March 25, 2018 jasperdetaeye

Coping with growing older

Swallowtail metamorphosis

Blinked and another year went by. Today, I’m turning 27. There are several opinions and perspective in terms of ageing. Ageing is certainly a paradoxical process. Advancing in age manifests enhanced life experience and wisdom. However, advancing in age brings along inevitable deterioration of physical ability. But why do we have an anxiety regarding ageing? What can we do about ageing? Can we counteract ageing? By means of this post, I’ll offer you several lessons on how to cope with ageing.

Why are we Ageing Anxious?

Do you flinch when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake? Or surreptitiously keep the date hidden from your friends and colleagues? You may have a touch of ‘gerascophobia’. I hear you thinking is that a disease or is that an STD that you pick up after another terrible Tinder date. No, it is not. Gerascophobia is the Latin term of the concept referring to the fear of getting old. You’re not the only one.

Stereotypically we consider ageing as something to not look forward to. It leaves us depressed, anxious, scared, lonely, dependent, and prone to bore everyone to death around the dinner table with outdated stories. The cosmetics industry further instils anxiety, with constant reminders that ageing is something that should be secretly battled with expensive products and regimes.

While we grow older more and more people around us start visiting Nelson Mandela and Abert Einstein in the after-life, inducing a strengthened sense of mortality. Despite the fact we’re aware that death is part of life, our inevitable mortality overwhelms us time by time. If we detach ourselves from the societal and environmental influential elements of our fear of ageing, we even so have internal elements that replenish our fear of ageing. We mainly fear ageing because we have a congruent fear of losing health and physical ability.

Let’s put ageing into perspective

But what is ageing? It’s the time-based progress we make in our lives towards the after-life. However, our awareness of this process is emphasized during birthdays. At that moment, we become aware that another year can be scratched of the calendar of life. But let’s not overdramatise it. A birthday is just a bloody number. It doesn’t manifest our happiness, contribution or experience in life. Let’s be present today and not worry about everything that’s about to come. To cite Eckhart Tolle; “It is through inner alignment with the present moment that we experience gratitude, love and the joy of Being”. So why worry about how you’ve progressed over the course of the last year or the progress you should make the coming years.

Jasper’s ageing philosophy

My take on ageing is if you keep fighting against ageing, you’ll lose the battle eventually. You cannot battle the inexorability of time. Cherish all the juvenility you have within. You should not fight with ageing but reconcile with ageing and accept the loss of youthful beauty and strength. And leverage all of the resources you gain while ageing – to be creative, positive and optimistic.

The 5 anti-ageing remedies

  1. Don’t surrender yourself to an anti-ageing stereotypical culture
  2. Go your own way and don’t let society influence you. If you want to work up to 75. Enjoy and do so. If you want to learn a new profession or skill when you’re 80? That’s awesome! Enjoy and do so!
  3. Teach, write, paint and be in close connection with nature. Don’t take the environment you have to honour to live in for granted.
  4. Release the youth that everybody has in him/her. If you want to jump blindly in the swimming pool? Enjoy and do so! If you want to dance while nobody is dancing! Go for it! If you want to explore that forest because it intrigues you? Enjoy the nature and go for it!
  5. You’d the honour to live on this earth. Be grateful. Build a legacy and disseminate your learning and experiences.

Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese aesthetic in which imperfection, age, brokenness, and run-down appearance are considered beautiful. This is not strange to the modern eye, which also appreciates furniture that has dents, scratches, and layers of fading paint.”

 

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