A friend and I were talking recently about ageing because I have had a ‘big’ birthday and have now entered the ‘vulnerable’ age in society . . . three score years and ten.
In the UK, you need a new driving licence at this age and can no longer drive vans. The places where I volunteer are questioning my ability to continue working there because of my age.
A few people have questioned why I continue to work at this age, and in UK, we now don’t have to retire at 65 years old, but the expectation is that, by 70, we will be wanting to retire. The truth is there are many people in their 70’s still working, as my friend and I are, not because we have to, but because we still enjoy contributing to society.
We have noticed that we are sometimes asked if we need help with something. There’s nothing wrong in this, it’s really quite lovely that people support each other, but can it be coming from a place where they are viewing us as a little old ladies, frail and incapable? We realise we don’t have to ‘go it alone’, and sometimes we can ask for help when it’s needed, but neither of us feel frail and incapable, in fact we have been discussing feeling very much empowered at this time of our lives.
The body definitely is changing and needs our support. We can feel how we’re not as strong as we were twenty years ago, and it may take more journeys from the car to the house with the shopping. Our stamina for gardening or spring cleaning needs pacing so we don’t do too much in one go and cause the body to ache the following day, or if we were to move furniture, it certainly would need planning and maybe the help of another, but this is all caring for the body. It may be noticeable that our balance becomes less steady, so regular exercise can keep us in shape as with any age, and at this stage, fitness for life feels really important to support ourselves and maintain our physical health. There’s plenty of choices we can make to be active and continue to look after the body.
After a few minutes discussion, we both suddenly had a penny drop: The truth of how we are on the outside, our changing skin, shape or hair colour, is far less important than how we feel on the inside.
We discussed and agreed how, in recent years, we have been strengthening our fitness for life on the inside by focusing on the power within, and understanding that we all can access this power. Our essence then shines radiantly outwards. This is what we bring to all those around us in our daily lives.
The body will continue the ageing process but the shining light within us does not have to diminish or fade, that spark can sparkle within until we take our last breath.
Gill R & Christina M., UK
If you enjoyed this article you may also like to read:
The Simplicity of Ageing