it.

If you can keep that attitude, you never get old. So, what constitutes aging without getting old? Here are some thoughts that correlate to doing something for your mind, emotions, body and soul.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW – For Your Mind

Keeping the joy of learning is important. There’re many articles about the value of keeping your mind stimulated by learning and staying challenged. It is like a muscle that has to be used to stay fit. If you let go of the interest in learning, you get soft.

Some people like cross word puzzles, Words With Friends, Scrabble, reading, art, music, travel. It all works. It is the stimulation and rise in excitement of stretching yourself that is the point. Mastering technology to keep myself viable in my work is doing that for me. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to traveling, which is also a great stimulus.

RECLAIM THINGS YOU LOVE  – For Your Emotions

Life has a way of moving fast, forcing us to let go of the interests and hobbies we once loved. One of the advantages of getting older is having more time to reclaim and rekindle the flames of excitement and joy doing something or being with people you love.

I used to love gardening and was passionate about canoeing, especially wilderness canoeing. I just planted a vegetable garden after letting nature reclaim it for the past 15 or more years. I love the planning, the planting, watching things grow and then eating something fresh. I hope to reclaim canoeing again too, so it is more than a once a year event. It fully involves me and restores my soul. Then there is being with those you love – really being present like you didn’t have time to do before. Ahh life does get more emotionally rich this way.

STAY FIT – For Your Body

We know this – we know we need to eat healthy and stay fit if we want to combat the negative effects of aging. The value to staying healthy far outweighs the sacrifice and discipline of following through. Staying fit makes you physically and psychologically feel younger.

So, what does that mean for you? It is never too late to eat healthy or to exercise. I try to do both daily. It gets harder to keep weight off as our metabolism decreases. So, staying active is essential. The discipline needed to stay fit has the self-perpetuating reward of helping you stay and feel younger. You must decide if it’s worth it.

LOOK FORWARD, BE SPIRITUAL– For Your Soul

Your soul is always positive, forward thinking, feeling, and believing. It finds, values and pushes you into the things I’ve  mentioned, learning something new, reclaiming things you love, staying fit and finding meaning in going forward. Most of all, it seeks and finds meaning, especially spiritual meaning for all that you do.

Giving your soul room to explore, grow and develop meaning in your life is one of the most satisfying and enriching aspects of getting older. As you develop the spiritual awareness of  your purpose and value, love, compassion and kindness overtake the darker forces of competition. You can feel yourself grow from the inside out with  a lively, happy, youthful and satisfying perspective on life. For me, it is like the magic elixir of youth. Seek it in any way that calls to you – prayer, meditation, reading, mindfulness, religion – and then make it a practice.

Aging doesn’t mean you have to get old and become obsolete. There are ways to maintain meaning and vitality with your mind, emotions, body and spirit. Keep your mind active and stimulated. Allow yourself to do the things and be with those you love. Keep your body fit. And most of all, give your soul room to explore and develop spiritual meaning in your life. You will find, as I have, that you can stay young as you get older.

Is aging something that worries you or challenges you? If you would like to explore your options to staying young at heart, reach out. You can learn how my Transformational Coaching and Counseling services help you find your potential at any stage of life you are in at www.spectrumtranformation.com . Use my Free Consultation link to reach me. I would be happy to hear from you.

 Photo Credit – My Maypole Birthday by Andrew Brinkhorst

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Written by Connie Milligan, LCSW
If there is anything I’ve expressed that speaks to you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at my email, connie [at] conniemilligan [dot] com