Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Senior Should Rediscover That Inner Child and Focus on Present

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Senior Should Rediscover That Inner Child and Focus on Present

Article excerpt

For decades gerontologists have been trying to determine how we can best age. Essentially, most consider aging well to be experiencing satisfactory and productive senior years. Realistically, the popular concept of the wonderfully perfect Golden Years is probably unattainable for most seniors. If you think about it, life has been a mixture of the good and the bad, so why should the senior years be dramatically different from this lifelong pattern? Not surprisingly, gerontologists have not found a magic formula for productive and satisfactory aging. Probably there is no such formula. Each of us has specific needs and desires, which provide personal satisfaction and productivity. One approach with many adherents is based on whether seniors choose to live predominantly in the past, present or future most of the time.

Young children generally live in the present, but seniors typically spend time in all three phases. Which one is dominant at any point in time depends on life circumstances and choices, but living predominantly in the present appears to be most associated with experiencing satisfactory and productive senior years.

True, seniors do enjoy talking about the past. No secret there. Unlike younger people, they have a past to talk about, and focusing on the past helps seniors put their lives in perspective. This life review has enormous value, but it may not be the best place to live on a day-to-day basis.

Living in the future on a day-to-day basis may not be the best place either. By the time we are seniors, much planning is done and how much control over the future is there at this point? Worrying about the future constantly is not one of those emotions that brings joy to our lives.

That leaves living in the present and most gerontologists agree that's the place to be.

Unfortunately, many of us have unlearned the art of truly living in the present. …

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