The Word “No” Is Just Down-Right Offensive
Boomers and Seniors Don’t Age, They Prosper
“Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
It’s another blog week and I’m here to help you turn-around negativity.
In these times, it’s really pretty hard not to swim in negative waters, especially when you turn on the news and there’s nothing but doom and gloom. Naturally, we listen to the bad news and the result is we make it part of our everyday vocabulary. And I’m here to tell you that’s not right, regardless of your age but especially for Baby Boomers and Seniors.
These are our golden years and as such we need to be open to positivity. I know, I know. It doesn’t matter where you live on planet earth, there is plenty of negative being dispersed. Wildfires, massive flooding, absurd politics, cybercrime, inflation, higher costs for goods and services, and of course, the ugly, mainstay of COVID-19, its reappearance and never-ending onslaught on humanity.
So, naturally we find ourselves beaten down and constantly reminded how easily it is to become negative, and to say “no” to far too many things. And then allow that to influence how we age.
The absolute prime example of a person not succumbing to the word “no” is Wally Funk. Everyone has been talking about her. She is 82 and a trail blazer and the oldest person, let alone woman, who didn’t look negatively at life when she didn’t get her shot at being an astronaut when she was 21. In 1961, three years before Jeff Bezos was born, she sent a letter to NASA aspiring to become an astronaut. She waited 61 years to cross that arbitrary altitude that divides the heavens from earth.
How disappointing it must have been for Ms. Funk not to be given the chance. We’ve all had both small and large disappointments, but it’s how we deal with them that makes the difference between being a ‘negative Nancy’ and a person full of gratitude and fortitude while aging gracefully.
Wally Funk is described by her peers as one who lives with enthusiasm and her attitude is positively infectious. I know it’s unlikely you nor I will go into space with Jeff Bezos, but you have a choice in how you live your life. I choose wonderment, looking at the glass half full, seeing beauty where others don’t, and living my life with a smile rather than a frown.
I remember getting up early to watch the first STS space shuttle flight and how excited I was. So, I texted a friend last Tuesday morning before I left home to remind her about the space flight and what a marvelous sight it was to see. An 82 year-old woman going into space, experiencing lift off, weightlessness, and re-entry and saying “yes” to life. Well, I didn’t quite get the reaction I thought I would get, she was actually down-right negative. “Why would anyone want to leave the comfort of mother earth for something so ridiculous.” Boring! Because she is a friend, I can call her a ‘negative Nancy’ and told her to mend her ways.
A woman said to be the oldest working nurse in the country, is hanging up her scrubs after 70 years. Washington-based Florence “See-See” Rigney, 96, is headed into retirement after her final day as a nurse at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital. Her career spanned seven decades. “I don’t like to sit around—I’ve always got to have something to do. That’s my nature. “I love to interact with patients and give them the help that I can.”
Rigney, a mother of two, traveled across the country for her career throughout Washington, Texas and Wyoming as an operating nurse where she would set up operating rooms to help surgeons and patients before surgery. And well into her nineties, Rigney would walk up to three miles during her shifts, according to her Fitbit.
The vivacious woman once tried to retire when she was 65 but could only be away from her beloved post for six months.
Rigney says she’ll enjoy more time with friends and family in her retirement and reflected on the changes and medical innovations she’s witnessed throughout her career. It all began when she put on her white uniform of a student nurse in the Tacoma General School of Nursing in Washington.
She has some advice for fellow nurses. “Don’t ever think you know it all.” I kind of did that when I was in the operating room and you have to always be open. You never stop learning.”
What a great answer. Ms. Rigney shines by example.
Because I’m rather outgoing and quick to engage people in conversation, I am really surprised at how many neighbors, friends and ordinary people I encounter in stores are just plain negative. They moan and complain.
Come on Boomers, snap out of it. We can’t control the outside world, but we can control how we deal with everything that is thrown at us and our resulting attitude. Since I can’t control it, I’ll work on me and how to make the best out of every day.
Please don’t think I don’t pay attention to local, national and world events, but I realized a long time ago I can only do my little part to make things better. And I do make it a habit to turn off the outside noise. That’s the news in case you’re wondering.
So, let’s examine this thing called negativity. Negative thinking is a state-of-mind in which Boomers and Seniors anticipate undesirable outcomes or believe that hardships and evil are an acceptable way of life and outweigh the good. How sad to see people living this way, which only leads to stress, anxiety and depression and the toll it takes on your health and wellness.
Or you can travel down the path of well-being and boost your overall mental and physical health including your mood and your ability to handle stress. You can actually continue to improve right up to the very end of life.
It’s a choice. Keep expanding horizons, meaningful relationships and focusing on activities that have positive outcomes. When you focus on emotionally meaningful goals, life gets better. You feel better and the negative emotions and thoughts become more fleeting over time.
Everyone I talk to comments on how fast the year is flying by. It’s almost August and in another month my BoomerGuy turns 75 and a month later I turn 70. It’s called aging and is so often associated with negative perceptions.
Words like decrepit, cranky, scowling, senile, over-the-hill are nothing but negative adjectives. And the latest, “Boomer Remover” is a term used by the GenXer’s on how they view the lack of contribution us older folks make to life. It’s no wonder we are dreading the aging aspect of life.
“Growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional.”
Where are the reinforcements. Well, here I am!!! And I’m here to reinforce all the great things about living the dream and staying RELEVANT. Don’t you dare look through us, because we have far too much to offer, but you need to do it with a positive attitude, otherwise the other side wins.
A recently published article found that people in their 20’s were the most stressed out and depressed, and people in their 80’s and 90’s were happier and more content. That my dear Watson is what we have to look forward to.
Over the years, various studies have found a strong correlation between negative perceptions about aging and physical frailty. Additionally, researchers have identified physical frailty in older age is associated with lower cognitive abilities, when compared to peers who are less frail at the same age. Frailty appears to trigger a domino effect that may cascade into dementia.
If this doesn’t scare the bejesus out of you…
A new study in Ireland reports that having a positive attitude about aging may help older adults from becoming frail, which in turn helps to keep their mind sharp. On the flip side, researchers confirmed that having a negative attitude or preconceived notions about aging may modify the association between frailty and frontal cognitive domain in older adults.
Here is what should occur. As we age, your perspective broadens and you become more open minded. You learn more about society, about change, about history, about hobbies, your favorite sports team over the years, and you end up following all the above along with your favorite TV programs as you grow year by year.
Here’s a great way to stay young at age and thought: share your knowledge with friends, your partner and the younger people in your life. Grandchildren can still learn a lot from us if we give them the time.
I’ve always said that I will never let an old person into my body. That is, I don’t believe in thinking old or negatively. Don’t program yourself to break down as you age with thoughts that decline is inevitable.”
If you’re pining for youth, I think it produces a stereotypical old person, because you only live in memory. You live in a place that does not exist…
I think aging is and can be an extraordinary process whereby you become the person you always should have been. Don’t say “yes” to it.
“Aging is just another word for living.”
Bob Dylan’s song, “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” I believe this song is about letting go and not taking everything so seriously.
TIPS AND STRATEGIES TO PROMOTE POSITIVE AGING. VERY SIMPLE AND VERY EASY WAYS TO ENJOY THE AGING PROCESS.
- Move naturally—move without thinking much about it.
- Purpose—this is your reason for getting up in the morning. Find it and you’ll live and love longer.
- Downshift—learn how to manage stress.
- 80% rule—stop eating before you’re full. Eat your smallest meal late in the afternoon or early evening, and then don’t eat anything else. You will control your weight and be happier for it.
- Belong—belong to a community and give back.
- Loved one’s first—put family and their partners first.
- Find the right people to share your life with. That circle of people will pull you up and help support healthy behaviors.
One of the most powerful ways to get people to take action is by INSPIRING them.
Because we all have limiting beliefs that hold us back from doing our best.
“I can’t do that”
“I tried that before and it didn’t work”
“I’m not good enough”
“I don’t want to embarrass myself”
That’s why inspiration is so powerful. It’s the reminder we need to silence that voice in the back of our head telling us we can’t do it.
And seeing all the press coverage around Branson and Bezos’s trips to space is proof people still love to be inspired.
I am your BoomerGal and wishing you nothing but health, happiness, wellness and complete inspiration in your life. Stop thinking negatively and enjoy your age.
Editorial contribution by AARP, Dr. Andrew Lange, Aging Care,
And Fox News Network LLC