I believe happiness is a choice. Every new day we have the opportunity to turn life’s circumstances into a gift or to grumble about our problems. We bring a treasure chest of gifts to that magic age of 55 and the senior years. But what does it take to draw out those gifts to create a quality of life that is sustainable, enjoyable, and substantive? Here’s my prescription for making the most of our gifts:
1. Reflect on what’s important in life
• Gift of life and life’s memories – I am blessed to have lived long enough to have memories. Life was not a rose garden, nor a crystal stair, but I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s. It’s made me who I am. I consider it a blessing to have memories… whether happy or sad… they’re mine.
• Remember – I believe I carry around too much in my brain. What’s in there? What is important enough to store in my brain? I must decide what to keep and what to throw away. It’s my brain; I need to guard what comes in through all my senses and emotions. I must guard my tongue, so that I will speak life.
2. Imagine possibilities
• Gift of options – It is a blessing to have choices. My life has been full of changes, turns, and dips in the road. Someone once said the mind is a factory of imagination. Having a fertile imagination gives me an opportunity to seize the moment, run with an idea, find the rut in the path, and fill the pothole… aiding me to enjoy the next level in my life. Wow! That’s personal power.
• Intentional Inventory – Every so often, I need to take a moment to do an inventory of who I am, what makes me happy, and what value I bring to the community of mankind. Do I like what I see in myself? Do I know my assets? Can I learn something new that will prepare me for the next phase of my journey? What will it take for me to do what I can to be all that I can be? An honest evaluation of our talents and skills, strengths and challenges, values and hopes, disappointments and expectations, along with a recognition that we didn’t do all this ourselves, can lead to an enhanced life that abounds in hope and joy.
3. Have an attitude of gratitude
• Gift of time – As the years go by, I am so grateful for each new ‘number’ I attain. Every milestone is a gift that lets me know how blessed I really am. As I work to Embed the ‘fruit of the spirit’ in my daily life, I can exponentially grow in the riches of new relationships, new ideas, and invigorating and exciting activities. I am grateful for each new moment, because the promise that I keep today pays off now and generationally, in both my life and yours.
• Find the tickle spot – Laughter has medicinal value. Research indicates that those who laugh everyday live longer, have infectious attitudes of gratitude, and are a joy to be around. So, laugh frequently! Be around energizing people and place yourself in situations where joy is the ultimate outcome. Recognize that, even in the saddest situations, we can usually find something to laugh about, if we allow ourselves. Use laughter generously and graciously.
Navigating through all the transitions of life, and into the senior years, is laudable and really not that hard. But, as my grandfather once said, “It takes strong nerves to watch it sometimes!” Aging gracefully is a gift. Enjoy your gifts… enjoy living!
Source by Doty Simpson-Taylor