Ageing Gracefully – Life After 60
It is at this stage the body metabolism slows down, and by changing our attitude it is possible to make growing old a celebration. Unlike in the West where individuals are encouraged to be active and independent at all ages, in Eastern cultures, with age, individuals are expected to move towards detachment and spiritual growth.
Pressures of ageing hit both men and women. On the family front, men find time heavy on their hands post-retirement from work .Women face an empty nest after a lifetime of working and caring for their families.
With the physical changes which come from menopause, the body metabolism slows down and individuals entering their sixties are prime candidates for physical and mental ailments.
While we fret over ageing, it is important to remember that growing old is a privilege denied to many. By changing our attitude to old age, it is possible to make growing old a celebration.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt (Tweet this)
Life after 60 and ageing gracefully is something that is natural—in fact we age every time we draw a breath.
Place no Expectations
Standing as we are in today’s world, where nuclear families are the norm, senior citizens find themselves in a tenuous position. The sexagenarians of today are a generation which grew up taking care of the elders in their families with joint and extended families being the norm. The senior citizens often expect the same of their children.
The children of this generation have had the benefits of higher education and with the world truly shrinking often move away from home to grow in their career. The generation in their forties today, despite their best intentions, are often not able to be there for their parents when their parents need them the most.
This gives rise to feelings in the seniors of being unwanted and unloved, and worse, of being let down by the very children for whom they sacrificed so much. The first change to bring about is to place no expectations on children.
The Western idea of independence and keeping active are well worth adapting. We free ourselves from much heartburn when we love our children unconditionally.
Keep a Positive Frame of Mind
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. ~ Mark Twain (Tweet this)
Instead of viewing aging as lost youth, one should view it as a new stage of opportunity and growth. By the time we enter the sixties, we are done with the duties of child rearing and working to meet financial commitments. Staying well and ageing gracefully can add value to life.
With age comes experience that younger generations can largely learn from. This stage of life can be used to learn a new skill, try a new hobby, travel to a new place, take up physical fitness or get involved in a charitable activity.
One has to shift focus to a new opportunity to contribute one’s skills and effort to regain meaning in life. Eastern cultures have an ingrained respect for age and experience which makes ageing a natural and easy process. As one ages, one is expected to cultivate detachment and grow spiritually.
Taken in today’s context, it can be interpreted to mean evolving from the mundane everyday activities and looking inward. Taking up practices like meditation, introspective walks, light physical exercises and healthy eating go a long way in bringing and restoring mental and physical fitness.
Cultivate the Attitude of Gratitude
The spirit of gratitude and thankfulness for all blessings received liberates us from the fear of what the future might bring. As the adage goes, it is not the moments in life but the life in moments which really counts.
Here, the live example of Bengaluru’s Pizza Grannies comes to mind. At the age of seventy plus years, these two ladies started and made a great success of their home catering unit.
Using the profits of the business, they bought a plot of land and built a retirement home for senior citizens. These units operated on a commercial basis and profits were diverted to providing housing and medical care for seniors who do not have families to care for them.
Conclusion – Ageing Gracefully
Finally, here’s an apt quote from the epitome of timeless-aging, Sophia Loren: “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life, and the lives of people you love.
When you learn to tap “this source, you will truly have defeated age.” Ageing gracefully develops and enhances desirable qualities of your personality while lessening undesirable ones.