MsDora, former teacher and counselor, is fascinated by the prospect of joyful aging. She explores and shares habits of happy seniors.
While there is no standardized process of aging, there is the personal urge to evaluate the transition from the climb upward to the climb downward on our journey through life. Responsible older folk want to know that they are making a positive impact on the younger travelers, by showing them how to age gracefully (with dignity and elegance) and wisely (applying the lessons they have learned).
Following are 30 clues (by no means exhaustive) divided into five categories, which signify aging with grace and wisdom. Rate yourself now, and chart your improvement whenever you choose to evaluate yourself again. The process of aging gracefully and wisely is progressive.
1. Instead of sighing when you stop to catch your breath, you smile at the memory of fun things which took your breath away.
2. You become less concerned with what people say and more concerned with what God knows.
3. Requests to receive become less and less, and your desire to share becomes more and more.
4. You are grateful for the thorns that protect your roses, and you accept that the accidental prick on your finger is nothing personal against you.
5. You focus on the strength of your inner beauty rather than the decline of your physical body.
6. You appreciate the person you have become, and you empower others with stories of the struggles you have overcome.
7. You wear a beaming smile which suggests that you have discovered the secret of happiness.
8. You model elegance not only in your style of fashion, but also in your disposition.
9. You wear outfits that you do not have to pull down before you sit down.
10. Your clothes are suitable for your shape and size, decent enough to unveil your discretion, and modest enough to expose your maturity.
11. You wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection “every day of the year, even on cloudy days” (per Ashley Brissette, M.D., professor of ophthalmology) not only because they make you look chic, but also to lessen your chances of cataracts.
12. You walk confidently in footwear chosen because they provide a comfortable gait more than uncomfortable glamor.
13. You eat to live (not live to eat), enjoying fruits and vegetables, foods rich in fiber, and in the company of friends or family members whenever possible.
14. You adjust from your once-youthful cravings for excessive sweets and spices, to following your doctor’s orders on foods to include or exclude for healthy aging.
15. You sip water regularly instead of waiting until you’re thirsty (and if that makes you go to the restroom often, you take the opportunity to practice walking the runway).
16. You eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure, which according to the Tibetan Proverb, is the secret to living well and longer.
17. You feed your appetite for wholesome companionship by nurturing connections with good old friends, and by hanging out with them in appropriate places where you might find new ones.
18. You feed your appetite for adventure by taking on new challenges: a low-impact exercise routine, a recipe, writing or reciting a poem, sending an email, or any other activity that keeps your mind stimulated and engaged.
19. You balance your healthy diet with 30 minutes of physical exercise, even three 10-minute sessions throughout the day. (Dietary Guidelines for Americans)
20. You try to keep up with basic media devices (cell phones, tablets, smart TVs, and the like) but you have no problem asking a ten-year-old for help.
21. You organize your outings as well as you can, so that you do not need to blame forgetting (sunshades, masks et cetera) on memory loss.
22. You volunteer at service organizations, teach a class at church, host a party for seniors or engage in some other activity that gives you a chance to share your wisdom and gain some sense of purpose.
23. You donate to charitable organizations, not only to practice generosity but also to re-gift some valuable items you have never, and will never use.
24. You engage in gardening, in walking a pet daily, or in any activity which exposes you to the fresh air outdoors and enhances your mood.
25. You associate with folks who encourage you to keep chasing your dreams, even after your feet begin to ache.
26. You have one or more friends with whom you socialize, offset loneliness, share your concerns, and give and receive encouragement.
27. You keep one or two younger individuals on your list of close friends, just in case all the friends in your age group move on ahead of you.
28. Younger people, including children, are attracted to you for the kindness of your words and your deeds.
29. Younger men and women seek your counsel, and trust you to be fair.
30. You maintain connection with God through daily prayer and meditation, as often as possible.
- How to Age Gracefully, Wisely and Cheerfully
External applications of face creams and skin lotions may aid good looks, but aging gracefully is supported more definitely by internal applications of virtues like gratitude, contentment and joy.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Dora Weithers