Why We Seniors Can and Should Chill Out !

senior citizen relaxed enjoying

      Photo by RDNE Stock project: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-black-dress-holding-white-        disposable-cup-7020543/

Seniorhood has its pluses- No Deadlines, Less Pressure, Less Stress!

I was an awkward self-conscious child. My mother told me in later years that I would just latch on to her as a toddler and not let go.In early childhood too I was happiest playing at home with my four siblings

School brought with it classmates and my first close friends. Nevertheless, I was happy to run home to my parents, my brothers and sisters, my maternal grandfather who lived with us, our cat, dog, and chickens. Our house was spacious with a front garden and backyard giving us kids lots of space to run around and play. I was self-sufficient.

From the age of 8 or 9 years, reading became my hobby. It introduced me to a fascinating world into which I was happy to enter. As a child, I read almost all the books in the school library and became a member of another private library outside. Enid Blyton, condensed forms of classics of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, A J Cronin, Thomas Hardy, Somerset Maugham, and Tolstoy. I devoured all kinds of books including ones from Arthur Hailey, Sidney Sheldon, and Robert Ludlum

In my teen years, I became acutely and painfully self-conscious. 

Too dark I moaned inwardly.

An insurmountable barrier to my happiness - my Big Nose.

An outbreak of pimples was a tragedy leaving me sullen and morose.

Hair on the upper lip was mortifying.

 I looked at the mirror a hundred times and never felt good.

A new pursuit was writing. I was never fully satisfied with my pieces of writing. I was surprised and thrilled when some were accepted by a local newspaper.

My academic performance too never satisfied me. To rank in the top 10 or top 15 in a class of about 45 was just not good enough for me.

With college came boys. Oh No! A new factor for dissatisfaction.

Those I liked stayed far away and those I didn’t fancy were interested.

Not a good situation, stress again….the way I looked, the marks I scored, the way I spoke.

 Stressing about what happened and what didn’t.

Did I handle that well?? Did I seem too eager?

That guy must have told the others maybe. I saw him smirking from afar. Why?? Did he tell someone else about my silly behavior?

 After college came career and marriage.

I again stressed about doing well in  my job. I worked long hours.  I carried work home many a time.The boss did not seem too impressed. Irked me, gave me many a poor night’s sleep. I tried hard to make my marriage work. Both of us had busy careers. The house didn’t look perfect. Cooking was not my forte.

I felt imperfect…as always. A taciturn husband helped...LOL!

My only son could be doing better at school. I should take charge. I did the balancing act between overseeing his studies, trying to climb the slippery corporate ladder, and tending to home. I was not happy rather I was dissatisfied.

Certainly far from being chilled out.

Slowly but surely I slid into senior hood. I retired. My son had completed his studies and was working and independent. He was taking care of himself.

My husband chose to keep working. That had its pluses. For a significant portion of the day, we were not into each other's hair.

I felt relaxed.

No pressure to wake, rise, and rush. To get the lunch box ready, to check homework, to press my dress once more, to put the house in some order before I dash out.

I wake up leisurely past 7 a.m. I have my cup of tea and try to do some form of exercise. Walking, squats, lunges, and yoga stretches for about half an hour.

Overnight oats with nuts and dry fruit for breakfast. Who discovered this super easy breakfast?

No office deadlines, no stressing about looking wan due to sleepless nights, or about the additional kilo or 2.

I have accepted my body. I’m more into fitness. A certain number of steps, breathing exercises, and some to improve balance. And importantly am I sleeping enough?

I read I write, I watch movies, and I connect with family and friends.

And most importantly I am not chasing some goal at the office, at home, or with relationships. 

Nor worrying about how I look.

No…. I have not let go of myself. I am taking steps to maintain my weight, take care of my skin, exercise a little at least, go for annual health checkups, eat moderately, and focus on sleeping enough

Throughout my life I had been told and implored to chill, relax, and take it easy.By all those poor souls who were impacted by my stress levels…my parents, my husband, my close ones, my friends, and my doctor! 

As a senior, I have finally reached that stage that so many wished for me. I am chilled out!

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