Aging Well or The Fountain of Youth! – part 1

Today at the river!

This is a 5-part series on being young (thank you Chris9911) I’m hoping my readers will enjoy! There are 5 things that keep us young in life. Most important is our attitude about ourselves and our body.

The human body’s function of aging is about several kinds of things going on all at once. The mechanisms of the body (circulation, functioning of organs, hormonal activites, movements of skeletal and muscular structure and the synaptic energy of emitted thoughts and emotions from the brain) See wasn’t that easy (insert the word “huh?” here).

translation below (lol)

For most of us our body will do what we ask or need it to do subconsciously (blinking, processing thoughts,digesting food [burping lol], but what many of us aren’t aware is we have the capability of having much more control over the bodies functions than we are realize.

When we emote negativity the body feels it and becomes more sluggish. When we encounter tragedy or some other strong emotional event in our life we are at our greatest risk for illness (proven fact). When we are really happy, on the other hand, the body responds to that also and (believe it or not) your immune system becomes a little more capable of doing a better job for you.

So if it sounds like I’m saying we can accidently (key word there) make our bodies weaker with a negative attitude (BINGO) that is exactly what I’m saying! I am not saying that we can think ourselves well if we are sick, I am saying that with the right attitude we can improve the environment in our body so that our body wants to help itself get better.

Which brings me back to attitude and the aging thing. At a certain age people begin to start complaining about the various physical complaints in their body (usually it’s because they are less physical and perhaps some of their dietary habits aren’t what they could be. So I begin to hear these people say, “I’m getting old” with a million verbal variations on the theme.

This usually begins somewhere in the 40’s and progresses from there. Folks I gotta tell you, you are talking yourself into aging because your body is paying attention to what you are thinking and saying and your body obediently obeys the message you are sending to it (whether you are aware of this or not).

Some of the most vibrant and exciting people I have ever known are in their 80’s and 90’s+ and the thing that separated them from the flock of “over-the-hill” “old-timers” is they saw themselves as young and lived accordingly!

Simply put the greatest thing going for youthful longevity is the attitude you have about yourself, your body and how it ages! And I am a living testimony to that fact!

I am 65  yrs old, I have lived through disease, pain,the tragedy of multiple loss of loved ones and my attitude is still fundamentally unchanged – Live long and Prosper!

The Dying Place or a Loving Responsibility

There are those (many) that begin to need assistance as their age advances.Some time ago I was hired to produce a resource guide that would be a state publication. Its purpose, to assist family members in finding the information and resources needed to care for an aging member.

As a part of the project I went to many different establishments involved in the care of senior citizens.

The one I remember most was my visit to an assisted living residence. As I sat waiting to interview the manager there, seated near me was an older gentleman in a wheelchair, he had on a cowboy hat, wore cowboy boots, and had a rough weathered face. He looked to be quite a character.

I pleasantly said “Hello”. And he responded back. We began to talk. He told me he’d been a cowboy and had worked on a ranch for many years until he got his “bum leg” Which he tapped for me to see. He asked me if I was visiting someone there. I said no and explained why I had come to see the manager, to gather information about amenities and the services available.

He laughed. But it was a hollow sort of laugh and then he said softly in the loveliest low timber of voice, “Oh I can tell you everything you need to know”. He went on “This here’s the waiting place.”

“A waiting place” I asked? Curious as to his meaning. “Yup,” He replied, “it’s where you come to wait.” I wanted to understand what he meant by that so I said, “The waiting place?” And he answered. “Well, as I’ve got it figured out,” He paused a moment and then continued, “this is the place you come to wait until it’s time to go to the dying place.”

I knew where this was going but I couldn’t help myself so I said “The dying place?”

And he answered, looking directly into my eyes while he spoke. “Yes, the dying place, with rows of beds and nurses who come and go and you’re left alone to slowly die.

I did not make this up. This is a true story. He had accepted his lonely fate as he did not want to be a burden to his family. A BURDEN TO HIS FAMILY. If you haven’t visited any “residences”, care facilities, or nursing homes recently, I suggest you do so. It is a sad commentary on what has not only become permissible but is now considered to be the right thing to do in the enlightened country of the USA.

When we are young, most of us, are nurtured by the adults of our family, cared for and supplied with much of what we need to grow up and become responsible loving adults. Why is it then that those who did the caring when we were young do not receive the same love and care from their family when they become old? Why is caring for our elderly considered a “burden” when caring for our children is a “loving responsibility? …Why?Addendum:

I published this post last night, North American time, around midnight. I have received some very caring, concerned and loving comments responding to this post today. This afternoon, one comment in particular stood out from the rest, so compelling that I felt the need to add it here for all to see. Please read:

Christina ~

July 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I read some very powerful words a long time ago…wish I could remember where. The point — We send our little ones off to daycare and our elders off to nursing homes….we are a generation that lives perpetually in the present…no future (little ones) and no past (elders). It is a sad heartbreaking truth.

I (a new single mom) understand that having little ones and the need to care for elders can be more than challenging…but even a thoughtful gesture towards those that paved the way before us…visiting them, playing a game, reading…talking and learning…feeling loved and appreciated and most importantly feeling “needed”.

Every one of us has a unique story…and it breaks my heart that some stories are put away to be forever forgotten instead of valued, shared, cherished, and added to not only this but also future generations.

Yes, a tough situation…but if we each did a very small act, even once in a while…what a difference that would make!

Hey, Who turned out the lights?

Okay if you’re a died-in-the-wool whovian, (that would be a fan of the popular Dr. Who syndicated sci-fi tv show) no further comments are necessary about the title and photo. As it turns out I’m not a fan of the show. But I did watch a few episodes that were very well written and funny. “Silence In The Library” was one of those.

My title today is taken from that episode. In one of the scenes a guy wearing a space suit with an opaque (blacked out) viewing screen on his helmet has been zapped by an alien being and becomes one of them. But he doesn’t actually know it yet, or maybe he does…well anyway his final words keep repeating from the suit “…Hey who turned out the lights” as it replays in a loop his final thoughts. He (or should I say “it”) keeps turning up in various scenes throughout the episode repeating the same phrase.

I guess the point here is (yes there is a point it just took me a while to set the stage) how many times, do you suppose, does something unexpected happen in life, something so totally out of the blue that it throws you for a loop. Usually something completely unanticipated or so overwhelming that I’m thinking you probably feel like the spaceman who kept running through the library saying “Hey who turned out the lights?”

The other point, the important one actually, is what you do in those moments of unexpected situations or crises. Generally speaking most of us will go to the emotional place first. But after that – then what? There are always choices to make. You can stay frozen with fear, anger, sorrow, or in many cases – physical pain or you can try just a little more, maybe just one millimeter more to move on.

I hope I didn’t make it sound simple. Because it’s not simple or easy. It’s hard. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. And you may have to do this hard thing again and again and again. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do what needs to be done. Making hard choices defines who we are. It hones our character and the person we’ve yet to become. (I do know of what I speak –click on “Backstory”. It shares a little information about my past.)

Life is going to trip you up whether you want it to or not. It will be your choice in how you handle it. I, for one, want to be one of those able to find a spare light bulb and turn the lights back on. I know you can too. Really you can.