My dears, I feel like reflecting on how grief and growth may—as I’m discovering—meet in our lives. So I’ll hit you right up front with what feels deeply personal to me.
Since my mother had some awful surgery just before Hurricane Michael pounded my parents’ house and town, then she declined and died three months later, I’ve been immersing myself in research on dying, death, and “life after.” If you know me, you know this is very different for me.
Though I do have a memory of myself sprawled on my pink bedspread, 13 years old, writing a piece on the logic of the immortal soul. No one had assigned it to me, and no one was waiting to read it. But it was important to me, because eternal life was a clear and vibrant truth to me. But that was then.
Are you one of those folks who asks the honest question, Why bother to keep growing? Well, for starters, check out this bit of sung wisdom from Bob Dylan:
He [and she who is] not busy being born is busy dying. — Bob Dylan
In fact, “aging gracefully” is more doable now than ever. The days when young folks had all the fun are over. Days when they had all the freedom. Now it’s totally possible for us to have multiple phases of life that are in fact age-neutral.
Changing the game: from existing to growing
These days, people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, even 80s and 90s are living radically different lives from what was once the norm. And of course many still do act out beliefs that a certain age means it’s time to be tired. Unhealthy. Overweight. Maybe even done with real self-care.
But many, many others are focused on growing, still and always jamming away at their dreams and goals way past the old put ’em out to pasture days. They exercise, eat smart, and practice self-care strategies like examining unhelpful beliefs and exploring an empowering mindset toward truly changing the aging game.