Growing old – the right way

December 19, 2017

Not everyone looks forward to being an old person and that transition from independent to dependant, hard-working to retired, and from good-looking to adorable. But the reality is, everyone grows old and everyone goes through it. If you’re lucky,you are given the chance to live out more years in this technologically advancing and socially active world and society. There will always be more to see, more to explore and more to learn through every year of your life. And that doesn’t have to stop just because you’re getting old and qualify for pensioner discounts.


Growing old the right way is, basically, about knowing when it’s time to give some things up, come to terms with other things and take on new things to better your wellbeing. Let’s explore the future a little bit, shall we?


What about retirement?


So this will probably be the first clue that, yes, you’re technically getting older according to your age and work contract. Retirement is still a personal choice, but, by a certain age, you should be seriously considering your retirement options and checking in with how much you’ve saved for retirement by now and how much you still need to save before you do retire.


Then, if you are ready to bow out of the working world, what are your plans for afterwards? Fishing and strolls in the park aren’t your only options. Get involved in the community or become a mentor. You’re going to have more than enough time on your hands, but more on that later.


The “car” talk


Okay, this is a sore topic for many of the old folk still out on the roads, but there comes a time when your children need to have the “car” talk with you. It’s probably been a long time coming and, you may not admit it out loud, but there have been a few close calls out on the road in the last few months.


Try and understand that your kids just want the best for you and are concerned for your safety and the safety of others on the road. They aren’t out to take away your independence for the sake of being evil, which is probably how you’re going to feel about it a long time after your car keys have been taken away.


Rather just get this part over and done with and hand your keys over gracefully. If your family brings up the car talk, start considering selling the car yourself. That way you can know that it was your decision to stop driving. Find a site to create a listing under “used cars Gauteng” or whichever province you’re in (make sure you get that right), and wait for the offers to come in.  


Kick bad health habits


Growing old the right way, or rather, to continue growing old the right way, you’re going to need to start kicking bad health habits. And start as early as you can if you want to take an “easing off” approach because you might find yourself in a life or death decision where you’ll need to stop or change your lifestyle around in the space of a few hours.


Smoking, for example, is a bad habit to stop before you reach a ripe old age (no offense). There have been cases of elderly men and woman being told that if they smoke one more cigarette, they’ll die. Just like that. If you’ve made it this far in life, why not try making it a little bit further and not tempt the hands of fate?


Being stubborn is another bad habit that definitely needs to go when you reach old age. You’re going to make everything that much more difficult for your family to help you and for other people to get along with you. Just face the fact that you are where you are and being stubborn isn’t going to help you. It’ll make you bitter and do you really want to fall under the stereotype of a grumpy old person? Didn’t think so.


Adopt healthy habits


On the flip side, take the opportunity to adopt some healthy habits that will make your quality of life better. Eat healthy foods, watch your cholesterol, go for a walk everyday it’s not raining and do light weight training on the days it does.


Don’t hesitate to visit your doctor, but also don’t be paranoid over every ache and pain (especially after arm day in the home gym) and enjoy your daily naps. You will be more tired and possible easily stressed, but changing your lifestyle and your mindset to a positive one will make all the difference.


Use your time


Back to the free time thing. You’re retired, you hardly have responsibilities and there’s just so much time for you to use wisely. Spend time with your family. That includes your children and your grandchildren. Take your life’s worth of wisdom and share it with those who mean a lot to you. Or you can take your time and wisdom to strangers and be a part of the local community or a local charity.


Go out for brunch, use your pensioner’s discounts and keep exploring. You’re old enough to do whatever you want.


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