Aging-Well does not mean the denial of age but rather to be able to live each day that we are given with the vitality of youthfulness, resilience, and the wisdom and grace of maturity. There will be wonderfully exhilarating days and there will be days of darkness and sorrow. Through the years we must learn to deal with both with grace and aplomb.
The woman with a positive attitude has learned to be resilient. Resilience can be defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or adversities. Most of us will have our share of problems and losses, perhaps even great losses, in our lives. How we respond to those losses, how we move through them and eventually recover, reflects our resilience.
Resilience is the ability to adapt well to the changes that these challenges present, to an altered lifestyle perhaps, and to keep moving forward in the face of these adversities.
Perhaps you have been blessed with a Pollyannaish outlook on life; that is, an overly optimisticoutlook and a determined cheeriness. But if taken too far, and even applied to a sad event, this over the top agenda can be inappropriate. We must acknowledge the sadness and the losses in life. But how do we learn to roll with the punches? How do we dust ourselves off and go forward again? How do we forgive but still acknowledge that we cannot trust everyone? How do we even breathe again after the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one?
When we have resilience, we harness that inner strength, the rebound fervor, that deep hope that things will get better, and take a step forward. It may take some time – so be good to yourself. If you are lacking in resilience, you may feel like a victim, extremely vulnerable and overwhelmed, hopeless and defeated. We can feed those thoughts and stay in that deep pit. Or we can harness that resilience,that inner power, that faith that is ours and begin to look forward. We can again see the joy in life; we can handle our stress and return to life as it is now.
We do learn to roll with the punches. We may feel anger, pain, grief and even physically ill. We will need a hand from a friend, perhaps a bit of counseling, but even in our despair we know within ourselves that we are going to make it. We may have what I call “my history” – I can do it again. We are made that way. We must not feed our pain nor deny our loss, but rather accept whatever it is, large or small, see it for what it is, and then look for the best way to move toward the outcome that we want.
The woman who is aging well has learned to embrace life, share it with others and give back to the world for all that we have been given. Keeping things in proper perspective, we learn to pop up again when the waves wash over us. The older woman has a bag of experiences from which to draw wisdom, tolerance and understanding. She stands strong, accepting the circumstances, and immediately begins to search for the strength that will pull her through. She accepts the comfort of friends and family. She prays to keep a sweet manner and a right attitude. Perhaps in helping someone else she gains the resilience to go on and become a stronger, more confident, optimistic and hopeful woman than she was before. We grow through the pain.
The woman who is aging well will always be the pace setter for living. Whether she is out going or quite reserved, her life will stay on goal and she will be seen as a leader exuding hope, optimism and faith. She will have a positive attitude even in a world that can be hurtful. She knows who she is and whose she is. Though beat down and hurting, she intentionally marches steadfastly on as she waits for the joy and happiness to return. She has weathered the storm. She is indeed aging well.