3 Steps to Thriving as a Senior Citizen
by: Jane Snider, LPC.
I have always been fascinated by the Generational Terms that we use as a culture; The Greatest Generation, The Baby-Boomers, Generation X, and our newest group, The Millennials. What is exactly IS a generation? According to Wikipedia, it is many things, including “roughly thirty years”., and “Individuals born and living together at roughly the same time”. Notice the emphasis on the term “rough”. When my mother was 82 I asked her if life ever got easier. Her answer was, “No, but it gets different”. And so it does.
I am a “Boomer” and am blessed to have lived through some of the most interesting times of our country’s culture. Transitioning to each new decade has been fairly easy so far; each one brought new challenges, some new pain, some new joy and a lot of new learning!
In August I will be 70, and for the first time, I have trepidation. Does that mean I have to be old now?
So here is what I believe about being alive on the cusp of 70, here is what I think matters to me and maybe to you too.
- Believe in something.
Belief in the Creator and salvation is central to the lives of many people including me. Believe what you believe and, most importantly, live it. Believing in nothing at all leaves an old age that is rootless and drifting.
2. Belong to something.
Humans are pack animals. Get out and socialize at least once a day. Say hello to people on your daily walk; check in on family; join a church, a book group, coffee group or local wine tasters. Look for sports teams, YMCA, community parks and recreation opportunities. Work part-time; it will keep your life structured, productive, involved, (and a little wealthier).
3. Refresh your life periodically
It is important to continue to learn, question, explore and create. Recently, AARP had an article on President GW Bush who has become an accomplished artist since his retirement. He focuses on paintings of veterans and their lives and has flourished with new purpose and ability.
See the world with new eyes. My adventures have included traveling to China, getting a black belt in karate, working as an extra in a Hollywood movie and hot air ballooning.
Promise yourself that you will do or learn at least one new thing every year!
So, when should we be old?
Psalm 92:14: They will still yield fruit in old age. They will be full of sap and very green.