Risking Happiness (Finding Joy in Our Elderly Years)

Mark Anthony said, “Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.” For many, misery can be acquainted with aging. Aging is an inevitable part of life we can all expect to affect us. Some people fear it, others try to prevent it, and many once they reach it just look back with longing toward ‘the good old days.’

It’s easy to reach the point when our children are gone and look back and wonder: what did I do wrong? How many opportunities did I miss? We think with regret: I could have done so much more. It’s easy for us to settle into a despondent state. As our health and bodies deteriorate, so we let our happiness also wither away.

What happened to the youthful spirit that once shouted: I will live my life to the fullest! What happened to the gun-hoe young man setting off to find his place in the world, setting off to make a difference? Have we reached a point in our older years where we can truly no longer enjoy life? Is there such a point when we are so afraid of the inevitable that we are counting days to our death instead of days left to live?

Sometimes we feel it’s easier to face a miserable reality than to risk feeling happiness for a brief moment until it will certainly be snatched away from us as new negative problems arise. It’s true that no one person can ever be happy twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, yet we should never give up our spirit, our laughter, and our happiness simply because our body is not what it used to be.

Reflection becomes more common as we age and sometimes this reflection only causes us to become more depressed as we begin to regret. Regrets have a way of building on each other, making us get the worst of them in our older years. In an article entitled Old Age and Happiness, the author writes, “Many an oldster becomes grouchy and cynical due to constant fretting about past failures and disappointments.”

Many people say that old age can bring out the best in us but that it can also bring out the worst in us. If you’re feeling regretful, find something more to do with your time. Set goals for yourself. Based on what your body is capable of, see what you can do for the community, your family, and yourself. Take on a volunteer position at the local food pantry, visit your grandchildren and read them a story once a week, study an important work that has inspired you, allow yourself to feel useful and needed. Generally, the less idle a person is, the more he will be able to see the worth in himself.

We all have our share of disappointments and failures, and as we age we face troubles that we’ve never had to deal with before. It’s difficult, but as with any other stage in life we can’t let it get us down. Our elderly years are our final act upon the stage of life, let’s leave this world with a bang.

Happiness is a concept that is hard to grasp. It can’t be simply explained; it just is. Happiness, though, like any other emotion is a choice. Staying neutral, regretful, despondent, or indifferent are safety zones. Many fear that by allowing themselves to be happy for a moment they are only prolonging the inevitable sadness that will ensue.

In reality, laughing and smiling lifts your spirits and gives you strength for those moments when you are faced with troubles. In our late elderly years when there’s not much left our bodies will allow us to do, we can still look back and remember those funny moments. Laughter may not miraculously heal our bodies, but it is a sure cure for the mind’s ills.

It is the simple things in life – a smile from the grocer, a wave from an old friend, a hug from a grandchild – that will bring us the most joy in the end. As long as we remember that, we will never again have to search for happiness because we all have it, right here.

Below is a video from the Piano Guys in which they performed at an Adult Community in Saint George, Utah. The video shows how even in the latter stages of life, we can have fun, let go of ourselves, and remember what it was like to be a little kid, oblivious to all worries and completely, giddily happy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyPDQpel8bI


About National Care Planning Council

The National Care Planning Council and its affiliated members are dedicated to helping families recognize the need for long term care planning. We are committed to raising awareness and providing information on common eldercare issues. Integrity, honesty, and a genuine concern for the elderly and their families are at the heart of our services.

Posted on May 2, 2012, in Elderly Emotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. This is my first time visit at here and i am truly happy to read everthing at single place.

  2. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your blog.

    You have some really good articles and I believe I would be a
    good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back
    to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Many thanks!

  3. Hello, I enjoy reading through your article post.
    I like to write a little comment to support you.

  4. I ran into this web site on accident, surprisingly, this is a amazing web site. The internet site owner has carried out a superb job of putting it collectively, the data listed here is definitely insightful. You just secured yourself a guarenteed reader.

  5. I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing problems with your blog.
    It appears as though some of the text in your posts are running off the screen.
    Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them
    as well? This might be a problem with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before.

  6. I seriously love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Im hoping to create my own personal site and would love to know where you got this from or what the theme is named. Thank you!

  7. how can i change my billing info (or am i being stupid, here?)

  8. Gгeat article. I աill be dealing with some of
    theѕe іssues as well..

  9. It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write more articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

  10. Happy To Do Eldercare

    Sometimes it really is so hard to be happy, especially when everyday you turn on the news and there’s another disaster. Really great post.

  11. Vernetta Cabriales

    Wow, wonderful blog post! How long have you been blogging for? You make blogging look easy. The overall content of your website is fantastic.

  12. Armando Kooser

    Well, I truly enjoyed studying this post. The tips offered by you are very helpful for correct planning.

  1. Pingback: Caregiving Stress-Hazardous to Your Health & Sometimes Deadly | Tracy Wayne Mitchell's WordPress Blog

  2. Pingback: Care-Giving Stress–Can be Harmful | Tracy Wayne Mitchell's WordPress Blog

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: