The word, “Vintage” conjures in our mind, the grandeur of a rich and glorious past. It speaks of quality, something that has the fragrance of exceptional superiority.
And perhaps most importantly it is something that is old…old fashioned.
Taking us to a bygone age, an era that possessed an elegance and dignity.
It celebrates age and what is aged.
Like the other stages in our life, aging is a stage in our life that brings about its own set of unique changes. While we categorize those who are 65 years and above as elderly, today, there is a blurring of the starting age of this category. Numerous adults in this category today are living their life to their full that it may even appear to them as a disrespectful term to describe them.
Not surprisingly, many who do experience challenging physical, psychological and social changes may not necessarily feel tempted to celebrate this stage like the past stages of their life. Our understanding of these changes go a long way in our ability to make the best of this stage.
Like every stage in our life, each person has their own way of adjusting to the advanced age that they are in. One of the significant ways of celebrating old age is none other than by continuously having a belief of Gratitude for the existence and the joys that life gives. Unlike in the youth, where satisfying personal wishes is a reality based on financial state and practicality, wishes in old age are based many a time on the physical and psychological challenges the person faces and for what is possible under the circumstances.
Acceptance of Priorities in Life is another step towards a happier existence.”What matters the most”is a philosophy that would help us have a larger focus of life as a whole. It also helps us rationalize what we face. When my Grand Uncle passed away, Grand Aunt had to move from the house she had lived since she arrived as a bride to live with her daughter and she was not thrilled. Her daughter doted on her but my Grand Aunt was naturally concerned with the loss of the independent lifestyle she had led. But with profound insight and wisdom, Grand Aunt rationalized the impracticality of her staying alone in the big house with only a household help. She moved in to stay with her daughter and made the best of the change.
Many of our unhappiness stems from situations or people in our life not meeting our expectations. Despite the obvious challenges, an Acceptance of Situations and People for who they are reduces our disappointment in them and not meeting our expectations to an extent.
Enjoy the Wisdom gained from the experience of Life and its Lessons. If health permits, take up a volunteering activity eg: reading fairy tales to children in a nearby nursery or being a volunteer counselor at a suicide prevention center near home. Inspiring others through our wisdom of the years and understanding of life is a fulfilling way of adding value to our existence.
This is the time when many feel Confident about their Identity and the Personality they possess. The fear of criticism regarding lifestyle and dressing is known to scarcely exist during this stage. The years of living experience and the lessons would have taught us much – what to be concerned about and what to ignore. So enjoy the feeling of being free of negative thinking and just relish the heightened positive state of mind.
Leading an Active Lifestyle would help us lead a contented life.
Cultivating regular Social Interactions is a great way to stay connected with friends and enjoy the companionship. If travelling is your cup of tea, then (health permitting) go for a trip with friends. I know of a friend’s Mother in her mid 60s, a charming lady, who enjoys her time by travelling with friends to various places.Apart from the fun of seeing a new place and learning about the culture and language, travelling can be a relaxing, educational leisure activity for all ages.
Enjoying a Hobby can make the day more entertaining. Photography, socializing, travelling with friends (health permitting), writing our memoirs (its always interesting for future generations to get a glimpse about the past), learning a language or a new skill (like calligraphy) are some of the hobbies we can take up. With a little creativity, we could surprise ourselves with the number of hobbies we can choose from and enjoy!
Maintaining Health through Exercise & Meditation is a great way to keep fit at any age. Ideally, regular exercise (including walking) helps one be refreshed through out the day, maintain a healthy heart and weight. The key is to follow an exercise program that one enjoys immensely. However in this stage, it is advisable that the elderly consult with their physician before the start of any exercise program that has the risk of being too exhausting.
Yoga has many benefits for us – no matter what our age. From improving our body flexibility, helping us maintain the health of our bones and being a stress reliever, practicing yoga helps us be a enthusiastic optimist.
The Vintage years undoubtedly comes with its share of challenges. It is up to us to enjoy the wisdom of the years gone by and face those years in the best possible way – with enthusiasm and spirit.