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All of us experience aging from the time that we are born, but sometimes, it is difficult to cope with the changes that age brings. Learn about what it takes to recognize the gifts of aging and to live like you are dying, appreciating each moment.

SHOW NOTES

Practices:

  • Don’t “should” on yourself – Don’t compare yourself with the stereotypical landmarks that come with certain ages. Don’t feel as if you should be doing this or accomplishing that just because many of your peers have hit those landmarks.
  • Number your days – Recognize that time is limited, and live like you are dying, taking life one day at a time and focusing on the present. Ask yourself what you will do with the time you have left.
  • Recognize opportunity ­– Remind yourself that wisdom comes with age and that your best work could still be ahead of you.
  • 3 good things – Stop/slow down and write three good things in your life each day. Get the 3 Good Things app to help with this if you would like. Download the app here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/three-good-things-a-happiness-journal/id1242079576
  • Make intergenerational friendships

Scripture:

  • Many of the named women in the Bible are older and play a mentorship role:
    • 2 Timothy 1:5 – I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.
    • Luke 2:36-38 -There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
    • Luke 1:5-7 – In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. – Elizabeth ends up giving birth to John the Baptist (Luke 1:21) and being there for her young relative Mary in her time of need (Luke 1:39-45).
    • Genesis 18:9-12 – They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.”Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?”
  • Job 12:12 – Is wisdom with the aged, and understanding in length of days?
  • Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.

References:

  • Louise Hay – An author who started Hay House Publishing and wrote her first book when she was 67 years old.
  • Ali MacGraw interviews with Oprah – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS9gIDHDT-Q, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPdPuaIrrS4
  • Link to article with Fortune 500 statistic – https://fortune.com/2015/12/13/oldest-ceos-fortune-500/
  • Hansa Bergwall – Man who reminds people that they are going to die via social media, an app, and a podcast.
  • “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw song link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjRXGqRofE4
  • Parker Palmer – On the Brink of Everything (book)
    • “Age itself is no excuse to wade in the shallows. It’s a reason to dive deep and take creative risks.”
    • “Age brings diminishments, but more than a few come with benefits. I’ve lost the capacity for multi-tasking, but I have rediscovered the joy of doing one thing at a time. My thinking has slowed a bit, but experience has made it deeper and richer. I’m done with big and complex projects but more aware of the simple things, a talk with a friend, a walk in the woods, sunsets, and sunrises, a night of good sleep. As time lengthens like a shadow behind and the time ahead dwindles, my overriding feeling is gratitude for the gift of life.”
  • Thomas Merton – “Climbing the ladder of success but finding out that the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.”
  • Richard Rohr – Falling Upward (book) –
    • “There is much evidence on several levels that there are at least two major tasks to human life. The first task is to build a strong ‘container’ or identity; the second is to find the contents that the container was meant to hold.”
    • “Life is a matter of becoming fully and consciously who we already are, but it is a self that we largely do not know.”