I have been pondering over the ageing thing. My Facebook group called Ageing With Vitality carried that name for several years. I chose it because it had a good ring to it, and people who understand thought it was a brilliant idea. I even have a logo for it, and one of my books has that title. However, every time someone asks what I coach or write about, I find myself having to explain. I’m not talking about physically leaping around full of energy, but the vital thread of energy in our souls. The Oomph in our everyday existence, the desire to stay vital to society, even when we need to be cared for, when a smile or thank you means a lot to our carers.
I don’t mean anti-ageing and staying physically active until the day we die. After all, when we find that our bodies are feeling the effects of age, and we need more regular MOTs and maybe new types of fuel to move, or the mechanism needs more oil, we don’t need people telling us where we’ve gone wrong.
‘Light Up the Room’
What we do need is encouragement, stimulating companionship, laughter, and simple ideas to help us manage this wonderful, wise and ‘free from’ age. Meaning: we’ve done our bit, now it’s time to share what we’ve learnt in life, and hand out as much kindness and joy as possible, and avoid spreading judgement or criticism.
To quote Gabby Bernstein, “Be the person who lights up the room”.
Not Done Yet!
I have worked with elderly people for most of my life. I realised my vocation at the age of 31. As well as owning, managing and working in Care Homes, I’ve helped out neighbours and friends and have been a listening ear for those taking care of them. In addition, I’ve been a carer, nurse, financial supporter, cleaner, and in the last few years I’ve written about ageing on my website.
Now ‘old’ or classed among the elderly myself, I don’t have any hang ups about using the word ‘old’: it’s only a way of explaining that I’ve been on planet Earth a very long time! (And it does no good to resist it.)
I hope to have plenty more years yet and just yesterday at the time of writing I heard a new word for it. INDY: I’m Not Done Yet!
But this old body is showing me plainly that I need to love and cherish it, without dieting, rather through eating healthily and getting the right balance with activity. It tells me not to overdo the medication and oiling and keep my brain active. I sometimes struggle just the same as others.
When I used to walk an average of 25 miles a week in my early sixties, I used to think how much I enjoy walking, and I will walk like this ‘for the rest of my life’. But it wasn’t to be. The eyes, bones and muscles are coming into this age kicking and screaming all the way. I now find myself a widow and know what grief is all about. But I’m making it Merry Widow.
The thing is, we need to know how to age gracefully, or even disgracefully. We should stay aware, conscious and determined to be vital in this life until our last breath.
My group and writing will be about how to do that, in practical ways. For example, you may ask “How can I stay vital even when I’m lying in hospital, or a home, and having to have everything done for me.” I have witnessed many people in this situation. To cut a long story short, it isn’t the demanding ones who are well thought of and who nurses spend their time with, but the ones who are content and at peace with themselves.
And we need to obtain that peace of mind to take us into the journey, so I’m changing the name from Ageing With Vitality to How to Stay Vital with Ageing.
I already have a lot of reading for you here on my website (you don’t need to subscribe) on various topics, and you can apply most of them to How to Stay Vital with Ageing. I will rename the book with that title too.
My next blog will be about Dementia, since there is a lot of it about. I want to look at the myths and beliefs built around this condition and give some reassurance.
As a Funeral Celebrant, Patricia assists the bereaved to adjust to new circumstances: Hummingbird Funerals.
The Ageing with Vitality Facebook Group is Here
Patricia’s Facebook Group for her latest book is The Truth Will Set Me Free. They are private groups by application only.
Listen to a Silver Tent Radio interview with Patricia here: radio interview.
Another blog by Patricia for The Silver Tent, a global community for women over 50: How Not To Diet!