Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging
Linda and I were talking about her ensuing landmark birthday, and she said, “Connie, this birthday scares me!” She confided that she had never really been bothered by birthdays, but this was different. Her fear was palpable, and I took her confession seriously. My career in senior living and hospice has given me the unique and enriching opportunity to be around thousands of Elders. Consequently, I’m an expert as an observer, and in addition, I’m facing the same landmark birthdays myself.
Dr. Bill Thomas, author of The Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life, says there are three types of aging adults: the denialist, the realist, and the enthusiast. The goal is to move beyond the first two stages and arrive as an enthusiastic participant in the evolution of our own lives. A significant paradigm shift happens when we recognize the benefits to be gained by enthusiastically growing old.
Our fear is based on our lack of control. How will the last chapter(s) of my life go? How much time do I have? We live in the illusion that we have unlimited time until suddenly, a birthday reminds us that there is an expiration date. Spending more time focusing on that deeper life can move us towards a place of serenity. Living each day to the fullest is truly the only way to stay present. We have to stay goal-oriented. Compose our bucket list. Keep living life! It does help to confront our fears by opening up to a friend; after all, we’re all in this together!
“It is our choices... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J. K. Rowling