We had just such an occasion on a sunny Sunday in February when the Joy of Ageing team plus supporters and friends gathered around a home pool for a barbecue and frolic in the water. Yes, surprising as it may seem to some, many of us still enjoy swimming even into our seventies and eighties!
We all have so many varied activities that we pursue during the week and also at the weekend that it is not often that we can get together to play! Between us, our activities include working a few days a week in local businesses or the local university, volunteering in hospitals and or nursing homes, facilitating counselling groups, supervising trainee teachers, running art classes, writing books . . . the list is endless.
By gathering together and having fun we not only confirm each other – yes it is okay to be ageing and staying active and engaged in the community – we also inspire each other to connect more deeply to our inner-most and to live and express more and more from this place, which is the ‘source’ of our love and joy.
Yes, our physical bodies may be starting to deteriorate but our physical body is no longer what defines us. We may need to manage our symptoms such as swelling legs or a few more aches and pains but these symptoms do not dint the joy we feel within.
We not only celebrated each other, we also welcomed one of the writers for our book ‘The Joy of Ageing, Esoterically’ who had arrived the day before from the UK. Elizabeth has also contributed several articles to our website so it was our great joy to have her with us in person. Joy is indeed universal!
Another reason to celebrate, not that we ever need a reason, was that one of our local elders Deidre, had turned 70 the day before. She was still in disbelief that she had reached 70 as she did not feel anywhere near that age on the inside!
Still, she blew out the candles as we all sang ‘Joy-full Birthday’ and then shared her gluten free, dairy free, birthday carrot cake.
This just about sums it up!
Ageing is inevitable, so why not embrace it fully and squeeze every bit of Love and Joy that is on offer.
As with Love, true Joy is not dependent on other people or anything outside of us: be it work, traffic, the regulatory systems we live under, the political environment, the weather and so on.
True Joy comes from within when we start to live a certain way.
Nothing can extinguish or even dint ‘True Joy’ once it is lived. It starts with having meaning and purpose in our life, and then living each day with more love in our life than the day before, the moment before! As we make more loving choices for self and others, Joy gradually emerges naturally, without any conscious effort on our part and continues to expand until we find ourselves ageing joyfully.
Now isn’t that something worth celebrating!!
Anne McR, Australia
1:’Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom, Hachette Australia 1998
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to read: https://www.unimedliving.com/livingness/living-wisdom/if-happiness-is-a-fundamental-human-goal-why-stop-there.html