Seniorhood brings with it some reasons to become more passive – creaky joints, a monthly pension check that you get without working, family members willing to take on some of your tasks. It’s so easy to sit in your rocking chair watching TV hour after hour. On the other hand, seniorhood can bring you the extra time needed to become more active — joining social groups or clubs, helping with civic projects, pursuing new hobbies, or sharing your skills and experience with others.
Which route should you pursue? Well, hasn’t it always been apparent that active generally beats passive?
How you go about being active, though, is up to you — in more ways than one. Your body and brain have different ways to influence how you get active.
Your body might determine the extent to which you can be active physically, whether running in a marathon or shuffling on a treadmill. The important thing is to do something. Running is great exercise, but if that’s not possible for you, try walking. If your body can’t handle that either, I’ll bet you can find some activity that’s possible – even if it’s just a pop bottle press, lip curl, or eyebrow lift. You’ll eventually work your way up from there.
And your brain will have something to say about how you choose to be active mentally. Writing letters, keeping a diary, reading, solving puzzles, or just quietly contemplating the scene around you – again, you just need to find something you enjoy and are able to do.
There seems to be a tendency for society to assume that seniors will always lean toward the passive side of life. But I think this is the wrong direction to lean. Instead of just letting random things happen to you, wouldn’t you rather make your own choices as far as possible? The trouble is that positive attitude can require a little more work on your part.
Now, “work” may be a word that brings back some negative feelings. But when I say being active takes some work, I’m not talking about the kind of humdrum work people have to put up with to earn a living.
Instead, think of the kind you’ve always thoroughly enjoyed, like working in the garden, working a crossword puzzle, or working on your favorite hobby.
Finding ways to be active as a senior should correspond to the pleasant side of work. And being active in some way or other is what it takes to make your life the best and most successful it can be.
It’s true being passive can help you relax
And possibly lead to a good deal of fun
but it’s pretty hard to dispute the facts —
being active is what really gets things done.