AH-HA Moments – January 2019

TOP 10 RESOLUTIONS (No, let’s make that REVOLUTIONS!) for 2019!

Hey, we all made it to another new year ….Thank you, Lord!

The Lord must have great ideas and plans for us this day/week/month/year, or ….because He is gracing us with another day to make a difference in our own lives as well as in the lives of those around us. Now that calls for a Hooray and an AH-HA, for sure!

Instead of making the traditional “Resolutions” for the new year, let’s consider making a list of our Top 10 “Revolutions” we’d like to test in 2019. Let’s ponder ways that we can more strongly and sincerely enable and encourAGE others, younger and older than we, to be more intentional about changing the attitudes of how our society looks at and evaluates the gift of …..AGING!

Take a look at these. Change them. Make them better. Use them in discussions with the younger and the older, starting with your friends and family. I’d welcome hearing your ideas , questions, and creative thinking about these and any other concepts you’d like to share.

                                           Top 10 Older Adult “REVOLUTIONS” for 2019

  1. As a conversation starter, ask people “How are you aging?”, and then listen closely at the comments. Are they positive, negative, neutral? What might their responses say about how they feel about themselves?
  2. Read some of the latest books on “Aging” and get a better sense of what others are predicting, doing, and thinking about this fastest growing age segment in our world.
  3. Discuss this concept with a friend: The word “Elderly” means the number of years a person has lived on this planet. The word “Elder” is defined as what this person has done with those years.” Interesting, eh, that in many churches there is a board of “Elders”, which does not necessarily mean that they are all older adults, but rather that they are involved, engaged, and committed to the ministries at hand. Must be a message there somewhere!
  4. Make a strong effort to “Age Out Loud”, meaning that you verbally share your positive vibes about aging with others when you hear the many stereotypes about aging being bantered about and discussed. (i.e., “Oh, I’m having a senior moment!”; or, “Wow, for an old person you look pretty good”; or “I wish I was young again!” Think of other phrases you hear around you that perceive older adults as “over the hill”, “less than they were”, and who primarily need “help” rather than having something positive to share with others.
  5. Work intentionally at “Reframing Aging”, from a negative view to a positive one, beginning with our selves. At times I still catch myself saying to an 85 year old friend, “Hi there, young fella!” How silly of me! Help others to reframe aging so people are not afraid or embarrassed to tell their real age. I imagine we all can think of someone who still is leery of telling their real age but instead says, “Oh, I’m 20 for the 4th time,” or we probably know people who refuse to say how old they are to most anyone, as if it’s a disease!
  6. Get in the habit of sharing your age by using fractions, just like younger kids do. For example, I am 78 ¼ this month. That’s what many little preschoolers do to show their excitement about aging by shouting, “Wow, I’m 4 ½ now!”
  7. We can control how we age more than we think we can. The breath of life is in all of us, but most of us don’t use it all of the time. Aging gracefully means having a generous view of others and the world. Let’s revolutionize ourselves and others by maintaining a forgiving stance towards the faults and weaknesses in ourselves and others. Watch out, though, positive attitudes are contagious!
  8. Let us continue to learn to laugh at ourselves more! As we do, we will have enough stories and materials to keep us laughing forever! As a friend reminds me, “Laugh at yourself – before someone else does!”
  9. Let us revolutionize the world by caring for ourselves and for each other. No need to “cure” people – simply show them through words and actions that you truly do care and love them, through phone calls, e-mails, visits, and prayers. My friend Dick has the wonderful habit of calling 5 fiends a week, just to say “I love you!” to them.
  10. Be personal ambassadors of older people. Be examples of what it means to be given the gift of old age. Let us rid ourselves of “perception barriers” that hinder and limit our abilities to celebrate and serve, in the name of the healing Christ!

May these 10 REVOLUTIONS for 2019 enable and encourage each of us to live life as a gift of the Lord…and let us work together to revolutionize the world around us! Celebrate life each day as a AH-HA Moment by celebrating God’s gift of aging!

Rich Bimler