Duncan and I aren’t getting any younger. I remember a friend of mine telling me about her mom, who was so excited to get a new rota-tiller on her 90th birthday! Man! That would be so awesome to have that energy at 90 years old. In addition, I want to be happy in my old age.
Despite the difficulties that come with getting older, I still want to live long enough to experience these difficulties. I understand that there are two key attributes to remember: a good sense of humor and a willingness to forgive (see Maryanne Vandervelde, “Retirement for Two,” 2004, cited in Glenn Ruffenach, “When Couples Have Different Attitudes about Aging,” Wall Street Journal, Aug. 1, 2019, wsj.com).
Sense of Humor
From Music and the Spoken Word I heard, “A good sense of humor lifts perspective. One aging couple noticed that it helps to stop and enjoy the lighter side of life.” Somehow their circumstances don’t seem quite so bad when they found something to smile about each day: a joke, a humorous story, or their own mistakes.
In addition, forgiveness heals the heavy heart. Offenses can pile up into the golden years. Some choose to hold grudges, but what a burden that is to carry! Forgiveness feels much better. Forgiveness comes easily for some, but like other skills is easier with practice. After many years of disappointments or old grudges within a relationship, one older woman decided to adopt this attitude toward her husband, who seemed to always forget their anniversary. Switching her attitude from assuming that he was insensitive and uncaring, she decided to respond with love and forgiveness, by giving him good-natured reminders as the anniversary approached. With forgiveness and humor, she saw her husband in a compassionate light, and their love grew. (Music & the Spoken Word: 2 Keys for Happiness—No Matter How Old You Are.)
Spring in Your Step
Moving along in years doesn’t mean we have to be set in our ways. Look for the humor in life and strengthen relationships with forgiveness and love to bring happiness into old age. You’ll be pleased with the spring these key attributes brings to your step.