I reconnected with a wonderful elderly woman the other day when I drove her across town to visit some friends. I had met her once before and, on that occasion, I was immediately blown away as to how amazing she looked, and this time was no exception. Her silver hair was beautifully styled, and the gorgeous, flowing pantsuit she was wearing was in one of my favourite colours – a pale lavender – although she shared that she preferred to call it hyacinth. She spoke very clearly and held herself straight, but not in a forced way, as we walked to my waiting car. It was obvious that I was in the company of someone who had managed to stay ‘young and vital’ as she was growing older. Continue reading “So how do we stay young and vital while we’re growing older?”
I received a lesson in posture the other day – from a 7-month-old girl! Not the source of inspiration I would have ordinarily expected (on this topic), but one that was oh so very welcome. She has only begun to crawl around and sit up, and this particular day I was stunned to see the ease in which she achieved it. But it wasn’t the ease of the transition that grabbed my attention but how she sat, perfectly balanced and ever so straight without any tension in her body at all. As she sat, she was very still but at the same time, she seemed to be aware of everything that was going on around her. Continue reading “Posture and the Ageing Body”
When I stop and observe the health of people around me and humanity’s health in general, it seems to me that we have come to accept many things in the medical field as normal when in truth, they are not. I am seeing that this is even more pronounced as we age. We to have come to accept that it’s normal to feel tired, to have indigestion, to have a consistently runny nose, just as a few examples. And for much of my life, I was one who considered these conditions to be normal, simply the way my body was meant to be. It’s taken a deep commitment to change my lifestyle – the way I am living, eating and working – to now know that these accepted normals are affecting our vitality and well-being, and in some cases making us more un-well. Continue reading “What’s ‘normal’ for an ageing body?”
A year ago, when I saw that the United Nations had designated a world-wide day of celebrations for the older persons in our societies I initially smiled, but then I found myself asking the question – what happens during the other 364 days? Do we still continue to celebrate the wonderful elders in our communities, or do we conveniently forget them as we go about our daily existence? Continue reading “Celebrating The International Day of the Older Person”
I was in the middle of a conversation with a lovely young man the other day when he said something that had me burst out laughing – not at him but his comment. He had said that he often feels that he’s too old to change. My laughter was at the fact that he is in his 40’s and I am about to head out of my sixties so in that instant his comment had me asking the question – if he’s too old what does that make me?
We did continue the conversation for a while as he expanded on what he was actually meaning, that he can’t be bothered, and while he did, I had another question arise – who or what determines that we are old and what does old really mean? Continue reading “Who or what determines that we are ‘old’?”
The saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ has been a saying which I have always found so wise and so true, and that in judging another by what they look like on the outside or how they are behaving, we are often missing out on the truth of what is ‘written’ on the pages within. And now as I am ageing and my ‘cover’ is becoming a little more worn by the year, this saying has taken on a whole new significance.
The pattern of judging another is a horrible one and a pattern that I have been choosing to remove from my life for some time now, as I have come to see it as very harmful for all concerned. Sadly, it is a pattern which I have slipped into over the years, often without realising that I was doing so. It was like the judgmental thought was there before I had even thought about it – that used to puzzle me; how did it appear so quickly? Continue reading “Don’t judge this ‘ageing book’ by its slightly worn cover!”
‘Ready, willing and able’ is a saying that I have heard many times over the years and you probably have too. And I know that on occasions, I have used it as well. But as I am growing older, I am starting to realise that sometimes I am having to rewrite the ‘able’ bit, as there are days when my able-ness is not equal to my readiness and my willingness. And that can feel rather frustrating to say the least.
This state of bodily affairs has snuck up on me rather quietly and a little too quickly it feels. The ‘young woman’ who I still feel I am inside, is now having to come to understand, often the hard way, that she has to stop and listen to her ageing body if she wants her life to flow smoothly, without getting tired and without setting off discomfort or even pain in her body. A big lesson and one, that in the process of talking to others, I am coming to understand that many find challenging to learn. Continue reading “I’m Ready, I’m Willing – but am I really Able?”
I had a big wake-up call recently as to the fact that there is always a possibility that I might not “be here tomorrow”—in simple terms—I may have left this life, not just because I am an ageing woman but through an accident or sudden health event. This wake up call came about when a beautiful local woman, whom I knew but hadn’t seen for a few years, died in a car accident very close to where I live.
That night as I sat there thinking about her and the wonderful legacy she left behind in the community, I asked myself a question, “If that had been me, what sort of a mess would I have left behind for my family to clean up?”, in other words; was my will up to date, did my family know what bank accounts I have, what outstanding bills, who to call, what to do with my ‘stuff’, and even, what will they think of the state of my drawers, cupboards etc! The list was very long. I soon realised, that even though a couple of years ago I had taken steps to get my affairs in order, they sure weren’t as orderly and up to date as they could be.
I got an opportunity the other day to stop and deeply consider what the true beauty of an ageing woman is; and the opportunity came from a Facebook post. It was a photo of two seemingly very old women with their weather-beaten skin deeply etched with decades of lines and wrinkles, and with a distinct absence of teeth, but their faces were alive from their smiles and their laughter. The caption read something like: – “We were young and beautiful but now we are just beautiful”. Their joy-filled smiles certainly had me smiling as I looked carefully at what I was seeing and allowed these words to sink in. Continue reading “The True Beauty of an Ageing Woman”
Before I go any further, I have to own that I am not an exercise expert in any shape or form and nor will I ever profess to be. I have been, however, an expert at avoiding exercise for much of my life; nothing to be proud of but I felt I need to be honest right from the beginning about my relationship with exercise. And it is now glaringly obvious this avoidance did not serve my body in any way. But what I have come to know over the last few years, without a shadow of doubt, is that exercise is absolutely essential for the ageing body; for a body of any age, in fact.
Many things change in our lives as we age, and looking around, I observe a tendency for many older people to slow down their participation in life, including their level of exercise, as their lives begin to slow down. I certainly have, as for the last 10 years I have allowed my overall fitness to slide and with it has come the struggle to do things I have always done, with ease. And I know for sure that sitting for many hours at the computer each day, has added to my ‘physical decline’. But does this have to be the way it is? Continue reading “Exercise and the Ageing Body”