How to Enjoy Life at Any Age - JFCS of Greater Philadelphia

How to Enjoy Life at Any Age

By Rabbi Tsurah August

We live in an ageist society. This means that people make assumptions about us based on our age—but we have the freedom to view ourselves as we wish.

When my 70th birthday approached, I dreaded it, but now I have come to love this phase of life! I have liberated myself from the notion that life is how I am viewed by others, and I have embraced the outlook that life is how I see it, how I experience, it, and how I engage with it. This is the secret, and it’s absolutely wonderful.

As I created the JFCS program “Women of a Certain Age”  I started playing around with the word “age.” As I mulled it over, I started rhyming: age, stage, page. It occurred to me that we are all actors on the stage of our lives—and to act, we must be fully present. When I contemplated “page,” I thought about what we would want to write on a given page in the book of our lives. And again, the notion of mindfulness, presence, and completely inhabiting our lives took hold—in order to write about something, you must be thoughtful and focused and engaged.

The key is to adopt a positive, vibrant outlook by learning and practicing the following concepts:

• Be the drivers on the road of our lives.
• Be the cause, not the effect, of what happens in our lives.
• We cannot always control outside forces in our lives, but we can control how we react and respond to them. This is a game changer.
• Experience and express gratitude, compassion, and kindness.
• Don’t sweat the small stuff; recognize that you are one person on one small planet in this expansive universe. Keep a realistic perspective.
• Be completely present.
• Age does not define you; you are free to feel whatever chronological age you wish. I have a friend in her 70s who says she considers herself 25!
• Inhabit your life fully and enjoy it!