Through thick veneer of forgetfulness
and fragile memories worn by age,
thin slivers of deep-seated love
seeps through his fingers
to highlights her days.
The Daily Post
Through thick veneer of forgetfulness
and fragile memories worn by age,
thin slivers of deep-seated love
seeps through his fingers
to highlights her days.
The Daily Post
Old age, it’s one of those things that we consider to be so far ahead in time that we don’t need to worry about it. But old age creeps up on us sooner or later, whether it’s planning for retirement by starting up a pension in your 20s or 30s, or we have a moment in life that makes us realize how fallible we are. Preparing for old age is something we can all do, regardless of how are young we are, and what are the best ways to do this?
Not just the aforementioned pension, but if you live in places where you need to pay for your medical treatment, it is essential for you to start a pension pot as well as a medical fund pot as soon as possible. While there are many organizations that can help with regards to medical payment, such as GoMedigap, – that helps pensioners with Medicare costs – you can find out more from GoMedigap.com, but it’s your prerogative to start preparing for your twilight years in the financial sense. It’s heartbreaking to see so many people in their old age struggling to pay bills, or living without the essentials in life, and this appears to be the way of the world currently. So it’s in your best interests to start preparing for a more enjoyable later period in life.
It looks like there are more cases of Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive decline than ever before. And you might have seen relatives succumb to Dementia, and how upsetting it is for the caregivers.
Looking after our brain isn’t a difficult task. The trick is, much like physical exercise, we need to be doing enough to stimulate our brain muscle so it can grow. Essentially, this is all about doing stuff that you find challenging. And while it may sound like you’re going back to school, do things that are stimulating, but stuff you enjoy.
This could be playing more computer games, as they have been shown to have a positive impact on brain development, or it could be something as simple as having a strong coffee while playing Sudoku. Caffeine has been shown to have a positive impact on the brain, and Sudoku is one of those complicated puzzles that you can do anywhere. If you’ve always wanted to learn a language or an instrument, these are options too. But we all seem to think that our brains get worse as we get older, this is not the case!
In old age, we can all start to feel somewhat isolated, especially as people our own age starting to pass away, and you might not feel that people aren’t listening to you anymore. It’s important for us to know what makes us happy. It’s not just beneficial to us in old age, but it’s beneficial to us in life. We can spend our whole lives not knowing what really makes us happy because we focus more on other people. Your happiness is paramount to ageing, but it’s also important to how you live your life.
And of course, making sure that you appreciate life, by getting out regularly into nature, is something simple that we can all benefit from. There’s an article on TheGuardian.com explaining more on why we need to get out into nature. Not only is it beneficial for our minds and bodies, it helps us gain a perspective on what really matters in life. This, ultimately, is what will help us keep a sense of perspective as we get older.
With each engraved wrinkle
that time etched on
she lost her youthful looks
but never her twinkle.
Her beauty’s matured
as her heart’s nurtured
the canvas of lines of time
stories of a precious lifetime.
Our beauty stays with us irrespective of how old and wrinkled we become. We only become a much more beautiful and limited edition 😉
What does beauty mean to you? Feminine beauty has been construed in many ways and from varied perceptions of the world. It has been depicted through images and concepts that penetrates and rests in our minds, but one simple definition of beauty which we seem to fail to focus on is that beauty is happiness that glows from within.
This line of thought came to me as I stood before my bathroom mirror for several more moments than usual, undertaking an intimate survey of my body. With critical eyes, I noted the tiny indelible laughter lines beside my lips, little spots left by an acne or two, liberal trails of cellulite, jelly-belly from childbearing; the inevitable southbound movement of ex-perky body parts and the countless greys peeking out here and there.
Nonetheless, I also took note of the fact that as detracting and as imperfect as those marks were, the times I’ve felt most beautiful such as I feel at this moment in time are not the times when my skin shone flawlessly, when my body is as tight and svelte as ever or when I was impeccably dressed to suit any standard.
I stood beautiful with my messy locs sticking in all directions. I love the beauty of my washed face, devoid of any makeup, the battle scar of my appendicectomy, the precious blemishes from skin stretched to accommodate the growth of each child borne of my womb, all the lines etched by time; I pulsate with life.
It’s these indescribable sensations of inner joy, respect and acceptance of every inch of who we are that ignites the flame of confidence and beauty that radiates. We are all unique individuals with experiences and memories that form the fabric of who we are and make us our own version of beauty.
As I stood before my mirror in all my personal glory subconsciously performing tweaks, I understood how powerful our perception of our body image and beauty inadvertently affects us. The results in front of our mirrors are not just as simple as they may seem but portray deeper perception of the viewers’ eyes.
We live in a world where body image matters. We live in a world where people find it comfortable to body shame others who fall short of their measuring tape especially when it pertains to the feminine beauty. We live in a world where many are consumed with portraying the right image that in a bid to ‘be that perception of beauty’ they become destructive of both the external and the internal and this makes me wonder; what is the depth of one’s beauty? Is it skin deep or surface shallow?
How critical are you to yourself? Do you feel that as you age you lose your beauty because your body has gone all national geographic heading for different directions and you are losing elasticity due to the force of nature’s gravity that no Wonderbra and Spanx can keep in check? Does the fact that you are ageing affect your confidence? What would you do to keep your perceived reflection of yourself the way you want it?
Ageing is not a permission to let ourselves fall to pieces, however, the older I get, the kinder I am to myself and less critical of those who choose to go the extra length to look after themselves and being happy doing it. I know that body image matters a great deal but in the larger scheme of all things beautiful, it should be about striking the right balance. I understand the attempt of women who refurbish their feminine bits through surgery, breast implants, and other procedures.
Our bodies are mere shelters of who we truly are, and no singular image, culture or concept can define our beauty ‘cos our beauty is made of precious moments of being alive and as is commonly said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, I would assume that the first and most important set of beholding eyes should belong to the owner of the body beheld.
When one clocks 40, the tendency is to have mixed feelings; the good feeling of coming of age and the silent panic at the thought of growing older.
The year my age clock ticked forty and passed it, I could try to tell you that I didn’t care less at that point in time, but if the truth is told, I had pressure on my mind to just go after my dreams without delay. I felt that I had been held back by incidents of life, however, it was still up to me to change things and make the life that I want for myself. Call me slow, but it’s taken me 40+ years to figure a number of things out.
Now that my knees are acting as though they belong to someone else – I must say I no longer feel so spritely and each day I am reminded that I no longer have the luxury of being in my twenty’s. Some of us are able to get all their ducks in a row early in life, whilst some of us have our boats battered by the winds, pushed off course as we row as hard as we can to keep it from capsizing. The great thing is that if we keep going we will surely get to the shore.
In seeking ways on how to generate a better lifestyle for myself and to find out if the cliché ‘life begins at forty’ holds some truth, I remember the Bible passage: Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
I did a little read up on Eagles and learned that Bald Eagles go through a process of transformation at 40. They make a life-changing decision not to give in easily to the strictures of aging but it strategically breaks off its beak and rips off its feathers in order to grow new ones. This excruciatingly painful procedure takes solid 5 months of risk and hunger but extends the eagle’s life by another glorious stretch of 30 years.
It’s said that the eagle has only two options: to make these changes or to die and this brings me to my question: what are your options?
Are you going to brave up and renew your strength like an Eagle or are you just going to roll up your mat and whine about everything going on in your life?
Remember, that the energy of silent panic can be turned into something positive.
Be at peace.
Once you get past a certain age, it’s very likely that you think you’re going on the scrapheap of life. You may feel yourself waning, your energy levels dipping, and you may think that it’s time to calm down and give in. In short, don’t! Instead, why don’t you try a few simple techniques to help you address the key things that may be missing in your life, so you can enjoy it more, and quite possibly feel a bit younger?
in other words get checkups on every single faculty. Go to a doctor, go to an ophthalmologist, spend time getting those regular checkups, and make sure that you are fighting fit. Also, you need to keep yourself healthy by moving! Your body is a machine, don’t forget this. It was built to be active, so use it as best as you can. On the topic of health, your body is like a car, and you wouldn’t put the wrong fuel in your car, so why should you put the wrong fuel in your body? Start to eat well, think about getting more omega-3 in your diet, more fish, and a general smorgasbord of fruit and vegetables.
Look at the French fashion icons in their 70s, take some inspiration from these. Then dress with some style and finesse yourself, they don’t go to recapture their youth by dressing young, so take their lead and go for some style. Look at French and Italians; they seem to get better as they get older. Do some research, and get inspired!
No doubt you may have been doing things that please everybody in your early years because you had to get on with it. It’s now your time, so do what makes you happy. Yes, we look after others, and it’s not to say that it’s time for you to be selfish, but start to prioritize more time to get to know yourself. Enjoy that quiet time with a glass of wine, sit outside with a crossword and a coffee. It’s these little pleasures in life that you will remember more than anything. And who’s to say that you need to not go out on dates with your partner? There are so many great ways to stimulate the mind and body.
The main concern about the descent into old age is that you could possibly feel isolated or a bit hemmed in at home. And regardless of your age, there is always someone who is going through the same thing as you, nobody is ever alone in these things, no matter if you feel you are on your own. Start to make more time for your friends, go out for meals, and enjoy a healthy and stimulating conversation. Negativity is something that can begin to creep in, and much like a midlife crisis, we can feel that we don’t have a use anymore in life. So, start to enjoy your time, do something that makes you stimulated. Read a book, learn a language, learn an instrument. Just because you are older in years doesn’t mean that you are past your sell-by date! So enjoy yourself.
Age is viewed as a negative thing, so let’s try and reverse this trend. Age is not a negative thing; it is about experience and vitality!
Heart problems are the biggest causes of preventable deaths in the western world, a frightening statistic. Heart attacks, heart disease and other cardiovascular issues are often a direct result of poor lifestyle choices. Eating the wrong foods, not exercising, smoking, drinking too much and taking drugs all take their toll.
Thanks to great medical advancements, fast transport such as air ambulance services and the fact that heart attack can quickly be recognised these days, more people are surviving them. However once you have had one you’re at risk of another unless you change your ways, so if you’re wondering what comes next after a heart attack, here are a few things to bear in mind.
Your medications will depend on what the cause for your heart attack was. You should learn what each of these medicines does, and know exactly when you should take them and how. For example, will you need to take them with or without food, at certain times of the day or in combination with other medicines? If for example your heart attack was caused by hypertension you may need to take additional pills for your high blood pressure. You should also ensure you’re not caught short without them in an emergency, so if you’re travelling, for example, you will need to bring extra in case of delays.
Heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues are sometimes a genetic problem which is out of your control. However, if yours was due to lifestyle decisions, it’s paramount you make a change. Clean up your diet, and find out from your doctor what exercise you can do once you’re recovered. Swimming, walking and other low impact activities are usually good choices. Stop your drink, drug and smoking habits, get enough sleep and generally look after yourself. While a heart attack can be scary, but for some people, it’s what’s needed to shock them into action to make a change. Maybe you didn’t realise how bad your lifestyle was, or just thought ‘it will never happen to me’. Now that you know the consequences, you know what you need to do to live a healthier life in future.
Having people you can speak to about what happened, your fears and concerns are important. If you feel as though you can’t speak to loved ones, try a helpline or go on a forum for people in the same position. Those who have already had heart attacks will understand the situation you’re in and may be able to give objective advice as well as support.
Thankfully, many people go on to live a normal and healthy life after a heart attack. If you’re one of the lucky ones who survived, see it as a second chance at life. Use it as an opportunity to make a positive change. Eat better, make better decisions, spend time with loved one and don’t take life for granted.
It’s something that we can’t deny, the looming of Old Mother Time will get us all eventually, and while we hit a peak with both our physical and emotional health, both start a gradual decline that we can get quite concerned about. But what are the key changes in the body as we age, and what can we do to prevent them?
As we age we lose our bone density, also known as osteoporosis. Part of the reason our bones become less dense is because of the lack of calcium, as the body will absorb less calcium (and vitamin D) from foods. Certain bones tend to weaken more than others such as the bones in the spine, which can be very painful, and while you can pay a visit to the chiropractors to work on realigning your spine, you can work at increasing your bone density by doing a few things. Exercise, especially resistance based ones, has been shown to increase bone density. You should also increase your intake of calcium and vitamin D, and up your intake of good fats, as these will help to absorb the calcium and vitamin D into your bones. In addition to this, you need to cut back on foods that will take calcium from your bones, such as carbonated drinks, caffeine, and the main culprit, refined sugar.
The decrease in muscle mass starts around the age of 30 and is caused by the decrease in levels of growth hormone, or testosterone in men. Most people will only lose about 10 to 15% of their strength due to age, but there are issues like sarcopenia which comes from extreme inactivity. You can continue to strengthen your muscles as you age by taking part in resistance training, or anything that requires you to fight against gravity, from sit-ups to push-ups and pull-ups. Body weight exercises are a great place to start. Exercising is also great to reduce body fat as you age. By the age of 75, your amount of body fat tends to double in comparison to your early 20s and 30s, which will increase the risk of illnesses like diabetes.
Generally, the number of nerve cells will decrease in the brain as you age, but although your brain is able to compensate by making new connections between the nerve cells, your brain will tend to have more cells than it needs to do standard activities, also known as redundancy. Of course, the concern for many of us as we age is the onset of age-related cognitive decline, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. The trick to preventing this as best as possible is, again, exercise, but for your brain. That feeling of frustration when you’re learning something new is the thing you should be aiming for. This is the point where your brain is making new connections and neurons. So by doing things that are completely brand new, from learning an instrument to a language, this is what will keep your mind sharp and fresh.
These are the three areas that you need to focus on to age well. And, remember, it is never too late to start, no matter how old you are.
Bernadette, Joan, and I invite you to join in on our blogging event called The Writer’s Quote Challenge. We are looking for one more host/hostess to join in the fun. So if you would like to pick up the challenge of hosting, just let one of us know.
For this week’s prompt, here’s my offering:
The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking. Robert H Schuller
I had a conversation last week with a friend who’s clocking 50 next month and during our talk, she expressed some disappointment for not having pursued her academics a bit further.
Now she just feels that she’s too old (especially back home in Nigeria) where she laughingly said that she would probably end up being the grandma of the class of young adults.
I told her that if she really wanted to do so, irrespective of age, she should go ahead and find something suitable to do at her own pace, after all, she’s not in competition with anyone.
Besides, the older she gets the more likely it is that her regrets will grow deeper.
I ruminated over this conversation for several days because as I spoke to her, my mind centered on some aspirations of mine that have been in the cooler for a bit due to family exigencies.
Am I ready to toss them over because I feel that I’m getting too old to go back to school? I don’t think so.
Those dreams that are within our reach should not be left to die irrespective of age because age is simply a convenient and lame excuse.
I look forward to reading your contributions.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Every Tuesday, I share snippets of thoughts that I call ‘My Thinking Corner.’
I would like to invite you to participate. The challenge is quite simple. You can check this link for more details.
When we were young we were full of ambition, dreams, and drive, but when we get to a certain age there’s the tendency to let go of our deep desires, which gives way to the need to just get along with living and paying the bills. We unconsciously tell our minds that we are too old to pursue certain dreams.
This creates a chasm of dissatisfaction deep inside anyone who has found themselves in such a position and it just never goes away no matter how much effort is made to mask such desires.
When we realize that our destiny lies in our hands through our thinking; when we realize that so long as we still inhabit our bodies and notwithstanding the fact that we grow older, that as long as we’re mentally, physically and spiritually able, we can still pursue some of those dreams that gave us bright eyes and lit up our hearts.
I’ve seen people obtain degrees in their old age, change careers or start a business late in life. Never stop dreaming. Never stop pursuing your dreams.
Deb sends in inspiring words of wisdom. Take a peek 🙂