Changing and aging go hand in hand

  By Pat King, Wesley Homes Des Moines resident What do we fear most about aging? Missy Buchanan, author and speaker, asked this question of residents and guests of Wesley Homes Lea Hill and Des Moines during Aging Well in a Fast-Changing World. Proving the universality of aging, the audiences answered easily: physical decline, loss of independence, being forgotten, loss of friendships, becoming a burden, loss of mental ability and health costs. Missy countered these responses with splendid news. She said, “There is an upside to aging. It gives us the opportunity to influence others positively. You are here for a purpose. Who in your community needs a smile or a listening ear? Seniors, wherever you are on the time line, you are survivors earmarked for special assignments. Find out about others: their first job, their favorite pastime. Ask someone, ‘What would you do first if you won a million dollars?’ The answer may surprise you.” “Aging is about change, a time to do something new or different with your life,” she continued. “Think you can’t change? You’ve been changing all your lives. Think of the bulky black phone of your youth, the rotary dial, the party lines, the waiting for your sister to hang up so you can have your turn. You’ve changed to the sleek smart phone in your purse or pocket that’s ready any time you want to make a call.” Just because retirement comes along doesn’t mean it’s the end. One of Missy’s key presentation slides was ‘Don’t just be retired. Be re-fired!’ “Changing and aging go hand in hand,” encouraged Missy. “Do something new, learn something fresh. Take a different route. Try a different food. Take a class, teach a class or tackle that impossible project. Paint your own Grandma Moses painting. Pray. Pray not to get stuck in a routine. Let God change you. Discover your own prayer closest. Ask ‘Lord, what real purpose do I serve? I know you did not call me to just be here or to just rest on my laurels.’ It’s been said that aging is the crown jewel of life. The finest sermon ever preached can be the last years of your life.”

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