Where’s Your Owner’s Manual?

Connie Michaelis, Lifestyle Consultant at The Piper Assisted Living and Memory Support

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an Owner’s Manual for becoming a Superager? The chapters would be: installation, powering on, operating the controls, changing the settings, servicing the machine, ordering replacement parts, and of course, the handy troubleshooting section.  Oh, and wouldn’t we love a warranty section? The number of experts in the field who could write this manual is limited.  When you’re 70 and want to learn how to make it successfully to 80,who do you talk to?  Not a 25-year-old, right?  We want the advice of a seasoned and successful Senior, who has written his or her own manual. The problem with growing old is that you may have to be your own expert.

One of my favorite authors, Brené Brown, talks about ‘how to human,’ not how to be a human…we already qualify as humans.  But how do we human, and especially how do we continue to human as we get older?  Her standard advice is always, “Be brave and do it anyway.”  No kidding, it takes a lot of courage and fortitude to grow old.  The challenges are continuous and unique to each of us. Having a pity party does not work, no one will come, and certainly, no one will stay for long.

If I were writing the Owner’s Manual’s troubleshooting section, I would create a list of questions.  First of all, agree the machine is not ready to be discarded, so stop and ask yourself:  Have I resigned myself to negative thinking? Do I have a purpose-filled reason to get up every day? Do I practice gratefulness? Do I spend time with positive, uplifting people? Am I nourishing my body with good food?  Am I moving my body enough? Am I nurturing my spiritual and emotional life?  Am I volunteering to help other people?   I’m not quite old enough to compose the Owner’s Manual on my own, but I meet people every day who inspire me.  Give us a call at 913.400.7006 and come to The Piper to meet them!