Do you hear the Beatles playing? “They say it’s your birthday….” Well, as I face my final year in my sixties, I would like to share how successful aging begins in our minds.
I am pointing to the word CHAMPIONS on the Minion backdrop today…because I want to be a champion in successful aging.
In recent months, I began to allow aging to get to me….
Maybe it was…my little grandson touching my face and then saying, “Gigi, you are old.” I replied, “Why do you say that, Beck?” Then he said, “Because your chin feels old.”
Hmmm….Yes, I ran to the mirror shortly after and looked at my chin!
Maybe it was….when a guy on Instagram looked at one of my videos and said…”You are too old to be in this space.”
Maybe it was….the dermatologist saying…”Sorry, these age spots are going to get worse and worse…you just have that in your genes”
Maybe it was… the new wrinkles that popped out
Maybe it was….my hammertoes curling even more
Maybe it was…the lady who told me I wasn’t real if I didn’t go gray now…then told me shortly after she gets regular Botox treatments….Real?
Maybe it was….watching my rather large backside run out the front door on the Ring Video when I was attacked…later that video horrified me for more than one reason.
Maybe it was……simply the thought of turning 69!
SUCCESSFUL AGING BEGINS IN OUR MINDS
During this time, I decided to clean out an old box of my mother’s things and there were pictures inside.
She did not age successfully…anything but…however it was due to her thinking…the self-pity messages she played over and over again in her mind.
I know it is hard to see pictures taken of really old pictures, but I so hope you can see the woman I see.
Perhaps for the first time, I was struck with how beautiful and stylish she was.
Below, on Christmas Day she is wearing white high neck silk pajamas with large earrings on Christmas Day.
I never remember that side of her…only the depressed, disappointed and angry side.
As I have written before, she did have reasons to be upset, but allowed those reasons to consume her to the point of making everyone around her miserable.
She chose to own the role of a victim…rather than the role of an overcomer.
These pictures were exactly what I needed to shake me back into my joyful, hopeful thinking.
SUCCESSFUL AGING POINTS
Aging happens…wrinkles happen…toes curl…spots come….
So, it is a choice to experience successful aging in our minds.
Of course, I understand that as we age, the mental part becomes even more of a challenge.
However, we can choose to live one day at a time with optimism no matter what we face.
My successful aging points begin with just that…
- Taking life one day at time
- Focusing on the blessings…not the problems
- Believe that all challenges can be faced with hope
- Learning to laugh at myself
- Doing my best not to compare myself to others or internalize negative comments
- Have fun with what I enjoy
- Practice thankfulness
- Pray without ceasing
A woman I greatly admire, Elizabeth Elliot, wrote: “Refuse self-pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is a deadly thing with power to destroy you.”
I know this first -hand…it destroyed my mother.
I choose to have successful aging as my mantra in this year at 69!
A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION ABOUT SUCCESSFUL AGING
Because my birthday is on a week/work night, Mr. B and I celebrated last weekend.
The Minions are at the movie theater.
He kindly submitted himself to a delightful movie where he was the only male in the theater…Mrs. Harris goes to Paris.
Here is a wonderful re-make set in the 1950s of a woman who had every reason to live in self-pity…yet she fell for an original Christian Dior gown and it takes her on a journey.
I am trying not to share too much story, because I hope you will attend or see the movie at some point…you will love it.
A story of hope wrapped in a designer gown. For more about the lovely, classic fashion in the movie read: Mrs. Harris goes to Paris re-creates Dior couture
Mrs. Harris is aging successfully with the mental acumen that reflects joy, kindness, grace, thankfulness, hope…and she is rewarded for these attributes.
Such a great message for all of us seeking successful aging during such a time as this.
Afterwards we had a delicious grilled Alaskan salmon dinner….for San Antonians…try Embers!
The only dessert I wanted for my birthday was ice cream…I haven’t had any in months since I began my healthy eating plan.
Thankfully, the Weight Watchers App helped me to identify which of my favorite ice creams would fit into my points.
Another favorite is at Cold Stone called Cake Batter and it was off the charts not within my points! So sad….
The winner was…..Baskin & Robbins Praline’s & Cream…this has been a favorite for years.
Better than a birthday cake for me….I do believe successful aging includes a treat now and then!
Oh yes…and I am in one of those dresses again. I do not lie when I say this excessive heat wave has kept me in dresses!
SUCCESSFUL AGING WITH A SMILE
Here is the big finish….a picture of me as a ballerina! I took lessons for years, but it was toe shoes that sent me to tap!
The good news is that I am still smiling as I was then and as I enter that last year in my sixties.
Of course there have been tough times…many…but today I choose to leave them in the past and enjoy each and every minute I have here with family, friends…and YOU!
I hope you will join me as we go through successful aging together!!
KEEP SMILING…NO MATTER YOUR AGE!!
By Pamela Lutrell
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