Vail Daily column: Comfortable with who you are
July 28, 2015
Chances are if you are not yet comfortable with who you are, you may not be old enough. Sometimes, with age comes the discovery of knowing who you are and what truly makes you happy and content. Getting old is not all bad.
I recently read an article in the science journal "Nature" about a clinical trial utilizing a diabetes drug called metformin. The article was about how "doctors and scientists want drug regulators and research funding agencies to consider medicines (metformin) that delay aging-related disease as legitimate drugs." According to the article, researchers want to prove that a drug can delay aging.
AGING IS NOT A BAD THING
Aging does not need to be fought off ,and it does not have to threaten our self-worth. While American society at large may be consumed with being young and pretty, there is a comfort that comes with age.
Ask most anyone if they would go back in time and relive their junior high and high school years and most will probably say they would not. Aging enables many people time to become comfortable with who they are and understand their purpose in life.
Do we really want scientists messing with the natural order of life? All life has a beginning, middle and end. From the planets and stars within the solar system to the smallest living organism, everything comes to an end at some point. The journey is exciting and should be enjoyed.
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In many parts of the world, the elderly are revered and society views them as a source of power and wisdom. In these societies, aging is equated with respect and becoming better. Some cultures believe a long life is considered a reward for righteous living.
I believe that our elders should be venerated, treated with deference and respect. The knowledge and guidance our elders possess is significant to the survival of our world.
AGING CAN BE EXCITING
Unfortunately, within American culture there is a fear of death and thus, in some respect, a fear of aging. We are all going to get older. So are you going to enjoy it and even look forward to the process?
An important key to enjoying the aging process is to make sure that you continue to work toward having new experiences, goals and doing things you love.
No matter how many times life carries you around the sun, stay young at heart and curious about everything. Share your stories and life lessons with someone else. While you may not be able to control the aging process, you don't have to be old in the traditional sense. Stay healthy and be young at heart.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CONTROL
Health is a multifaceted concept that includes both physical and mental aspects. While you can't always control your physical and mental health, you can often control your perspective and how you adapt to your changing circumstances.
Our thoughts and emotions have the ability to create tangible changes to our bodies. If you have experienced chronic ill health and disability, then you may have to make adjustments to your way of life.
There is nothing wrong with reaching out to others to help with your personal needs. Being conscience of what you can and cannot do, and knowing your limitations still leaves way for gaining focus on those things you can do. A renewed sense of purpose and meaning in life lies around the corner.
ATTITUDE IS IMPORTANT
My grandmother lived a good life well into her 90s. While there were time of stress, sadness and ill health, she was the consummate optimist. She always kept busy. When time and physical abilities allowed, she engaged in the activities she enjoyed. As her capabilities diminished, she adjusted and found new meaning in activities she had not before considered. In her kitchen, hung on a wall, was a saying she held dear. It now hangs in my kitchen and I am reminded of her fortitude every time I read it:
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."
Our psychological attitude towards life may determine the quality and duration of our latter years. Since how we age has so much to do with our attitudes and beliefs, such a shift in perspective could make a world of difference.
Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. For more information, go to http://www.visitingangels.com/comtns or call 970-328-5526.
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