The Journey - Chapter 5; A Look at Aging
This is chapter 5 of a 16 chapter series, written by 16 hub authors. A new chapter will be published each weekday by another participating author through chapter 16 and linked to the other chapters at the bottom of each hub. This series is about aging. Each hubber asked a question about aging and the series contains the answers of these hubbers. Together with each answer you will find the name of the hubber along with a link to their profile page.
From the moment we are born we begin to age. By the time we reach our first birthday we are actually beginning our second year of life. Our fist birthday celebrates our second year. Fortunately this doesn't multiply or extrapolate, it just happens year by year. What changes come each year as we age? Different changes happen to different people at different times. Let's pass our younger years, and start to look at our fifties and sixties, we begin to see real changes. Changes not only in our bodies and our health, but changes in our minds. We being to realize and appreciate things we never paid attention to before. Now we are truly beginning to age.
While we often complain, we must remember aging is a gift and it is up to us to live it the best, most moral and loving way we can. On the lighter side, getting older beats the alternative!
Hope you enjoy reading this series as much as we enjoyed writing it!
What is this thing called aging. Does it come with benefits?
Her Answer: Aging is the natural process and progress through LIFE from birth onward, without which it wouldn’t be life but a static - - non-life.
As aging increases with passing time and experience, with its choices and actions, yes - there are benefits, but they aren't provided or guaranteed with it. Both benefits and penalties are results of the choices and use or misuse of opportunities and challenges all along the way in aging, from birth to death.
Among the possible benefits of the process of aging: wisdom that comes from personal experience and growth; dividends from wise investment of one’s abilities, time and trouble in improving one’s sphere and helping others who will repeat the process by living better lives and carrying forward the legacy; and certainly the increase of satisfaction, what Maslow calls ‘self-actualization’ , an outcome of many choices and moments of awareness during all those passing years. None of it is just provided, though it may seem so if one is alert, aware and active in living each moment fully and well.
When we think of the term "Aging", most people will think mostly or only in a physical sense. "We are born, we grow and we eventually Die". But aging is much more than a physical concept. Our minds, spirit and knowledge "age" as well and those things do not wear out or die. The one thing I would say to anyone in such a discussion, is that our attitude and spirit make the difference between aging and growing old.
Aging is a process from birth till death. Along the way if we take care of ourselves mentally,
physically and spiritually the aging process will be much easier to accept and transition into.
All the knowledge we again from living life, the decades will peel away and unfold with much
interest. We will be able to pass on so much to our followers for them to enjoy and reflex back
on our past and history as we tell it. Many of the benefits will come to us from keeping a positive look at life as well as keeping our sense of humor. When we retire we will not be retiring from life but simply enjoying all the fruits of our labor. A time to travel, volunteer, more time to spend on our hobbies, with our grandchildren for those of us who have them and visiting with special friends more often. Yes there are many, many benefits through the process of aging. As long as we can get there healthy, most of us should succeed with an excellent retirement.
Aging was once considered the normal physical and mental deterioration of advancing years. Some people seem “worn out” at middle age, however, while others in their 90s have good health and intact mental faculties. Why?
Scientists studying gerontology now consider aging a disease, not to be confused with years lived. They theorize aging is caused by chronic illnesses and progressive diseases from free radical damage, with 20-30% triggered by genetics. Growing older, then, is different from the damage process of aging. Positive lifestyle choices (the earlier, the better) may halt, slow or even reverse the damage process.
Yes, growing older has benefits. Grandchildren are high on the list. Another perk, wisdom, is acquired through living and learning, but isn’t automatic. We must choose it.
My late mother said elderly people bring out the best in youth, who offer their seats or a place in the checkout queue. She was cheerful and friendly, which likely influenced this outcome. As we grow older, we may choose to be pleasant and optimistic…or “Grouchy Old Men (Women).” That choice may greatly affect other “benefits” of our senior years.
This is a good question. This thing called aging is part of the life cycle and the arc
of our existence. We hope that the aging process is slow and sort of friendly. We don't want to wake up after a night out at age thirty or forty gray haired and wrinkled. So time just sort of slowly has its way with us. I will say that my hair was going before thirty, but the rest is (fairly) intact.
Age is supposed to bring the benefit of wisdom. Elders through the centuries were looked to for guidance. (Now we have Google). But seriously, we hope that we have some sage advice in case anyone does ask. I am always pleased when my daughter, now twenty-three calls with a "What do you think, Dad" question.
If your wisdom kicked in early enough,and you saved enough, you can enjoy a life of relative leisure, traveling, visiting friends, kicking tires on that thirty foot RV, maybe buying one and hitting the road.
One of the great benefits that comes to mind is a certain calming that seems to settle over you. Things don't quite have the urgency that they did formerly. If life is at a slower pace, that's a good thing. It will last longer.
Aging is the gold....sometimes wax....tried in the fires of life. Some of us age well and others cling to youth like a cat on the end of a long branch. Sooner or later, the cat has to come down to earth. I believe that aging can be wonderful if we accept it as a natural change of our lives. We look at beauty in a different way.
I sometimes gaze at pictures of my gorgeous wife that were taken years ago. I was in such a bliss of love....I didn't even notice how lovely she was. The difference is...I gulped wine in my youth.....I sip it now. I see her today....she has changed emotionally, mentally and physically. I have obviously changed in the same ways.
We see the world and all of it's wonders in our youth with curiosity and sometimes, appreciation. We run to take as much in as we can. A few sights along the way will make us hesitate but for the most part....we hurry by. We grow older and often wish we had taken a little more time to enjoy our past experiences.
The greatest benefit to growing older is looking down from the many life's mountains we climbed....realizing that every summit was in our hearts. We climb a little slower now but we still climb. I will someday....hold her hand on the final summit and say to her,"You were never more beautiful."
This thing called "aging," is a mute, unseen phantom whose slow, calculated steps overtake us without us even knowing that we are now entwined in its clutches. Benefits? Sure. We can say pretty much what we want and not be scorned. "Oh, they are old. Never mind them," those around us will respond. Our memories of our lives are fuller than those just beginning to live. And we can embrace the snail and live at its pace which is a good thing. A snail knows how to savor life.
I wrote earlier that aging is simply getting older. It happens to
everyone. Maturing is another matter altogether, and doesn’t
necessarily happen to everyone. It doesn’t necessarily come with age.
One of the benefits of maturing is gaining wisdom from the experiences
you have had. If you have people you love who you can pass that
wisdom on to, you are one of the luckiest people on earth. If they
will listen to you, you are even luckier. So are they.
When you have been through a lot of life and come out the other side
pretty much intact, you tend to face the future differently than you
did before. Fear is replaced with a grasp of reality and a healthy
respect for it. Regret is replaced with a conviction not to make the
same mistakes twice. And love becomes a forgiving thing instead of a
list of expectations you hope someone will fulfill.
My favorite video on aging
Simply put…aging is a natural process of maturation that is meant to place more emphasis on learning, experience, and wisdom, then on physical strength and beauty. Physical strength and beauty are needed more when we are young, because it must serve us in the absence of wisdom and experience.
We would do well to realize that we are spiritual beings that will live on into eternity, but our physical bodies will not make the trip with us. Strong, youthful bodies are like the fuel tanks and rocket boosters that propel spacecraft into orbit. Once a spacecraft nears its destination, it rids itself of those things that are no longer necessary and even though these things gave it power in the beginning and propelled it along its way, it will only weigh the craft down in the end.
The benefit of aging, therefore, is a blessing from God that should help us better prepare ourselves for the trip into the hereafter. As our bodies decline in value, our spirits increase in virtue thanks to the accumulation of wisdom, faith, and experience over the years, which should serve us well in the life to come.
In some cultures the elderly are revered for their knowledge and wisdom, and people often live in extended families. The elderly are not isolated and children are seldom left alone. There is something profoundly healthy about families where each member contributes and no one lives in isolation. In nuclear family based cultures growing old is often accompanied by dread, isolation, and fear. Regardless of the family structure, aging has its benefits. As I moved through my forties and into my fifties, I achieved a steadiness, a calmness, I did not possess in my twenties and thirties. In those decades I said yes to every request; I slept very little; I was overworked. I could have been, and should have been, more patient with my children…but after all “they” needed me. Truth was I wanted to be needed. One of the benefits of growing older is learning to say no, to better manage our time and energy because we realize that they are limited. Aging is accompanied by physical limitations to strength and energy, but aging also brings blessings of wisdom and restraint, so we make better use of our time and energy. What a marvelous gift!
I foresee a new movie for the senior set, titled: Aging With Benefits! Only instead of it starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, I'm thinking of more seasoned actors, with an equally salacious plot. What do you think? Seriously, aging is actually a very perspective-enhancing experience. Part of it is what I expected, but part is not. My expectation when I was younger was that I'd reach this point of sagacity where I'd feel comfortable in my own skin and would be able to rest in the knowledge that I had all of the answers. While partially true, I didn't realize that every piece of wisdom comes from bumps, breaks and bruises that hurt when you experience them. I also found that the sense of nagging doubt stays - I just had to learn to make friends with it. That said, I do feel feel wiser, I do have more peace of mind, and I am glad that I had to earn whatever pieces of knowledge and wisdom I now have. And the short, immediate response to the question: Would I want to be younger again? Absolutely not. And that has to say something... ;-)
From the moment we are born, we are in the process of dying. This process is also called aging. Few take notice of the process before illness or infirmity intervenes and so one’s health plays a role. Our bodies deteriorate and our systems begin to wear down and fail over the course of time. This is often the result of cumulative trauma, stress and maintenance failures.
Take some famous sports figures as examples. Muhammed Ali comes to mind. As a boxer, he suffered repetitive blows to the head which caused his brain to collide with his skull. He suffered a condition of pugilist syndrome which affected his ability to speak, among other things. The onset of this condition was accelerated by his choice of occupation. Many football players from the NFL have been found to suffer similar symptoms due to the prolonged crashing of protective helmets.
There are many other occupational hazards which accelerate the aging process. The nature and extent of physical labor often increases trauma to the human body which advances aging. Exposure to harmful inhalants such as asbestos and benzene are carcinogenic and induce various cancers.
People tend to unwittingly expose themselves to harmful products such as tobacco, alcohol and drugs which directly and indirectly take their toll on the human body. Liver and lung diseases are two obvious consequences. Kidney and pancreatic failure are other results. Food and activity choices affect obesity, atherosclerosis, heart disease and diabetes, among others.
Most occupations create stress which tends to impact on the heart. Many pharmacological solutions to these diseases carry the risk of adverse side effects. Aging seems to be the cumulative impact of living.
The benefits of aging are certainly not physical. Aches and pains are your strange bedfellows.
Experience in life contributes to understanding, acceptance and wisdom. These are emotional and spiritual benefits of aging which are lost on many.
This question leaves room for some humor if one is so inclined. But the simple answer is yes. On a lighter side, I paid $10.00 for a Golden Age Passport when I was 62 (That was 14 years ago). This gives me free access to all National Parks for life and includes all passengers in my car. It is also good in National Forests. But, the greatest benefit that comes with aging is that you get more time to spend with loved ones and to do those things you enjoy I have four sons and ten grandchildren and love to travel, so that speaks for itself. My wife and I are both retired from California state service and receive pensions, not extravagant, but enough to live on. We have enjoyed traveling to Europe, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii and other places that we couldn't do before. Sure, we have our aches and pains and infirmities. Everyone has a time to die, but having time for aging in the meantime isn't all bad. Yes, there are benefits.
Perhaps it is simply youth growing up. Maybe a kaleidoscope of yesterdays and tomorrows competing for equal affection. Perhaps, youth and age, are but friends, who come to dance with one another. I hope so, otherwise, I dance the fool, for I have neither want to go back from where I’ve come or any hurry to reach a final destination. I am content to dance with the two of them. The benefits are immeasurable and the losses are sustainable. The hurried life that clung to youth has been supplanted with a more tempered migration. I see the same beauty I saw when I was young, but, it seems to enjoy my company more today than then. It seems to hesitate longer before leaving me. Life, I suppose, is more measured as I age. I linger intentionally. Any hurry now would be detrimental to my longevity.
We travel through time always looking up and down
But how often do we stop to really look around?
To see the light and joy that happens everywhere
And experience the love and warmth that no one can compare.
This journey we call life is all that we can do
To get us through each day and night, the breadth, the depth, the glue
Holding us together and teaching us to share
So when we're done we know that life has answered every prayer.
If you follow this Journey you will meet a total of 16 hubbers who, by reason of their "experience" are qualified to give you some knowledge about aging.
The questions were suggested by each of the 16 and then answered by each of the 16. It has been a journey of itself and has brought the 16 closer together than they were at the start of The Journey. They have learned about aging from each other but have also learned about teamwork and community.
Kudos and praise go to Alan Berry (on hubpages arb) and his sidekick Nellieanna for the time and devotion they added to this Journey...without them it would not have been possible. But, without a doubt each of the 16 has added to this journey and hopefully to your reading pleasure.
I promise, you won't be disappointed! By following-up with each LINK as the Chapters are being added day by day during most of July, you'll find a treasure-trove of thought and authenticity spread before you! So, - open the NEXT Chapter on or following its publish date; and so on through the series!
Revisit PREVIOUS Chapter
Author Jayewisdom: THE JOURNEY - CHAPTER 4Review: THE JOURNEY-CHAPTER 4 of16. Asked: “ At this point in our lives, can we reverse damage already done by poor health choices we made along the way, or are we to suffer the consequences as we age?", +16 authors' answers. http://jayewisdom.hubpages.com/hub/The-Journey-Chapter-Four
If you'd like to play catch-up and/or follow along:
~~~~~~ A Table of Contents ~~~~~~~~ THE JOURNEY ~ A Look At Aging
- The Journey - Chapter 1
- Chapter 2 has been unpublished
- Chapter 3 has been unpublished
- The Journey - Chapter 4
- The Journey - Chapter 5
- Chapter 6 has been unpublished
- The Journey - Chapter 7
- Chapter 8 has been unpublished
- Chapter 9 has been unpublished
- The Journey - Chapter 10
- Chapter 11 has been unpublished
- The Journey - Chapter 12
- The Journey - Chapter 13
- The Journey - Chapter 14
- The Journey - Chapter 15
- The Journey - Chapter 16