As kids, we tend to value the same things: fun, play, and tasty food. As we age, our values evolve. In high school, we may still value fun but also being cool and popular. Later on, in our mid-to-late twenties, we may come to value a career, nurturing relationships, and free time. Our values never stop evolving. As we mature, so too do the things we want in life.
In our older years, we develop a perspective on life that can only come with time. Many of us come to value the same things we did as children: fun, play, and tasty food. But in addition to these, we value big things like health and family, as well as little things like having coffee on a sunny patio before it rains.
Here’s a look at the values that shape modern senior living.
It’s common and natural for young people in good health to take their health for granted.
With age, our bodies stop being what they used to be, and many of us face health difficulties and scares.
Of course, there are things we can do to improve our health, like eating well, exercising, seeing friends, and laughing. But no matter what we do, our health is not guaranteed.
That’s why, as we age, our health becomes more and more precious to us.
Those of us with kids have seen them grow up and have kids of their own. The mistakes we inevitably made as parents we don’t repeat as grandparents. In a way, our grandkids offer us a second chance.
Only by watching our kids grow up do we come to fully understand how quickly life moves on. Not only that, but the bonds we form with our loved ones deepen, and we come to value the time we get to spend with them all the more.
If we’re fortunate enough to retire, we suddenly have free time to do virtually whatever we want. We have the opportunity to indulge in old interests and passion projects we put aside, like playing music or writing a novel, and we value these interests and passion, perhaps even more than we did before.
It’s a myth that you can’t teach an older person new tricks. On the contrary, in our older years, our brain is still fertile. We still have an incredible capacity to learn new skills, like a new language or a musical instrument.
And learning in our old age is not only enjoyable. It’s also good for our cognitive health.
As kids, we value fun, but as we age and are saddled with more and more responsibilities and duties, we may believe that we no longer have time for fun or that fun is not very valuable, compared to holding down a job and running a home.
As we age, though, we come full circle and learn to play and have fun again.
Playing with our grandchildren is an especially meaningful way to have fun. It lets us get in touch with the kid inside us, and we realize that our inner kid has been inside us all along, just waiting to be free.
Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash