My husband and I just celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary. We met almost 50 years ago. We are getting old. The years have passed so quickly. We look older and, many days, feel older.
But I generally don’t mind. I care less about the passing years and more about being whole, having inner peace, being someone who still contributes to this world and who gives and receives love and affection.
Getting older doesn’t really bother many of us. In an article I wrote, I explain how we do our best to thrive and accept that as one chapter of our lives ends, the next chapter begins.
It is true that some of us navigate the aging process better than others. Here are some things that I have observed in my coaching practice about people who do well as they age. They have these traits in common and can be an inspiration to all of us who are trying to improve their outlook and attitude.
A Zest for Life and a Curiosity for Learning New Things
Being hungry for life is different for each of us. It depends if we are shy and introverted, or outgoing and extroverted, by nature. It is also influenced by our energy level and personality.
People who flourish as they age are open and like to try new things. They are curious and are actively involved in their surroundings. They meet new people, read different books, take up a new hobby or attend classes.
Some feel more comfortable with activities that are familiar while others seek more adventure, but neither group is stagnant. They are engaged in their lives and live fully.
Movement Is a Way of Life
Some have a regular exercise program, others don’t, but they are always in motion. They are out and about, meeting people, running errands, gardening or walking. Movement is part of their lives and not just a scheduled activity.
They have people around that they can depend on and who depend on them. Some are very involved with a large group of family members or friends in their community.
Others have a small intimate group of people around them. The number doesn’t matter. What does matter is their sense of having a support system, connection, affection and genuine concern with and for others.
Life happens to all of us. We all deal with challenges, whether they are financial, health-related or connected with personal relationships. I have learned that it is not what happens to us but how we react to it that defines the quality of our life.
People who thrive as they age find a way to get through the hardships and appreciate what life is still offering them. They are able to roll with the punches.
They accept and embrace the reality of what is in their lives today and let go of those things that didn’t work the way they wanted or envisioned. There is a recognition that we really don’t have control over everything that happens to us.
People who thrive recognize their past mistakes, let go of grudges and hard feelings and forgive themselves and others. They learn to accept their relationships with their family and friends, good or bad and can move on.
They know what they want and what they don’t want and make no apologies for being who they are. They don’t take on activities that they really don’t want to do just to be polite or spend a lot of time with people who make them unhappy. They are centered and know their place in the world.
I believe that we become more and more ourselves as we get older. We become more comfortable in this world and we realize what a wonderful gift this life is.
As Orpah Winfrey said, “Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me. I wake up every morning rejoicing that I’m still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better.”
What traits do you think are most important in living a healthy and happy life in your 60s? How would you describe your approach to aging? Please share your thoughts below!