Remember decades ago when you wanted to be older? You couldn’t wait to grow up and wear makeup and pick out your clothes that fit your style and personality. If you were like me, you watched the clock in elementary school ticking, second by second, just waiting for time to pass. It was exasperating and oh so slow as if time stood still. You probably couldn’t wait for high school to start, thinking about dating, dances, and boys. Life was going to begin once you walked down those long noisy halls.
I bet you thought getting carded was annoying – until it stopped.
Did you wonder what all the yammering about dieting was about – until you had to diet too?
What about lamenting why you had such a baby face – until you didn’t.
Most of my life I lied about my age either wanting to be older than I was or younger. I never admitted my age to anyone not because I was embarrassed or ashamed, but because of discrimination.
You see, as a teacher I was always friends with younger women, I seemed to fit in like a nice pair of comfortably worn in shoes. I’m happier and more alive around people younger than me. They bring me to life. But if they knew my age would they still invite me to happy hour and tell me their secrets?
It occurred to me one day that age is a number. Yes, that sounds cliché, but it’s true. What if you decided that the way you feel every day is your actual age? I remember many days at home while raising my children and I felt like I was 85 years old. And today after celebrating a fantastic Pilates class I feel like I’m 30 again. It’s true! If I want to wear a little summer dress I can, it doesn’t matter what my age is. And who cares what others think?
Attitude Is Everything
Attitude is everything in life. You write positive intentions in your journal and create gratitude lists every morning. You practice yoga, meditate and exercise. But, unless you create a positive attitude about your age, you’re at risk of not only unhappiness but of preventing dementia.
Yes, you heard me correctly.
Your attitude in midlife and beyond directly impacts your ability to get dementia.
Research from Yale University states, “That older persons who have acquired positive beliefs about old age from their surrounding culture are less likely to develop dementia.” The main author Becca Levy states that “positive age beliefs can reduce the risk of one of the most established genetic risk factors of dementia.”
Attitude is everything. But what can you do when we live in a culture that’s disposable? One where aging is tucked away on the bookshelf like a used book? A culture where people assume you can’t hear, see, or worse – work!!!
Stop Ageism Now
The term ageism coined in 1968 by Robert Butler, MD, refers to a denial of older person’s human rights. Although age discrimination is against the law, it still runs rampant in the workforce and others segments of society.
Ask the 60 something employee how they’re treated compared to their younger counterpart. Five years ago, I left the education profession and started an online store in the pet industry. At sixty years young I wrote a bestselling book, and I’m now a successful health coach who works to empower women. We are competing on all levels with vigor and strength. So why are so many of us forced out of our jobs because of age?
How can we change the culture to better our society not only for the boomer generation but for the other generations that follow?
Stand on our shoulders and let us show you the way.
· Speak up.
· Engage and stay active both physically and mentally.
· Be positive and independent.
· Volunteer and surround yourself with younger people; their energy is contagious.
· Finally, exercise. Pilates, Yoga, walking are beautiful ways to build strength and stamina.
And get involved in the truths that matter to you and others.
We are the generation of changemakers. let’s not slow down now when we’re needed the most.