Feature Writer Karen Crowder – Aging: A State of Mind

When I turned 25, my mom reminded remarked, “You are now a quarter century old.” This statement helped to reinforce what I knew–the carefree days of young adulthood were over. Though that statement seemed a little dark, my mom was calm about the subject of aging, always reassuring me that “You are only as old as you feel.”

At 29, I received my Associates Degree from a local junior college. Before my thirtieth birthday, though, I felt that I had almost forgotten the feeling of accomplishment. “I should be doing more with my life,” I thought. So, during the 80’s I got my Bachelor’s Degree in English, started working, and in July 1990, I got married.

By my late forties, my philosophy about aging was changing. I was part of the baby boomers, as we were defined, and I began reading books and listening to programs which were redefining “old age.” I recall many people were buying products which promised youthful skin and energy.

By my mid-to-late fifties, though, I had to accept aging as a natural process, as many anti-aging claims of the late nineties had given us false hope. All of those products and philosophies never turned out to be the fountain of youth that everyone built them up to be.

I was taking adult enrichment courses at Alpha, a branch of Fitchburg University. In addition to that, I continued developing my writing at classes and workshops. Much more than any cream or special drink ever could, these activities keep my mind active, as did the challenge of using my new accessible computer.

So now, considered a senior citizen, I have come up with a few ways to alter your perception on aging and begin to, perhaps, enjoy it.

– Keep a positive upbeat attitude.
– With patience, problems are always solved
– Eat a varied diet and try new recipes and foods.
– Pursue a long-deferred dream, like traveling, or start a new career, hobby, business venture, or educational pursuit
– Do exercises you enjoy. I personally like swimming and walking often.
– Get involved in political and other causes you care deeply for.
– Have a good network of friends.
– A romantic relationship is great for spirits, mind, and body. My mother’s friend, Violette, did not marry until she was 63.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you need to be doing what you love. When you can accomplish that, everything else falls into place and age is simply a number.

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