Does growing older get in your way?
Aging Matters

No matter where you are in life, especially at 60 and beyond, there are things to consider in terms of having fun, finding passion, and creating a circle of support.

This week in the Elder Orphan Facebook Group, a member posts the statement, "Do not allow loneliness to lower your standard." For the sake of the column, my statement to, "Don't let growing older limit your mindset and outcome." Ask, "What limits do I place upon myself as I get older?"

An article in Psychology Today, reminds us to pay attention to what our minds say, and offers three warning signs:

  • Beliefs influence behavior - if you believe that you're capable, competent, and deserving of your dream job, you're probably more likely to notice and seek opportunities that could help you get there.
  • Your Beliefs Influence Others Behavior - People who see their partners in an idealized light become more satisfied with their relationships over time, experience less conflict, and are more likely to stay together.
  • Beliefs Impact Health - Middle-aged adults who held more positive beliefs about growing older live an average of 7+ years longer than those who held more negative beliefs. In a number of other studies, optimistic people were found less likely to develop heart disease or other conditions.

Each of us has gifts and talents that can make a lasting impact. When nearing retirement or career, some look for greater significance. A friend retired a month ago, and he's ready to get back to work! Instead of going back to work, which could distract his 'real' yearning, maybe he should consider time and pause over these questions by Karl Moore, professor at the Desautels Faculty.

  • How have your passion and interests evolved to shape your purpose?
  • How do they connect to your interests and dreams from your early days?
  • What pursuits would inspire and give meaning to you?--What impact would you like to make on others?

"The nice thing about leisure is you don't have to spend a lot of money on it," says Ken Dychtwald, CEO, Age Wave. "Sometimes the best moments are with your grandchild or watching a beautiful sunrise or playing piano for the first time in your life at age 71. Leisure is not just killing some hours, but a transformation of oneself. And people are experiencing it with gusto."

What about you? Do you experience life with gusto? Are you doing things you enjoy? I'm trying, but have so much more to do.

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Carol Marak, aging advocate and editor at She's earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.

Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column

Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.

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