If there was such a thing as a handbook for growing older, I doubt that any of us would read it when we are young and could take heed. When we are youthful, we feel so strong and invincible that it seems like a waste of time and energy to think about growing old.
When my mom and dad hit their 50s, it scared me so much because I thought they were really getting old. When they hit their 60s, I was afraid they wouldn’t be with us much longer. By the time they hit their 70s, I had caught up to my 50s and realized they were not old at that age at all. Now that they are in their eighties and both with birthdays coming up in the next week, I have grown confident that they will be with us until they’ve completed all that God called them to do in this life before He calls them home.
If there was a handbook for what I need to prepare for in the next twenty years, I’d have enough sense at this point to read it and take it to heart. As a younger person, I thought my parents and all older people held the truths of life and the wisdom to meet every challenge. At my age I realize that I have as many questions as I ever did, although they may be different than the concerns of my youth.
At PT Pros yesterday I heard someone say, “Getting old is not for wimps.” I’ve heard it before and even said it before, but the reality of hearing it during a physical therapy session surely hit home.
As we age and have to face physical challenges, our determination to get better and stay strong needs to increase with our age. I want to not only recover completely from knee replacement surgery, but also work on being the best and strongest that I can possibly be for this current age. I still have places to go and things to do. I still feel God’s call on my life to accomplish important work in my lifetime.
Having been someone who loved to walk, hike, swim, canoe, and all other kinds of outdoor activities, I never dreamed there’s be a day when just getting down my basement stairs and out to the CAA van to get to physical therapy would be a major ordeal.
In my guidebook for growing older I would include a chapter on the CAA. I just learned about our Community Action Agency in the last couple of weeks. For a fee the agency will send someone to the house to pick a person up and take them to a doctor’s appointment, physical therapy, or several other needs. Fees vary according to the distance of the trip. I had seen their vans, but never knew exactly what services they provided. When I did a little research on the computer, I was truly surprised at all of the other services they offer to individuals or families in need. Even though my need for a ride to physical therapy is temporary until I am recovered enough to drive myself, I appreciate the great service this agency provides to our citizens.
One of the first steps we can take towards aging is to stay strong physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually, as much as possible according to our age. The next step is getting informed about all of the services that are available for senior citizens throughout our individual communities and the region. There are also many discounts available for seniors, but they have to be asked for by the individual.
This decade of my life is a whole different chapter than what I expected. It is up to me to make the most of it, learn the lessons to be learned, embrace it, look for the joy, and be as strong as possible for the next chapter. Aging is definitely not for wimps!
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.