By Joan Clayton: Religion Columnist
Believe it or not advantages come with growing older and you can be happy about it.
Our culture puts a premium on youth and beauty. Television commercials are flooded with products that supposedly keep us young looking.
The underlying message is you are not okay the way you are because you no longer have the bloom of youth. You are not acceptable. Not so dear friends! Don’t believe it.
I have seen self-esteem go down the tube as some begin to get older. Not only do they feel “tacky” in appearance, but feel useless and unwanted. They can no longer do for others as they once could. Nothing could be further from the truth! Some of the greatest contributors to society were in their golden years. People like Einstein, Ben Franklin and Colonel Sanders to name a few, made tremendous contributions.
I am not denying the fact that we do get older. What I am saying is that we are still the same person with worth and value. Getting older does not mean we are unacceptable.
Isaiah 46:4 reassures security to those who are growing older: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
The elderly population has a wealth of experiences to be shared. Their experiences are filled with wisdom and knowledge and we need the courage and guidance they so aptly supply.
I love Caleb’s attitude in Joshua 14:10-11: “Now as you see, from that time until now the Lord has kept me alive and well for all these 45 years since crisscrossing the wilderness, and today I am 85 years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent us on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then!” (TLB)
“Yea Caleb!” He’s my kind of guy.
The best part of growing older is going to bed when you want to and getting up when you want to. I’ll eat anything I want to, like pizza for breakfast. I know I will still want to wear high heels and jewelry, so what? My granddaughters say, “Mawmaw is cool!” May I tell you a secret? I’ve always wanted to sit on the back pew with thumbs up and say, “Preach it brother!” I’m waiting until I hit 90 for that.
Being happy in older age is paramount to well being. Do things that make you happy:
1. Pursue hobbies. Many seniors have successfully become entrepreneurs in their own right.
2. Volunteer time to charitable organizations. The more you give yourself away, the happier you will be.
3. Keep a positive self-image. You are valuable to society.
4. When asked, share the wisdom you have accumulated, especially just good old common sense. The world needs it.
5. Give hugs and compliments freely.
6. Personal grooming is important. Wear makeup. Put on cologne and join the crowd.
7. Be happy you are getting older. Many do not have that privilege.
8. Relax and laugh. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Find humor in simple things.
Just for fun I have made a list of things I’m going to do in older age, maybe when I’m 95:
• Throw kisses at train engineers as they go by.
• Wear false eyelashes and bat them at my husband.
• Eat chocolate pie three times a day.
• Hold up “bunny fingers” behind people’s heads.
• Bleach chin hairs because I won’t have time to shave.
• Buy a life insurance policy while looking forward to the next birthday.
• And write a book called “People Are Crazier Than Me.”
And guess what? I’ll be happy every step of the way!