A is for Aging Youthfully

A is for Aging Youthfully (Book Cover!)

A is for Aging Youthfully

“Aging is not “lost youth” but a new stage of opportunity and strength" (Betty Friedan 1921 - 2006)

When was  the moment when you realized that you no longer felt young and invincible? Was it turning 60 or 65? Suddenly overnight you are a “senior”.  You get lower priced tickets at the cinema, cheaper fares on transit but those television commercials about drugs for arthritis, high blood pressure, dementia ... you realize that they are directed at you.

Or was it earlier - your 50th birthday perhaps. Your nest is finally empty, retirement is not that far off and you wonder how you will spend those post employment years. Will you be fit and healthy? Have enough money to live comfortably, travel and enjoy your well earned leisure? Some people see little more than a slow decline ahead. Others see the most exciting period of their lives, with unencumbered potential for intellectual and cultural growth and a time to focus on staying young and healthy in mind and body.

Aging is inevitable. We  begin to age from the minute we are born. But it is the mindset with which we approach our later years that determines whether we follow a slow downward path of mental and physical decline or we chose to challenge that course, disrupt concepts of mental and physical aging and set an upward trajectory to remain youthful and vital until the end

If asked about what they fear as they anticipate the last third of their lives, the majority of concerns can be summarized as ill health, impaired physicality, loneliness and isolation, and not having enough money to sustain the lifestyle they have been used to.

For me, the lead up to retirement was a strange time. My husband and I had considered retiring when he turned 65 and I would be 61. Travel was high on our bucket list. He wanted to see Antarctica, and the Amazon rain forests. Our plans were decimated when he died prematurely, several years before retirement age. 

I had to rethink my future. As I went about winding up my 30 year career as a medical specialist, I chose to follow the path of new challenges and exploring new horizons. I gave a name to my goal - Growing Older, but Living Younger.

To reach my goal I needed a roadmap to cover six important areas in my life:  my physical health and fitness, my mental faculties and mood stability, my social networks,  art and culture , financial security and leaving a legacy for my family and society.

My book “Growing Older, Living Younger: The Science of Aging Gracefully, and the Art of Retiring Comfortably" lays out my roadmap and the reasons underlying the choices that I made.

In this A to Z blog I will share with you random snippets that surfaced as I worked on my upcoming book. In order to move forward it's sometimes important to look back. As you join me on my journey, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Each post will link to my Facebook page where you can always leave a comment, or else email me directly at gillian@reviewfromthehouse.com

My intent is to start every post with a quotation.  Source sites that kept me entertained and distracted from actually writing anything included  "Brainy Quotes." and "CoolFunnyQuotes." and " GreatestQuotations."