Actively Aging

Society’s perceptions of the aging process are fraught with conservative, sedentary, and even lonely visions of a grey-haired person sitting in a rocking chair. Quietly watching life play out in front of them; a silent spectator to the view of life.

Many feel the pressures to live as a spectator as they grow older. Society has put that pressure on older individuals by telling them they can’t do certain things or that their value has diminished as their hair has grown grey and their skin wrinkled. This mindset not only creates limitations and barriers to happiness but also diminishes participation in life.

It may seem easier to be a spectator at times. By not extending ourselves, we maintain routine and know what is coming next. We also don’t risk failure or possible embarrassment from being unable to complete something. There is certainly less risk by continuing with what society expects and keeping things the same, but without risk, is there true enjoyment?

The lady pictured above is 72 years old and is actively living her life. The sense of accomplishment after water skiing can only be described as exhilarating! This week, while visiting my mother in law, I noticed a change in her energy level and strength. She has recently joined a gym and is finding life satisfaction, fulfillment, and newfound friendships by taking this risk.

I can only aspire to do the same. I will refuse to listen to those that say my life needs to slow down as my children grow up. I plan to wring everything I can out of my life.

I want to grow old pushing to engage and to be a truly active participant in life. You cannot only actively grow old, but you can also find love, and fulfillment, continue to contribute, work, volunteer and pass on so much to others.

I don’t want to grow old as a spectator of life. I want to be an active participant.

I challenge all my peers and those that are older to push the limits and continue to actively grow older. Let’s not sit by and allow society to put us in a corner. We have so much more to give!

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