Aging is a process that we all experience … if we are lucky. It’s vital to keep that grateful perspective in mind as we each go through our own, unique developmental evolution.
Gratitude is a powerful antidote to the losses that come with this territory. Another helpful tool for navigating this process is humor. They don’t change reality, but they can most definitely transform our experience of it.
Aging and You: Here’s One Reader’s Question
We recently heard from Diane B. in Tuscaloosa, Oklahoma, who wrote:
I think I have accepted the fact that I am slower to accomplish everyday tasks than I used to be. I also try to be creative in experimenting to get the work done as quickly as is now feasible.
The only time I get depressed is when my adult children comment on my diminished capacity. I realize they are joking, but it still hurts, and I feel angry and depressed after they leave. What do you suggest?
Your Aging: Reclaiming Your Power
This is a great question, and one that illustrates what I believe is a very common problem. I mean, we have feelings about our own aging, and then these can be complicated and compounded by how others respond.
The key is always to come back to yourself as your base. In this case, you’d want to shift your focus away from what others express and back to how you experience your current situation. That is
where you hold all the power.
One powerful way to do this is to take your ego out of the equation and focus on the humor. In this case, recognize the gentle teasing for what it is.
If you are comfortable doing it, give it right back – that can lighten the situation considerably!
If you are not comfortable with banter, deflect any barb with a smile and a truthful response. Share honestly about changes you have noticed in yourself. That shifts the exchange gently away from humor and back to your comfort zone.
Aging is a fact of life, and the more fully you accept your reality, the less you will feel knocked off course if someone teases you.
Humor helps bring some of these challenges down to size. And if you find yourself still feeling discouraged, you can always transform your perspective by validating to yourself all that you accomplish, despite the setbacks you face. It is important to see the glass half full – and this is a choice that you can always make for yourself. After all the bottom line is the fact that, as I noted earlier, aging is the best alternative by far!
Have you faced challenges like Diane’s as you age? What kinds of situations have you dealt with and how have you fared?
© Copyright 2013 Paula Eder, Ph.D.