This week’s word is simple…. “Aging”… Now before I define what it means, here are some myths that surround it…
According to Huffington Post (include link) there are 10 major misconceptions about Aging…I’m gonna cover 5 of the ones I think are important!
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS AN OPINION PIECE. I BASED THIS POST ON THE ARTICLE ABOUT AGING MYTHS FROM HUFFINGTON POST…BUT THIS IS ALL MY OPINION!
NUMBER ONE!: “YOU’LL FEEL OLD”
First of all, of the older Americans I have encountered, the only people that feel old are the ones in MY generation…myself included. My grandparents feel younger than me and some of them even accuse me of being a bore for my young age… THE NERVE?! For example, my 60 year old grandmother when to go see Beyonce in concert last year…. Like, excuse me?!?! How are you going to see Queen Bey at 60, while I’ve only seen her on TV at the age of 23?!?!
However…I found that more older adults stop stressing about aging once they reach 40 or even 50… Don’t believe me? Ask an older adult in your life… Again, this is an opinion piece… So, no I don’t have percentages and figures to prove this…this is all based on what I see 🙂
NUMBER TWO!: “YOUR BRAIN POWER DECLINES”
I’m not quite sure who started this “older Americans aren’t as smart as the younger generation” stuff… However, I strongly disagree. I find that I have more stimulating conversations with older Americans than with my own peers. Not that I feel as if my generation is “stupid”…but, I’d like to talk about things other than the latest trend, twitter and getting “turnt up”… I also learn a lot more with those who are 50+ rather than the 16-25 year old age group. No offense 🙂
NUMBER THREE!: “YOUR HAPPINESS WILL DECLINE”
I for one cannot WAIT till I’m able to retire… I remember as a little girl, I would ask my grandmother why older people seem to have more money and more fun. She replied “It’s called retirement. We know how to save money and then when we’re done paying dues, we can travel or just sit and do nothing”… Ah, to be able to sit and do nothing and still be happy… My grandparents and great aunts and uncles are constantly traveling…for no reason AT ALL… I would love that luxury… Plus, you have children and grandchildren and sometimes great grandchildren, whose job it is to keep you happy!
NUMBER FOUR!: “YOU’LL STOP LEARNING AND GROWING”
Gone are the days of “You can’t teach an old dog a new trick”! If an older adult can master the iPhone, than they are capable of anything. Point. Blank. Period:) Of course we don’t mind helping…I mean, that’s what Mentor Up is all about!
NUMBER FIVE!: “YOU’LL BECOME LESS SOCIAL AND ISOLATED”
Although being isolated has been an issue among older adults, it does not mean that every older adult experiences it. My grandparents have more friends and enjoy the night life more than I do. They go to actual parties…yes, I said parties…They set up annual vacations with their friends… It’s unbelievable 🙂
At the end of the day, aging isn’t what we’re told it is. According to the Concise Encyclopedia, Aging means the “gradual change in an organism that leads to increased risk of weakness, disease, and death. It takes place in a cell, an organ, or the total organism over the entire adult life span of any living thing. There is a decline in biological functions and in ability to adapt to metabolic stress. Changes in organs include the replacement of functional cardiovascular cells with fibrous tissue. Overall effects of aging include reduced immunity, loss of muscle strength, decline in memory and other aspects of cognition, and loss of colour in the hair and elasticity in the skin”.
That’s not entirely true… I just showed you all how amazing aging can be… Don’t be afraid to grow older…
“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength”. -Betty Friedan