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Fearing The “L’s” of Aging

Fearing The “L’s” of Aging

By Susan Williams

I was recently approached to share my thoughts on the fears that some baby boomers may have about aging and retirement.

Personally, I prefer to look at the positive side of aging and view the gray hair and wrinkles simply as a by-product of a life well lived.

As the years begin to pass, I’m enjoying my new found freedom as some of my responsibilities begin to decline. The time to explore new things, the chance to reengage with hobbies and interests long forgotten along with the potential to give back to causes I believe in.

But as I started to think about this question a little deeper, I began to uncover that there were a few things that I do fear about getting older.

What surprised me was that they all start with the same word and letter “L” – loss.

Loss of Independence

When I get older, I don’t want want to be a burden to anyone – especially my family. The thought of no longer having the ability to live independently and needing someone to provide support to help me with my daily life is probably my biggest concern.

Loss of Mobility

Tied closely to my fear of loss of independence is the a potential loss of mobility. Whether it’s my own personal physical mobility and ability to easily move around or having the ability to go to the places that I would like to go this is a significant concern for me.

Right now, I can run down my stairs, jump in my car and get to wherever I want or need to go. I don’t have to worry about whether I will safely make it to the bottom of the staircase in one piece or have to arrange or wait for a ride to get to where I need to go.

Loss of Financial Stability

The stock market, inflation, governments, the environment… the list goes on and on for all the things that could affect our financial situation. And the really scary part is the opportunity span to replace any financial loss is shrinking by the day.

So when it comes to retirement, I can’t help but wonder; Have we saved enough? Exactly how much is enough? How long will I live? Will the money last that long? How much will we need for healthcare?…. so many questions, so few for sure answers.

Loss of Family and Friends

This one is probably the thing I dread the most about aging. The longer I live, the higher the probability that I may have to say farewell to family and friends as they depart before me. I really don’t like to think about this much.

But along with all these “L’s” for loss – there are also a couple of “L’s” that I think really deserve some recognition when it comes to aging;

Likes

As I have gotten older, I now have a much better idea of what I really like about life. The things I like to do, the places I like to go and the people I like to spend time with are much more important to me now that I know the clock is ticking down.

I still like to try new things, but I’m much quicker to make decisions on whether I like it or not. Previously I might have continued doing something that I didn’t particularly like out of feelings of obligation or not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings. I’m now much quicker to stop doing something I don’t like.

Love

Without getting too soppy, love has also taken on a more prominent role as I’ve aged. I have always loved my family – but now I find as I become more reflective on my life, I am getting closer to understanding what love truly means.

Early love is often loaded with anticipation and excitement – it’s often filled with “firsts”.

But as love matures, there is an inner quiet, a solemn knowing, a feeling that you can’t describe as it surrounds you and all those you love in an unconditional, non judging way.

And what is truly amazing about love, is as you feel it – you can’t help but reflect it back. I think this is what so often makes up the very special relationships between grandparents and grandchildren.

So sure – I admit I do have a few fears about aging. But it’s got very little to do with gray hair or wrinkles – that’s the really small stuff.

I prefer to think about all the good stuff aging brings – and with that comes to mind another “L” world – Lucky.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.
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