Everyone ages at a different pace. Genetics play a huge role, of course, but so does attitude. The person with the upbeat, “can-do” attitude who has approached all aspects of their life with this outlook will obviously handle aging in the same manner. Their ability to accept the subtle changes in physical abilities, the gradual reversing of parent/child roles and the dubious arrival of the golden years will help maximize their continued positive life experiences.
We cannot dispute a changing of gears and focus as we get older, but these shifts can also provide opportunities for new experiences and goals. The door never closes (well, until…you know) on the possibility of accomplishing new feats. There is a certain freedom associated with seniors and aging when they no longer have to worry about the day to day responsibilities of job and family. It is an opportunity to do something for themselves. There can still be so much life to experience if one embraces it as such.
According to the Business Insider, these inspirational seniors chose to “age” in the following manner:
- At 90, Marc Chagall became the ﬁrst living artist to be exhibited at the Louvre museum.
- At 91, Allan Stewart of New South Wales completed a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of New England.
- At 92, Paul Spangler ﬁnished his 14th marathon.
- At 93, P.G. Wodehouse worked on his 97th novel, was knighted and died.
- At 94, comedian George Burns performed in Schenectady, NY, 63 years after his ﬁrst performance there.
- At 95, Nola Ochs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma.
- At 96, Harry Bernstein published his ﬁrst book, “The Invisible Wall,” three years after he started writing to cope with loneliness after his wife of 70 years, Ruby, passed away.
- At 97, Martin Miller was still working fulltime as a lobbyist on behalf of beneﬁts for seniors.
- At 98, Beatrice Wood, a ceramist, exhibited her latest work.
- At 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji.
- At 100, Frank Schearer seems to be the oldest active water skier in the world.
And, of course, one doesn’t have to write a novel to feel that sense of personal reward. It could be as simple as planting a flower and watching it grow, trying a new recipe or just getting out for a walk each day. As long as it is something, anything that will bring them a sense of personal achievement. Everyone has different interests and levels of ability that will gauge their sense of reward.
Sometimes being in a group setting can add a little impetus for embracing an activity. Taking a class or joining a group which shares the same interest can be a positive influence. And there are many such groups designed for seniors.
At The Pines, Bethel’s residence for independent seniors, the residents recently organized an Art Exhibit showcasing their work which included black and white photography, water colors, an illustrated children’s book, quilting and more. It was very inspirational to see the talent of these seniors. It buoyed their spirits as well as those who attended the wine and cheese reception.
I do believe attitude is the key, whatever one’s age or goal, in accomplishing anything, especially when there are adverse factors in play. It’s easy to be happy and motivated when all is well, the real achievement is becoming, or staying motivated, when there are challenges.
This is true whatever our age! Let’s stay positive with regular attitude adjustments. A little tweaking here and there can help us stay on track.