Are You Aging Well?
WE’RE ALL AGING. Time is relentless. It keeps coming and going – all the time! You’re now 1 second older than you just were a moment ago. Did you make the most of that second? There goes another one.
THE IDEA OF AGING HITS MANY ADULTS HARD AT SOME POINT OR ANOTHER. A long time ago you were growing up – now you’re growing ___ ! (I don’t even want to type the word out). I had occasion to think of this as I read a recent overview (and watched this video) from Ken Dychtwald of Agewave on the Aging of America. The article focuses on the macro issues for an aging society. Of course, it made me think how I, and my clients, are “aging”. The following are some ideas or concepts Dychtwald presents to help you think of how you are doing:
PURPOSE FOR MATURITY. As you approach your mature years, what will you become? For most, family and career (or job) have provided the path towards our future. But with those out of the way, this can pose a dilemma for many. The reasons to get out of bed have changed. What will they be for you?
NEW CHALLENGES. Do you look forward to new things in your future? Are you willing to accept failure at this point in your life? Or, are you content with what you know? Do you have the energy for new endeavors?
PHYSICAL HEALTH. As we all know, our personal health is key. It is our foundation. Have you done enough to maintain good health? How do you feel? Are you physically or emotionally burned out? Do you have energy? Are you active? How will you challenge your mind and stay sharp?
RELATIONSHIPS. Are your relationships healthy? Do they need repair? Will more time with the people you are close to improve or worsen these relationships? Are the people you want to spend more time with available? If they are, do they want spent time with you?? Are you open to the vulnerability of introducing yourself to new people?
YOUR EXPERIENCE. How will you go about using the experience you have accumulated over the years? Will it go waste? Maybe you can’t use all of it, but there is certainly some that will come in handy. Or will it simply fade away?
HAPPINESS. Of course! How will you pursue happiness throughout your mature years? Will you continue to enjoy what you had enjoyed in the past? Will regrets take hold and crowd out aspirations?
THESE ARE ALL IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS AS WE ENTER THIS NEW PHASE OF LIFE. It is likely you are preparing for this without even thinking of them in this way. But it’s a good idea to assess your personal situation as well as your financials as you prepare for retirement.
DO YOU THINK OF YOURSELF AS OLD OR AGING? For what it’s worth, the 90 year olds in a nursing home don’t think of themselves as old. In their community, they point to the people over 100 as the “old folks.” Something to consider.