Some of us are more involved than others in trying to keep up with the wicked cross currents that are driving our nation’s political discourse. I had planned several month ago to move towards writing more about developing a personal aging in peace philosophy. That is, your future is yours to decide. Being able to age in place is ultimately your own responsibility. Right now I feel like there can be no peace.
So much has happened in the last few weeks. Being of sound mind and aging body may mean that you have turned off completely to the news or that you have taken to the streets to protest. We are the generation with perspective of many more years of conflict going all the way back to Nixon. We are not necessarily the ones with the most to lose if things do not turn out well. Our children and children’s children have many things hanging in the balance. Wherever you stand in this battle of opinions, just stop for a moment to realize that stress can eat you up and spit you out.
There are levels of coping mechanisms from excessive amounts of alcohol to true transcendent meditation. I was amused by a recent article about the value of naps to help keep the older mind sharp. That midday nap may now just be a way of hiding away for the onslaught of news and commentary and social media feeds. I am not sure all of our older brains can handle all the volume and the static.
I really miss my old porch swing that we left at our old house. It was an enclosed porch and almost any time during the year when I needed to clear my thoughts and let the truth rise up, I could take to my swing. I would sit sideways along the length of the swing and push off. It was always creaky and noisy at first as it settled into a calmer gentler arc. I would just let it’s motion drift down, slowly keeping myself very still. The creaking noise would slowly change into silence as it hit the point that it barely moved at all. The memory of that is probably the closest thing I can get to mediating on something truly calming.
Sometimes it took a few repetitions, but whatever I was upset about was now being handled by a clearer head. At our new house we have an outdoor basket swing that has served somewhat of the same purpose. It is also a good vantage point for viewing peaceful sunsets. But it is not the same and doe snot work on a 24/7 basis.
Do yourself a favor, learn or try to remember how best to wind down when you get wound up. Maybe you can not run around the block anymore but any exercise is good for lowering blood pressure. Knowing some yoga or Tai Chi gives you a mini cool down. Yes, being able to take a spontaneous nap is a wonderful part of retirement and you will feel sharper and have more energy to deal with life. Again to each his or her own methodology. Aging well or gracefully fundamentally means you are in control of making peace happen when you need it.