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Growing Older Gracefully

Updated on January 24, 2013

Our Bodies Grow Older

As we grow older, there seem to be some problems that we could well do without. I remember one old man I visited in a Nursing Home. He said to me,

"It's just as well we get all these physical problems when we're older, because we've seen a lot of life and are tougher for coping with them."

That is very wise and so true, but wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to? If we just sailed along on calm waters until we reached the Heavenly Harbour at the end of our journey?

Unfortunately, that does not happen for most of us and we seem to spend much more of our time visiting the doctor, the dentist, the specialist, the radiologist, etc. However, we are very blessed to be living in a time and a place where all this assistance is so readily available and for that I am grateful.

Another grey hair (or a whole bundle of them)? Look on it as a sign that we're growing closer to the Kingdom of Heaven.


Keep Your Mind Sharp

For the majority of us there are compensations, as our bodies age our minds remain comparatively fresh and sharp. I think Cicero, when writing about old age, said that the young often have something of the old person in them and the old have something of the young in them.

That seems to be true. We sometimes look at our grandchildren and other little ones; they seem so sweet and old-fashioned in their manners and movements. On the other hand, we see older people who retain the freshness and sharpness of youth, remaining positive in their outlook and still seeing the world with youthful eyes.

It would be good to be like that, to grow old gracefully. In fact, as a teenager, after a visit from some elderly relatives, I once remarked to my Mother that older people either seem to grow old gracefully or become more and more grumpy. I know which one I would rather be.

If our minds that God has given us remain sharp and fresh, let's use them.


Remember Past Lessons, But Look Forward

A Time to Keep Quiet

Experiences of the past, both good and bad, often remain quite fresh in our minds and if we are wise we can learn from these lessons of life. However, we will not be very popular if we keep referring to our experiences at length to whoever will listen. As we are told in Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything, and that includes talking: a time to talk and a time to keep quiet.

Lesson: Thou shalt not talk too much.

A Time to Use

When we are older, we continue to travel on our life's journey: let us rejoice in it. We may need to watch out where we are heading, or we might stumble. The climb may seem uphill and steep, but remember, we are growing closer to reaching our goal. If God grants it, we still have some time left and we need to use it wisely.

The future is still a challenge, perhaps even more than it was in our middle years. We need to think about using the time left to complete all those unfinished tasks. What about all those stories we were going to write, those pictures we were going to paint? Those people we were going to help? St. John wrote his Gospel that tells so wonderfully of God's love when he was about ninety. Let's not waste any more time.

Lesson: Thou shalt not procrastinate.

Source

Growing Older and Wiser

Our bodies grow old, it's a fact of life. With help from Father God and from other people, as we age we learn to cope with our bodies and with our journey through life. If we are blessed and our minds remain sharp and fresh, let us use them.

I recall a verse we learned as children:

The wise old owl sat in an oak,

The more he saw, the less he spoke,

The less he spoke, the more he heard;

I wish there were more like that wise old bird.

Let us utilise that wisdom that we have learned and let us practise being good listeners. Let us help others in practical ways if we are able, and spend time praising our Heavenly Father for His guidance all along our journey. If we can't do much else, we can pray. Let us pray for others at all times.

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    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 22 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      gerimcclym: Thank you, I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. I seem to be reaching that age myself - perhaps I'd better read it again! Loved your comments.

    • gerimcclym profile image

      Geri McClymont 22 months ago

      I very much enjoyed reading this article. My aunt, who is in her eighties, is one of those people who has maintained that youthful and positive outlook on life through her older years. I hope to be like that too as I get older. I also think it's very important to know that often it is best to be quiet or speak few words. Beautiful message--thank you for writing this.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Rayne123: Glad you enjoyed it. We have so much to be thankful for.

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      Rayne123 4 years ago

      Another great hub and a good reminder

      thank you

      Laurie

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Michael-Milec: What beautiful comments. Thank you. Yes, we need to take care of our bodies; as St. Paul said, our bodies are temples for God, so we should look after them and only put good things in them. May God bless you, too.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Hello, blossomsb.

      Reading your very well written article is like adding puzzle pieces into "Teach us to number our days alright that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Ps. 90:12 ) Entering into unknown territory (it's first time we are growing older [ ! ] ) every bit of advise makes orientation enjoyable .

      Thank God for his faithful promises. Our is to " take care" of our body, and never stop loving Him, to be fully preserved; in His words, " because he loves me, I will protect him ... I will deliver him and honor him, with long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."(Ps.90:14--16)

      Up & beautiful.

      May God bless you richly.

      Michael

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Becky Puetz: I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub. God bless you and I hope you have a lovely day.

    • Becky Puetz profile image

      Becky 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great Hub, I really enjoyed the read. God bless you. Thanks for sharing.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      stars439: Joy was what I was praying for this morning! I seemed to have lost it when I woke up, so thank you. It is a great comfort and we have so much to be thankful for. God bless you, too.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Your words, and thoughts are graced by wisdom. The joy in you're heart will always give you great comfort, and strength precious heart. God Bless You.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      old albion: Yes, it is so true, but being rather garrulous, I need to remind myself!

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      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Blossom. The wise old owl, how very true. Thank you.

      Graham.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Christopher Dapo: Thank you! I'm afraid it's a long time since I was thirty-three! I'm happy being what I am now, though - hope you are too.

    • Christopher Dapo profile image

      Christopher Dapo and S. 5 years ago from Havelock, NC

      A terrific and uplifting read, Blossom, coming from two 33 year-old kids! :D

      - Chris and S.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Old albion: I smiled when you remarked that we cannot put old heads on young shoulders. My father-in-law used to often say that and wished he could simply inject the younger generation with his experience and knowledge, but we all have to learn from our own experiences, even when we are older. It's certainly the way that life seems to be.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Amy Becherer: What lovely memories you have of your father. That 'wise old owl' means so much to me, too, although I need lots of reminders or I'm inclined to talk too much. Thank you for your lovely comments.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Blossom. your hub is thought provoking as well as a delight to read. The poem about The Wise Old owl is one I did not know, how true! These poems and sayings come with age and you realise them to be true. We cannot put old heads on young shoulders when we try to help the younger ones. But there you are that's life.

      Best Wishes.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      The wise old owl struck a note with me, Blossom. It reminded me of an orthodontist I once worked for who looked at me one day and said "Run Silent, Run Deep". I tend to be introspective, like my father, who passed away at 79, sharp as a tack, after having worked outside in the yard all day. He died as he lived, quietly, and as if he didn't want to inconvenience anyone. I stayed the night with him in the hospital after his stroke, which left him in a coma. He silently passed away in 24-hours. I think of him everyday as I remember how he observed everything, spoke little, stood for the underdog, was generous to a fault and always said about someone less fortunate "There but for the grace of God go I." Your beautiful writing reminds me of him. Thank you, Blossom.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      donnaisabella: Thank you, it is a good lesson for me. Like St. Paul, I think my tongue is the most unruly member of my body. I open my mouth and say something and then think afterwards, and then wonder why I said it.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Jackie Lynnley: I do agree that writing really does keep us on our toes, but I think I'll need to ease off a bit or I'll never get anything else done! I also like Sudoku - do you?

    • donnaisabella profile image

      Donaisabella 5 years ago from Fort Myers

      Beautiful Ms BlossomSB, I enjoyed reading it and learning. I believe we all need to learn when to talk and when to listen. I should remember this every day of my life. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I think being here and writing really is great brain exercise and I can see you have been quite busy in just a few weeks. I will have to catch up on you!

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      ruthclark3: I'll look forward to reading that. To have a supportive, loving family is such a great blessing. May all our hubPages friendships be firm and last long.

    • ruthclark3 profile image

      Ruth Clark 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      @blossomSB Thank you for your kind comments. I am in the process of writing the second hub in the Aunt Annie Mae series. I took the week-end off to be with family. I have the most wonderful family. To grow older and know that one is valued, as I am, is the greatest blessing. I truly look forward to our friendship.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      always exploring: Yes. Listening and learning are so important, but we don't always think about that, we just want everyone to hear what we have to say. Thank you for your comments.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Derdriu: I agree with you that learning never stops - if we stop learning and gaining pleasure from it, we may as well be dead. Thank you for your welcome.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Movie Master: Yes, I often think of it - don't always do it, though! Thank you for your comments.

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      Derdriu 5 years ago

      BlossomSB, What a charming, endearing, pithy look into the possibilities inherent in growing old! In particular, I enjoyed seeing the owl poem. Additionally, it's wonderful how you emphasize that learning fun never stops throughout life. What a joyful ride!

      Thank you for sharing, and Welcome to HubPages,

      Derdriu

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Blossom, I have never heard that verse before, it's spot on! I shall copy it out and put it on my desk!

      A wonderful hub thank you and voted up.

      Best wishes Lesley.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for your comments and vote. Praise and prayer are great at any age. Blessings to you.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      ruthclark3: I changed it, but only gave the book, not the chapter and verse. Thank you for your helpful comments. I reread your profile - lucky you, being a great-grandmother. I have lots of grandchildren, but I think I'll be waiting forever to achieve that status. I think you have a lot to offer. When are you going to write another hub?

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I have heard the poem before and I thank you for the reminder. I have thought about the "growing grumpy" or keep a positive outlook as I grow older. I believe you have said it well that with praise and prayer we will keep the right perspective as we age. Great hub and voted up!

    • ruthclark3 profile image

      Ruth Clark 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You can change it if you want, but please! do not stop talking. How else will the younger generation learn if not from us? I believe, right off the top of my head you can find the reference in Ecclesiastes 3:1 That has always been one of my favorites. That's the only reason I remembered. And, I plead with you, keep sharing your wisdom. The world needs you and I to do that. Not that I am wise. I do have some life experience, as do you. Let's not let that go to waste.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      You're right, it is! Sorry about that, I guess I should change it in the hub. It was one of my older son's favourite passages when he was a youngster. Yes, I rather suspect I'm one of those who talks too much. How lovely to share your experiences with your grandchildren.

    • ruthclark3 profile image

      Ruth Clark 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great hub. Thanks for your insights. I thought the reference to a time "for everything" was in Ecclesiastes, but I'm probably wrong. The wisdom of keeping silent is the point. Although, in my experience, my grandchildren ask me questions and tell me that they love for me to share with them my experiences. We laugh and love a lot. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront of my mind. A thumbs up for you.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you. I am older and I really think it would be great to be wiser, too. Maybe one day!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is wonderful. It is so important to listen and learn. People who have aged have a great wealth of infomation to share. Thank you..Cheers

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Letters are rather nice, I think. We can treasure them and read them over several times. the computer has made us so lazy with letter-writing these days.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for looking me up on Facebook - wow! I'll have to take a look. I share with you about the mirror, it isn't very kind, especially when there's a light above it.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Frank Atanacio: Thank you so much, and for your vote, too.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      I do agree. I enjoy a few programs on TV, but I feel if I stay watching for too long I'll grow roots and turn into a vegetable.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Hi BlossomSD, this all very true, my mother at 93 has become quieter but I only get letters from her as she lives in England and hates phone's. Sometimes she would bite like a pitbull and the next minute become silent, which always seemed more dangeous and I think she is a true Gemini, Joyce.

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      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Hello Blossom. I just looked you up on face book and ask you a question about publishing....go answer me.

      About this aging...Phooey! I'm wiser, My ducks are all in a row, and I'm happy. So, the mirror is not kind to me sometimes, I just look the other way.

      Happy hubbing! Voted up and awesome. Ann

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      Blossom.. I really enjoyed this Hub.. gave me something to think about..:) up and awesome was my vote :) Frank

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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I am getting to the point in life where I get concerned about becoming senile! I think just writing like we do keeps our minds sharp and makes us think more. Sure beats watching the stupid TV and wasting our valuable time. Enjoyed this Hub.