Thursday Thoughts about Aging With Happiness!

My cousin just celebrated her 90th birthday!  She is almost 30 years older than I am because she was born to my daddy’s oldest sister when, my daddy was just 6 years old!

I want to be just like her when I turn 90!  She is surrounded by grand kids and great-grand kids! She is healthy, short of having taken a fall last year that resulted in a little orthopedic surgery. She buries herself in genealogy work that she began decades before the existence of the internet. She is a happy woman now, and she has always been a happy woman!

When I think about my cousin, Mary, I realize that she and I must share some extra “happy genes” from those ancestors that she has so well documented!  Mary’s own father died when she was a toddler, and she lost her husband before she ever reached middle-age. She raised two sons as a single mom, before single parenting was recognized as part of our culture.  She never remarried, and she taught her children to continue to love and respect the father they had lost. Her grandchildren chat about the grandfather that they don’t really know and that I barely remember. Family means everything to Mary, and those that have passed on before us remain an integral part of her family.

Aging can be a negative experience for many people.  Negative thinking and depression unfold as we reach a certain point in life. It is easy to focus on the bad things that are happening around us because we feel like we no longer have the ability to change things and set things straight.

The old cliché “Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill” is very much a part of the aging process because folks spend more downtime dwelling on events.  It is easier to make assumptions about new people we meet, because we don’t want to take the time to get to know them better. As we age, we tend to pass blame more frequently and, at the same time, we accept blame without taking time to realize that we “aren’t so old” that we made a mistake.

Oh, we need to change our ways! Those of us who work with the aged population need to help them change their ways, too!  We youngsters need to maintain a cheerful attitude so we can spread that joy to those in our charge. We need to focus on the fantastic things that are happening in our lives and engage our elders to tell us about the most joyful things that they’ve experienced! We need to focus on being grateful for everything … every meal, ever friendship, every single day with sunshine (or rain)!

I really do hope that I am just like Mary when I am 90.  I want to forever challenge my mind to continue learning. I want to keep my heart thumping out extra shares of love for other people. I want my great grand kids (or great grand doggies) surrounding me!  For me, aging will be a positive experience!

At Integrity Healthcare Communities, we focus daily life on all the positives we can find! Our care teams understand the importance of smiles and good deeds!  We reward staff who go above and beyond the call of duty to keep your loved ones happy. We are Integrity!  We are Care You Can Trust!