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Rockin’ and Talkin’ With the Clinton Seniors’ Association

Don’t let age become an excuse to stop learning and growing

May is the month of expectations, the month of wishes, the month of hope.

Emily Brontë

April is a mix of cold, windy days with a few sunny ones here and there. May gives us plenty of truly beautiful days, full of sunshine and the various greens of emerging leaves on the trees and colourful flowers. Who doesn’t enjoy the lilacs in full bloom up and down the streets of Clinton giving off their wonderful scent?

May is a month of rebirth, inspiration, and excitement as we say adieu to winter and a tantalizing spring and look forward to a long, relaxing summer. Celebrate this glorious and colourful month that is May.

Heritage Week in Clinton is coming up, with activities for every age and taste. Note that the May Parade on begins at 10 am this year, not 11 am as in the past. The theme is The Great Outdoors.

You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.

C. S. Lewis

Caroline Fortin wrote an article in Good Times magazine titled “Learning to Live the Age You Are”. She said “Accepting that the years are adding up isn’t always easy, but the right mindset can make a world of difference.”

Are you comfortable revealing your age? The way our society perceives old age influences a person’s attitude towards their own age and aging, according to a popular psychologist and author, Jean-Louis Drolet. Even though our society may value youth, that doesn’t mean we have to go along with that thinking.

Aging is a personal matter. Each person must come face to face with their age and what it means for them, Drolet says. “At each stage of life, we have to work to overcome obstacles of all kinds. We mustn’t stigmatize ourselves and say ‘Now that I’m old.’ We are not our age; we are people with lived experiences who are continuing on our path and in our development.”

Drolet continues, “But when we resist the aging process, we’re more concerned about the time that’s passing than we are with engaging in the things we’ve chosen to do. Age becomes an excuse to stop moving, exploring, innovating, and creating. Accepting your age means being honest with yourself and your life, wherever it’s taken you, which is essential for giving it meaning. Furthermore, recognizing your age serves as a milestone, a point of reference. It helps you plan the rest of your life and live it fully.”

Statistics show that aging well is strongly linked to good psychological health, which allows you to cope better with age-related changes and to live life as you want. Drolet explains, “The happier you are with yourself and your life, the easier it will be to accept your age and view the future with optimism.”

Review your life and work on your capacity for gratitude. Are you able to appreciate your life — the one you had and the one you have now — in spite of the mistakes and hard times? The more you refuse to accept your age, the less able you’ll be to make something interesting out of the rest of your life.

I’ll address this further in my next column.

The next regular meeting of the Clinton Seniors’ Association is on Thursday, May 16 following lunch at the Clinton Seniors’ Centre (217 Smith Avenue). Come and join us!

There are no member birthdays to celebrate in May.

We don’t grow old. We cease to grow, we become old.

Ralph Waldo Emerson