What Are We Supposed to Do Now?
Updated: Jul 2, 2020
Earlier in life I somehow knew, more-or-less, what I was supposed to do to act my age. At this point things are not so clear. I hear more about my Rights as an older person than my Responsibilities. I miss having responsibilities. Here are some responsibilities that I think we should be expected to carry out.
Old Age Has Purpose
Consider These as Special Responsibilities
For Being a Person Who Has More Than 55 Years*
*(A person is not an “age” but has years of experience; and for better and worse, each counts)
1. Accept that you are entering a new stage of life. Accept that Aging is a natural process and you are powerless to stop it. Embrace “old” as something that presents wonderful opportunities for happiness as well as challenges. Accept that while “old” is new for you, it has been experienced by others since time immemorial.
2. Understand that Aging is a complex process that varies from person-to-person. Seek to know your authentic aging self. Resist negative stereotypes that limit you as well as magical cures, simplistic solutions and the quest for perpetual youth. Positive thinking is fine, but good preparation for what is to come is better.
3. Having accepted this and knowing that even healthy aging brings changes in your body, Commit to living your life in as healthy a way as possible (including exercise, diet, monitoring your blood pressure, questioning your Doctor, and avoiding all those things you know are bad for you).
4. Prepare for your old age physically, emotionally, financially, socially and spiritually the best that you are able; but acknowledge that things happen that humans cannot control. Hope for the best but prepare for contingencies. Do not be judgmental of misfortunes experienced by yourself or others. Diseases are not the result of negative “thinking” and everyone is always a work-in-progress.
5. Prepare for your death including developing a will, Advance Care medical directives, funeral preparations, and downsizing so that the ones you leave behind will know your wishes and not be faced with stressful decisions that should be your responsibility. Grow to accept the inevitability of death and think of it with inner peace.
This is not the total of our special responsibilities, but it is a good start