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Adapting to Change as We Age

June 7, 2011

Change is difficult even under the best of circumstances. As we get older we often find ourselves resisting change and seeking security and consistency. As a young person I thrived on change. At any opportunity I was ready to try something new. Eager. Hopeful. Optimistic. The new “shiny thing” was both mesmerizing and enticing.

At almost sixty, I know about new shiny things and the grass is always greener. The years of disappointment and unfulfilled dreams has left me barren of hope for a new outcome from change. Particularly external change. Had life been different would I now be more optimistic? Less set in my ways? It’s hard to say.

I’ve become cynical even about internal change. If I haven’t fixed myself by now is it really possible to even be fixed? Does it matter? Yes, change is difficult and no less so with age. I still believe change and variety in life are important and help to keep us young and involved in life mentally if not physically.

We do have to choose what we change more carefully. When once a move across the country may have been the change we needed, now we may have just earned the right to seek more modest change to keep us humming along. A change of routine, a change of décor, a new dress may be all we need to stir things up and keep us engaged in life. Chances are an external change will be thrust into our lives in the not too distant future anyway.

The important thing about adapting to change is to be patient with ourselves and above all, kind. We need to remind ourselves that change is hard and requires a flexibility of spirit and attitude. Flexing those muscles now and again keeps us in shape for the unexpected, but it’s okay to be different at sixty than we were at twenty-six. Life holds a different sort of adventure for us now.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2011 9:28 pm

    Always excellent commentary. You cannot fight aging nor can you fight change. It is better to embrace it and go for it. I do not wish to be a teenager with angst again. There is something wonderful about every age and experience really does matter.

    • June 7, 2011 9:48 pm

      Teens and twenties were the worst for me! I have to agree, I don’t want to go back there ~ although wouldn’t it be interesting to do it again knowing what we know now? It would be a whole lot more fun! Thanks for your comments Annie.

  2. June 8, 2011 4:16 am

    As you say Dorothy – it is change does ‘help to keep us young and involved in life mentally if not physically.’ Learning new things keeps our brain ticking. And not being afraid to try new things keeps us ‘young’.

  3. June 8, 2011 12:54 pm

    We have all the experience of a lifetime now, so we can see things with a different lens. We need to keep looking through the windshield to see what is in front of us, because that is where we can make informed decisions, rather than looking in the rearview mirror where change is no longer possible.
    Now is the time to embrace doing the things we have always longed to do, and we need to accept the challenges we face to get to do those things. This is not the time to sit and twiddle our thumbs, we have to get with the program. Thanks for starting this discussion

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