For the past few days I have been looking after my aged Mum and Dad to give my sister a break and allow her to go to a party down in London. A deserved break for her.
While I sit at their dining room table working on building my online business and writing blog posts, alongside making cups of tea and trying to keep my dog from rampaging through the house, my parents sit, and sit, and sit. That’s all they do, just sit. Well they watch TV too. Now with my mum having dementia and being unable to walk there isn’t much more that she could be doing. But my Dad well he is still sound of mind and body, and no matter what niggles he may have, he could be doing so much more, but he chooses to sit and watch TV. Of course in addition he runs around looking after my mum, playing the role of man servant to perfection.
My dad seems to have one purpose in life. His reason for being, for getting up in the morning is to look after my mother. A great attitude, a caring one, but he is sacrificing his health and his life. He is not making the most of old age.
I’m 51 years old, 32 years younger than my Dad, but when I look forward to myself reaching his age I would want so much for my life. There must be a purpose for those extra years. To me a life without meaning is no life at all.
There is a saying that goes: “To a fool, old age is a bitter winter; to a wise man it is a golden time.” Everything depends on your own attitude, how you approach life. Do you view old age as a period of decline ending in death, or as a time in which one has the opportunity to attain one’s goals and bring one’s life to a rewarding and satisfying completion?
There are two ways to live, one is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is. Albert Einstein
My dad seems to have given up on life. There’s nothing my mum can do about either her health or her mental state. But my dad chooses his way of being, and has chosen to stop living.
Have you lost interest in the activities you used to enjoy? Do you struggle with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness? Are you finding it harder and harder to get through the day? If so, you’re not alone.
But now it’s time to change!
My dad’s choice should be to stay healthy and feel his best. It’s important to live a life of fulfilment no matter how old you may be. Living with nothingness is not the way for anybody.
As we grow older, we experience an increasing number of major life changes, including career changes and retirement, children leaving home, the loss of loved ones, and physical changes. How we handle and grow from these changes is the key to staying healthy and achieving contentment, living life to the fullest.
You just have to want it and not accept a life of, I say again, nothingness.
Look at the options you have available to you to make the most of old age:
- Pick up a long-forgotten hobby (he used to love stamp collecting)
- Try a new hobby
- Play with your grandkids (he has two granddaughters and a great granddaughter who I know would love to see the more energetic, happy, loving man that I know he can be)
- Learn something new (he has so much to tell, writing or dare I say blogging would be a definite calling for him)
- Doing something long ago forgotten (I believe he used to play cards on a regular basis, and I’m sure he could find a club where he can start once again)
- Join the local senior center (he is such a chatter box he could so easily make new friends)
- Take weekend trips (he has never stayed with me in Bishop Auckland, he’d always be welcome)
- Spend time in nature (taking walks in the beautiful local countryside)
The possibilities are endless. The important thing is to find activities that he would enjoy and bring some excitement and meaning to his life.
For me my purpose is to do something which makes me want to wake up from bed each day and take on the world with zeal and enthusiasm, doing what I’m passionate about. I have no doubts much of my older age will be spent writing every day, blogging and please god writing books! I will also be imparting all the knowledge and wisdom of their life to their grandchildren and make it the purpose of their life!
To you elderly folk out there, please, I beseech you, make the most out of every minute, make the most of old age!
That’s my view. What do you think is absolutely essential during those twilight years?
Leave a comment to let me know.