Growing Old

By Eamonn Cotter

Whether we are alone or with a partner, growing old is a fact of life and something we cannot side step or avoid and it is important how we handle it at a personal level, alone or in company. It has been said in many ways that age is only a number and you are only as old as you feel. When growing up, one always looked up to older members of the family as the wiser ones and with more learning and experience, but the parents would have the last word and one thought they would never die. Children would regard a man or woman in their 50’s or 60’s as very old people. Sooner than expected those same children find themselves in that same age bracket of 50 or 60 and still think they are young and capable of all the life style of activity of their 20’s, mentally and physically, but the mind and body then begin to remind them that certain things have changed and a certain slowing down of activities begin to dictate what can and cannot be done. But the mind will continue to push the body to respond and act as it always did. We don’t accept the fact that being 50-60+ is old at all, despite our opinion as children.

Whatever our work in life had been, soon retirement is looking at us and is inevitable. Even with company and perhaps family, one can still feel alone in a crowd, but if devoid of that and in fact actually living alone, then it is more difficult and a sense of isolation begins to take a grip. There is an urgency to try and find companionship to alleviate the loneliness. As the Good Book says, “man was not born to be alone.” Being alone and trying to cope with life in the world of today is often demanding and even frightening and the isolation can cause worry and anxiety of a very intense nature. Many things which were easily dealt with in the past, have now become major issues and often social life can become non-existent.

One feels weakest of all first thing in the morning and it could take some hours before being able to relax and get into a manageable state of mind and then get on with that particular day. Sometimes it can be a matter of how to pass the time of day. Boredom and frustration can set in and the cost of living and financial worries can become mountainous.

The urgency for company becomes stronger each day. There is a determination, not be alone, but certain things in life one cannot make happen and you just wait and hope for the best. It must be said that belief and trust in a God or Higher Power, is essential and that gives some real meaning to life here. While a particular day might seem long and weary, time in general seems to pass faster and birthdays come around quickly and often a reluctance to admit one’s real age becomes the norm.

They say people are living longer these days, nevertheless, it must be admitted that nearing the eight decade mark indicates a good innings, even without admitting it. A daily search goes on in life every day and always an urge to stand up and walk tall as long as is possible. Mind plays a huge role in determining our life style and to maintain an active and alert mind, whatever may be the state of the body, is most important.

As the saying goes “far away hills are greener”, so too we often feel envious of others, thinking it would be better if I had such a life style of another, but that is not the real world. We are who we are and where we are right now, and it’s up to ourselves to make the best of what we’ve got. No one knows what tomorrow has in store for any person and another known motto is, “live every day as if it were your last, one day, you’ll be right”.

Showing a sense of gratitude can give an uplifting and put routine into context. Keeping the mind active is vital. Yesterday is gone and will never be again. Tomorrow has not yet come and no one knows what is in store. Today is the real life and must be treasured and utilized to the full.

It would make no sense to ignore the power of the subconscious mind which never grows old. It is not time itself but the fear of time that has a harmful ageing effect on our minds and bodies. On its own old age does not destroy the creative powers of mind and body. Age is not the flight of years but the dawn of wisdom. A good example is to consider the invisible power of electricity which today we take for granted, but we cannot see it or feel it, and yet it is all around us and part of our lives, day and night. The activity and power of the subconscious mind is similar in many ways.

When people are forced to retire because of age, they have not lost their job, but the company has lost a mountain of experience and service. Life is always clothing itself anew and what people call death is but a journey to a new city in another dimension of life. The mind is the master weaver and you grow old only when you lose interest in life and we go on in the search for new worlds to conquer. Believe this and expect it and your subconscious will bring it to pass. You are as old as you think or feel and the mind in reality never grows old.

Eamonn Cotter, Nov. 29th. 2016

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