As a psychologist, I often hear my patients talk about their fear of aging. Pretty, young girls see their first wrinkle and freak out. They talk about turning 30 as if it were a curse. And on the other end of the lifespan, older people tend to define themselves by their age, feeling emotionally older than their bodies.
“I’m so very old! I am 82! How did this happen so fast?” They start to “slow down” because they think they should. “I’m too old to travel anymore. What if I got sick and was away from home?” “I shouldn’t be doing … at my age. That’s for younger people.”
Our society worships the young and the thin and the beautiful. We lose our sense of respect for the wisdom of the elders. This needs to change if we want to age with dignity and grace, with freedom to live active lives as long as possible.
We are living longer, and I would like to divide the years like this:
YOURG, MIDDLE-AGED, AND OLD no longer describe our world. With modern medicine, healthy diet, and regular exercise, we age at a very different rate than our ancestors. Let’s not get stuck into pre-conceived faulty limitations about our ability to remain free and active.
If you are healthy, active, with a positive attitude, please don’t judge yourself by your age.
It’s all about health, not age.
LIFE GOES ON©
Kathleen Cairns, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in West Hartford, Connecticut. She works with adults, adolescents, and couples. You may call her at 860-236-5555 to make an appointment. She is the author of “The Psychotherapy Workbook.” You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will try to answer as many of your questions as possible.
Life goes on… and every day matters…