GETTING OLDER BETTER

I know, I have been writing quite a fair bit on retirement, and now I am going to blog about getting older (bah bah bah… ). Well, finances and physical well being are essential as part of the retirement plans, but another equally important area is the emotions. I am turning Big 3 not too far away, I don’t exactly pound on the table and lament about life swishing past, but once in a while, the group of us old friends do exclaim in a small shock – sheesh, cannot believe next year we have to tick 30-34 in this survery form etc etc. You know what I mean. Then what about turn 60? I’m sure it isn’t easier, with a larger share of uncertainty and insecurities? So,  I would love to try ease my parents better into their golden age too. It also means spending more time with them.

Recently, I picked up Getting Older Better by Pamela D.Blair, who is a life coach, therapist and counselor. Unlike the usual finance retirement talk, the author touches on other areas such as self image, emotions, fears, spiritual self, creative self and even living spaces. Some of these areas are probably things I wish to share with my parents, and just let them develop in their own way, or get excited about it. I was reading the book in a haste because I would need to return it to the library so I am likely to borrow it again. But there is a part that I like and would like to share:

JOURNALING THE DAYS

Another reason for writing in your diary is to discover that the ideas in which you are an inexhaustible fountain. – Brenda Ueland

Author Annie Dillard once said, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” Inspired by this quote, I’ve decided to be more intentional in my journaling, to explore just how I’m spending my days. Like currency, am I spending too much on the minutiae or the irrelevant? And I spending well past my limit? Creating too much metaphorical debt and not reinburising myself? Every so often, I hear someone say, “I just don’t know where today went!” I’m reminded that the days are numbered – just so much left in the account.

Journaling is a way to keep track of how we spend our days. It can be a spiritual or personal balance sheet. Tuesday, I spent too much too time in contemplation and not enough time getting work done. On Thursday, I spent too much time getting mundane done and not enough time in reflection. Journaling has taught me the fine art of balance and the discipline has helped me become more aware of who I am, what my passions are and how I relate to spirit.

Consider keeping two journals – one for everyday contemplation and reporting and another titled “Things I Love”, starting each line or paragraph with the words I love. . . My first entry says, I love writing with a fountain pen. My second entry says, I love the way my adult son kisses me on the forehead. Another says, I love the first buds of spring on the maple trees in my yard. Glue in pictures from magazine or photos you love. Whichever method you choose, a journal will help you explore who you are by identifying what you love and how you spend your days.

How are you spending the currency of your days?

The small extract above by the author expresed partly why I started this blog. I don’t wish to see my years slip past without having some awareness of what happened. It became quite applicable to myself, that I have decided I may well create a section ‘Things I Love’ to remind myself of how great life is and how many lovely things there are in my life. I can just start early! Of course, I am thinking how I can incorporate this for my parents in an easier fashion, maybe I can teach them how to instagram or even pinterest (ok this is tough)? There are still many ongoing thoughts on this. . . will keep jotting things here.

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