What Do You Expect?


Hi, there! I hope this finds you well, in good spirits and health. As I write this, I'm reminded of a quote by Augusten Burroughs:

"When you have your health, you have everything.

When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all."

Of course, we can all see the truth in this, but let's go deeper. As you age, what do you expect and can you understand how significant your expectations are? I frequently hear someone over 50 complain about some loss -- it could just be that their knees are "stiff" or it might be that they are having a hard time with any, or most, of their ADL's, as we say in the medical community, Activities of Daily Living. In many ways, this is a standard of well-being and could include:

  • Bathing and personal hygiene

  • Dressing and grooming

  • Eating and nutrition

  • General mobility

  • Thought processes

  • Elimination/toileting

I'll also hear, "It's tough getting old", and usually everyone around them agrees, but is it entirely true? Every age has its "challenges". It takes effort to manage all phases of life from infancy on up, but growing up hearing how it's all downhill after ... 45, 50, 55... sets us up for failure. Who decided that we should start "giving up" at a certain age? I don't need to follow their pessimistic view and neither do you.

The medical model often doesn't help. I was incredibly lucky to see a doctor in my early 20's who told me that I needed to strengthen my leg muscles through exercise, especially the ones that ultimately supported my knees. They were achy from time to time and one medical professional had already implied that I might have early onset arthritis or even lupus! Now I know that what I eat can also contribute to joint inflammation, so between attention to my physical structure I also watch how I nourish myself. Yes, physical activity and attention to fitness seems easier and more "natural" in our younger years, but is that cultural or societal programming? Also, if we kept our bodies fit during that time, we have a small advantage later on in life. However, it's never too late to love ourselves and our bodies with exercise. It's not natural to simply sit down at a certain age and wait for our bodies to give out on us. Interestingly and fortunately, when we maintain a certain physical fitness level and condition and especially when we improve our strength, not only does our mobility get better, but all the other things on that list I shared at the beginning get a boost! We feel more confident because we can continue to take care of ourselves. Our mood is better and thinking clearer. We see and feel the effects of good nutrition and we can avoid issues like constipation. Please don't buy into whatever you've heard or read over the years. You can age differently than your ancestors and certainly in a healthier way than what you see on television and in magazines. The sooner you start, the better and the best time is now. I believe in you, I'm sending love and good ju-ju out to you and remember, be care-full. If you feel like it's "hard" to practice self-care all alone, contact me for a complementary Discovery session. I'm in your corner.


Happy Healthy Habit Hump Day,


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About the Author

 

 

 

Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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