How do you define successful aging? There are 4 things that come to my mind when I think about aging successfully:
HAVE A PURPOSE IN LIFE
All too often we define ourselves by what we do...wife, mother, doctor, engineer, etc. But what happens when you retire or for whatever reason, you lose your job, or all the children leave home? For so many years you may have identified yourself according to your career. If you are not careful, you can experience a full blown identity crisis when you are no longer in that particular profession. This is where "having a purpose in life" comes in. To age successfully, you must have a clear sense of purpose in life. You must have a mission and know how you will make a contribution to the people you love, to the world you live in and most importantly, to yourself.
HAVE A YOUTHFUL AND POSITIVE ATTITUDE
It is important to look at the glass as half full and not half empty. Regardless of how old you are, if you live, you are going to age. Refuse to spend your time looking for things to "cure" aging. Expect the best out of life and remember that life will give you what you expect from it. Instead of expecting to be alone and unhappy, expect joy and excitement out of life. Remember, "As a man thinketh, so is he, and as a man chooseth, so is he." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson. So expect and choose the best!
LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
It only makes sense that if you want to age successfully you will exercise and eat the right foods and maintain a healthy body weight. Right? Well, unfortunately, more often than not, this is not the case. Tell yourself, "If it is to be, it is up to me," and decide that you owe it to yourself to take care of your body. Find an exercise that works for you and do it at least 3 times a week; eat a clean diet (fad diets just don't work!); cut back on caffeine; ease up on alcohol; stop smoking; and get enough sleep.
BE INTERESTED AND INTERESTING
Remember, boredom is okay from time to time, but over the long haul it can make you a boring person and a boring person is not fun or interesting. Continue to learn. Find something that you are interested in and pursue it. Be person who is dynamic and interested in the world.
Are you aging successfully? You are if you have a purpose in life, have a positive mental attitude, live a healthy lifestyle and are interested and interesting. If you fall short in any of these areas, remember aging well is your choice and you can change your direction. Here's to aging well!
So, you are an Empty Nester---your last child has grown up and is about to leave home or has already moved out. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, how would your rate your life as an empty nester? Do you suffer from Empty Nest Syndrome?
If you answered yes to one or more of these, you might be suffering from a case of Empty Nest Syndrome. Over time I have come to realize that many parents suffer from this. There's a feeling of sadness and loss, loneliness and disappointments, and perhaps each day is approached with fear and trepidation because you feel that you have outlived your usefulness and sense of purpose.
I remember hearing friends talk about how much they missed having their children around and how bad they felt when their children left home. I even had friends who moved from place to place trying to stay close to their son. Does this sound familiar?
Well, suffer no more! The Empty Nest Syndrome DOES NOT have to be your lot in life. It all starts with having a purpose in life.
John Schaar said, "The future is not some place we are going but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination." What is your purpose in life?