positive.news is an antidote to the poison of the daily television/radio/internet barrage we receive. the focus is on what’s working, who’s doing it and how it effects our lives and the planet. positive.news is a well-researched, well-written and beautifully put together quarterly magazine...a joy in a world filled with suffering. issue 91/fourth quarter 2017 has a cover “girl”...89-year old professional model daphne selfe. the cover story is called “the age advantage”. needless to say, i had to buy it!
there are the usual unusuals sited in the article, daphne being one of them. also honoured is the oldest person to scale everest, britain’s oldest professional ballet dancer and a man who started school at 84, among others.
as inspiring as these role models are, they are unusual. what had a greater impact were some of the statistics. did you know that... 65-79 is the happiest age group of adults women in their 80s have more enjoyable sex than those up to 30 years younger 75% of 50,000 the people aged 50+ interviewed (by the insurer sunlife) are less concerned about what people think of them than when they were younger 61% of them enjoy life now more than when they were younger 59% live ‘for today instead of tomorrow’ 42% say their life is more exciting now
it is this last number that interests me. more than 20,000 of the people interviewed are more excited by the way they live than they were in the past. this certainly puts paid to the common notion that olders are bored, spend all day watching telly, and are not engaged in their communities. it is the ‘common notion’ that needs to be challenged.
certainly there are challenges to society that the olders present. how and where will we live? how will we remain active in our work, should we choose to continue to work, as many of us are? if we choose to leave work (i really don’t like the word ‘retire’!) what will we do with our days and where will we do it?
and what of those olders who live in poverty, social isolation, with declining health, and malnutrition? these too are part of the total picture of olders in the UK.
conscious ageing asks us to consider these questions not just from a practical perspective. we need also to see them in light of our spiritual lives. sadly, this is an area that the positive.news writer did not consider. i’m not surprised! most writing about ageing focuses on inspiring stories or worries about health care or illness.
to age with awareness we honour our experience, examine our lives and begin to see how everything we have lived through has created the being that we are. it offers us the opportunity to not only give back to our communities, but to live with a deep sense of fulfillment and gratitude. and to provide support for those who need it...on every level.