Having authored a terrific book with that very title, “The Upside of Aging” Paul has brought together in this succinct piece a number of points that can’t simply be made often enough. He points out, so rightly, how we need to expand our vision, see more accurately what’s actually in front of our eyes and embrace not only the vast opportunity and amazing potential but all the upbeat parts of getting older — because we can!! We now have research, and lots of it, to reaffirm that maturity is an asset. The book, too, is well worth reading, no matter your current age.In my decades of working with hundreds of seniors and their middle-aged children as a geriatric psychotherapist, an intergenerational family coach and the founder of www.ParentingOurParents.org, I’ve reached this consistent and very uplifting conclusion:
Most of us DO get wiser, happier, more accepting of being human, more available to “the bigger picture,” more grounded and we know ourselves better than ever before — our strengths and limitations. Continuing to learn more about this positive research, and “the real truth” about ourselves and our aging parents, is absolutely critical to successful living at this time.
If you’re a senior who’s dreading the future, feeling overwhelmed with your losses or uselessness, or just feeling a bit defeated, this one sentence alone from Paul’s post could dramatically change how you think about yourself and your life: “Scholarly research is revealing the power of the aging brain and the potential to capitalize on older people’s knowledge, experience, perspective, balance and capacity for conflict resolution and problem solving.”
On a personal note, as a woman who attended Wellesley College a class ahead of Hillary back in the day — which makes me a bit older — I’d like to say about us both: we’re not getting older, we ARE getting better and, in many ways, we’re getting more and more capable of doing a lot of important things for other people. Could anything be better than … growing up?