By Carol Marak
Dr. Bill Thomas, a Gerontologist, tells us the boomers are set against getting old or at least we don’t value aging. What’s your opinion? I say to look around, what do TV commercials, magazine ads, and society in general tell us in the messages we receive? That youth is awesome and we better keep it for as long as we can? And the moment it’s gone, so is our human value?
When I watched Dr. Thomas’ videos at Changing Aging several years ago, I learned that I better start to cherish life and who I have become today, instead of dreading getting older. That’s been four years ago, if I remember correctly, maybe two but who’s counting? The lesson Dr. Thomas teaches us about aging is twofold (and I love them both);
1) Be more aware.
2) Spend less time doing things we don’t want to do.
He says, “Part of being more alive and living a full life is being very selective on what we do with our time.” Now that’s a Sage’s advice if I’ve ever heard it. What about you? If you’re over 50, do have the privilege to choose what you do with your time? Or do you get caught up in what other people think you should be doing?
Do you know what it means to be “aware”? Wikipedia describes “aware” as the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of something. In biological psychology, awareness is defined as a human's or an animal's perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event.
One would assume that as humans grow older in age, we would become “aware”, but that’s not the case for many. It seems some people go through life with blinders on, doing what’s needed to get by, to “make it” in life. Our goals seem to be: graduate from college, get a good paying job, buy a car, buy some toys, take a vacation once a year, get married, buy a home, raise a family and then retire! Yes! Those are a few of our far reaching goals. Don’t get me wrong, they are all important and worthy of our undivided attention. But once we achieve them or maybe even a bit before, maybe our lives would feel more significant if we became aware, more conscious of our choices and the motivating factor(s) behind them.
If our lives felt significant just by accepting ourselves the way we are (the good, the bad, the ugly), then maybe chasing the fountain of youth would seem a waste of time and precious energy!
Then what would happen to the media? I say it would be fun watching television commercials about products that help us have more fun and enjoy life to its fullest!
So, what’s your take it? Are you aware? And do you accept yourself just the way you are; wrinkles and all?
Carol Marak is founder of Carebuzz.com (http://carebuzz.com), a platform of websites targeting local senior care help for family caregivers and the aging senior they care for. Carol is a former caregiver for her aging parents. She experienced the frustrations of searching for local elder care help while living at a distance from her loved ones. That’s why she created Carebuzz. She plans to grow the city sites to be a leading local resource for caregivers.