Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Day 1639 - Positive Aging Part One

Aging positively

Image source - came from a Facebook share
This here blog is all about me.  It's also about being middle aged with a focus on aging positively.  So today's post is going to be "part one" of how I personally tackle the aging process as I get more and more Deep Fried.

Warning: I may come off sounding all self righteous and "look at me, aren't I clever" and you may want to slap me. 



A few years ago an acquaintance came up to me in a supermarket and said "your Facebook statuses are so bloody positive I could slap you" (or words to that effect). I wasn't offended by it - I just laughed.  You see, it's not that we don't have challenges in our life here in Langdown Land, it's just that we choose not to dwell on them.  We focus on the things that make us happy.  We focus on all the things that are going well, and give less energy to those that aren't.

I recall watching an episode of Oprah where a guy who was interviewed (I think he was a teacher) said "our weaknesses will keep us weak, our strengths make us strong".  Sounds fair enough.  What he was talking about was how when it comes to a child's report card, many teachers and parents focus all their attentions on the areas of struggle.  For example, if a child got an A in maths and a D in English, then they focus all their energies on the D subject.  As a result the D improves, but the A often slips bringing the child back to average across the board.  He suggested it was better to put some energy into the D subject but continue putting the bulk of the energy and celebration into the A subject.  Our weaknesses will keep us weak, but our strengths will make us strong.  Rather than living a life of average, pursue the A subject with gusto and become great at something rather than simply good.

It was a good lesson for me and one in which I apply to my own children.  We put some energy into helping them with the areas of their life that aren't so easy, in order for them to feel better about it (including with Darby and his dyslexia). But we put the bulk of our energy into nurturing their strengths so that they can feel great about themselves.

Same applies to ourselves in the quest for positive aging and the pursuit of happiness.  My focus is on what is going well.  Showing gratitude for what we have, rather than dwelling on what we haven't.   Rejoicing in our strengths.  Spending time doing the things that make us happy. Acknowledging that behind every challenge lies an opportunity.

Sure, I've got to acknowledge the challenges but rather than get lost in them, I keep looking for the opportunities for growth.    

As I continue on this Deep Fried journey of aging positively, I would love to hear your tips and tricks for keeping the smile on your face and the wolf from your door.  Age after all is not so much a number, but a mindset .... don't you think? 


14 comments :

  1. Being in the same demographic as you Leanne, I really appreciate and agree with this take on ageing (and life). As we age we can focus more on our health that we take for granted when we are young. We also try to follow your approach to strengths, even if I do find it hard to stop the self-criticism of weaknesses.

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  2. Exercise is the key for me. As soon as I stop exercising every thing goes to the pack including my skin, aching bones and attitude! I love what you said about focusing on strengths.

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  3. hmmm, I am aging badly...there are some perks, but few really. And in my head, I'm still young but the body, and the way people treat me (due to old lady appearance, apparently) is depressing, and a little of a handbrake to joy. So I will read with interest, and try not to bring the mood down...I do like that quote tho (might steal it)

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  4. I have never really thought of weaknesses and strengths like this. It is true that we shold celebrate those strengths because that us stronger! I do love this post.

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  5. The last couple of years, since having babies really, I have been trying to live by the addage you may not be able to control the situation or circumstances, but you can control how you react to them. It's made a huge difference and I think I stress less than I used to. A perfect example is running late for something. I used to get so angry and shitty and it would make the situation worse, but then I realised that being stressed and angry wasn't going to get us there any quicker so I may as well be happy and just go with it. #teamIBOT

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  6. I have found the each year gets better and better. I become wiser and more comfortable in my own skin. Ageing is a little scary but only the part when I can't do all the things I love. While I can do everything I am trying to enjoying it all.

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  7. OMG!! At 47 am I well and truly middle aged? Groan...Age is just a number and I don't dwell on it, even though my kids rub it in :) Love the Oprah story. That is so true to put the energies into the strengths. Thanks so much for sharing this with me, especially today :) xx

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  8. You have been one of my best friends since primary school Leanne :) and as embarrassing as it probably was for us back then I still remember in high school when there was so much peer pressure and dramas you and I quite often lived in our own little world doing crazy things (which im not going to mention for both our dignities lol)but my point I guess im trying to make is when we could have gotten upset at things we instead saw things as a glass half full and did what we enjoyed. As adults now and especially as mums I admire and aspire your way of making the most of what our lives are. You really are my inspiration and I feel I am a better person from having you in my life. As I know my daughter emma who is nearly 23 now does as well, especially with all she has been through. We are so blessed having you in our lives, you make the world a better place xxxx

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  9. Whenever I hit a stressful situation, I ask myself: will this matter in one week? One month? One year? Usually, the answer is NO it won't. So it is not worth the amount of stress and worry I have been giving it! It helps me get things in perspective.

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  10. Wow I love that idea of focusing on the already good! That's awesome! I can get so much out of that.

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  11. You sound like my husband always focusing on the positive, the eternal optimist etc. We keep things fairly positive in this household thanks to him. If I start to get blue he quickly pulls me into line :)

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  12. Once again we are so on the same wavelength.
    Funny thing I noticed this week, for the past 2 weeks I have been posting what I am grateful for on Facebook and lost 6 followers!
    I generally don't post a lot of stuff apart from my blog posts and the number of likers doesn't change much. Now that I am throwing out positives, I'm losing people. I guess that's my slap in the face.
    Too bad, I m too positive and focused on that, that I do not care :)

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  13. Well I had my slap hand poised but thankfully didn't need to use it! This is inspiring and quite frankly if I can have your attitude, positivity and success in 10 years time I'll be over the moon! Em

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  14. I love it! A lot of the time I roll my eyes at people who say just think positive but you've explained it in a great, practical way. It's so true that we need to tell our kids, hell anyway in our lives really about the things they are good at, not just the things that need work. With their confidence lifted by the stuff they are good at, then it naturally flows through to the other stuff too!

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I love hearing your thoughts! Keep them rolling in :)

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