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Why I Am Upbeat About Growing Old, And You Should Be Too!

I decided that freaking out about my 70th birthday last May wasn’t going to change anything. When I look back at it I think the shock of turning 70 set in about a year ago.

No one wants to take a really hard look at the latter part of life because it raises a lot of questions… all with a finger in the fear pie. Yeah, looking at the last quarter of life can be upsetting… if you let it be.




Like most of us I’d never given much thought to growing old. After all, I was busy with work and career, raising a family, being a father and trying to keep up with social media. There was a definite surprise waiting for me in my late 60’s. Life, and my role in it, was about to change.


There wasn’t much I could do about my body turning 70. The days are going to roll by, and the facts are the facts, unless you’re into time travel. My youth is a distant memory and heck, even middle age is gone too. There are a couple of other signs that the body has been around for a while, got some mileage on it. And, still the clock is running. Obviously, I’ll keep going until time runs out. Over this there is no control.


However, what is available to me, and to you, is the part we do have control over – our thoughts. I was starting to think it might be time to adjust the way I think about being in the final quarter of my life. The age process causes thoughts; thoughts about the deeper life questions and the meaning of life kept surfacing. There is much to contemplate and distinguish. Yeah, I’m still working on that meaning of life thingy.


When one dives into ageing these days you find that you’re not alone in your questioning. My reading list grew and so did my view of ageing. There have been many surprisingly wonderful conversations. The questions I’ve had were shared by many others. Seems like I was in good company.


Even though it’s vitally important to plan your finances, housing, insurance, funeral arrangements, etc., these areas didn’t interest me so much. There are plenty of professional and reliable people catering to those needs. No, my interest blossomed in the areas of personal development and mental preparation to becoming an elder.


How does one prepare for the inevitable changes yet to come… not knowing what they are? What diagnosis I might come my way, will I pre-decease my wife or she me, or which day will be my last? The key is in the personal development and mental preparation work yet to be done to achieve full acceptance of whatever is to come.


We know life as one huge individual experiment and experience. Our experiences are all different and they are all unique to us. That is what we have in common, our uniqueness. So, in the face of not knowing the future, the joy in ageing must be in our own individual experience, whatever that might be. None of us can predict the future.


As each day becomes more and more precious. The experiences we have, both the bad ones and the good ones, are for us alone. They are there for a reason and a purpose that only each of us can determine. The lessons learned, the experiences we have are personal and, if taken with an optimistic air will serve us on our journey to the finish line.


Firstly, I am upbeat about growing older simply because that’s all there is; and secondly, I am upbeat about growing older because it is a privilege to have these days to reflect upon the important and meaningful experiences I am meant to have… And, you should be upbeat too.




 

Rick Lelchuk lives in North Central Florida with his wife, Lynn, and their two cats. He is the author and facilitator of the Authentic Ageing Workshops conducted locally and soon to be available online. His mission is to transform thinking about growing old from one of stereotyped fear to one of awed experience.


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