General transcript to podcast, excerpt from Oddball the Resilience Guide
Age Me Better
We expect certain life events to occur at different stages of our life as we age. From childhood to adolescence, adulthood and older adulthood. Some are physical, while others are cultural expectations that may or may not be valid. Not everyone will do what society expects them to do. Grow up, go to school, get a career, meet a mate, have children, retire, and die.
Some will do some of these, some will do none. Some of these determine what joy we take in life. The freer we are to choose, the happier we feel. The more we do things out of sheer societal expectations, conditioning and entrainment, the more restricted our lives can become. I think that whatever you choose if you choose out of your own free will, and for the highest good, can be a way towards happiness and freedom.
From what I have observed being around older adults is that the more playful one is, the younger we feel. The more we express ourselves creatively, the more our brain stays active. The better care we take by eating healthy, fresh foods and moving in healthy ways by staying physically active, the longer we live. The more we keep learning and expanding ourselves intellectually and socially, the happier and snappier we stay. And the best news is, it’s never too late to start.
“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” —Ausonius
I think it’s entirely possible to age gracefully by living every moment as fully as possible. I wish I could impart upon the young population how we should learn from our elder’s wisdom and mistakes. We ought to embrace instead of mock or ignore anyone older than us. Too many people associate aging with our mortality. This means we avoid engaging with older people because they represent something the young do not want. Not all younger people do this of course but too many do and popular culture perpetuates it.
As for when we ourselves are older, many choose to be in denial and as result act and behave unbecoming for a mature adult. I’ve seen people 60 and older engaging in gossip, crazy romantic dramas, jealousy, and all kinds of silly but harmful behaviors. I see people dating much younger mates just to “stay” young or prove a point, not because they care for the person. This too is not exactly healthy. We do have freewill however, so if we choose these behaviors we should not be surprised if we find our lives unsatisfying.
I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t want to look “old” and depleted. I want to look and feel vibrant at any age. So far I’ve been fortunate due to genes and certain habits like exercise, sleep, dark (any) chocolate and infusing beauty in any way I can. I think if appearance is a huge concern, it actually enhances beauty in every way. When one takes care of oneself emotionally and spiritually, outer beauty is almost guaranteed. Beautiful things are not ancillary or arbitrary, they are necessary.
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” –Rumi
Wishing You Wholeness