As we grow older, we also have the opportunity to grow as individuals and to develop relationships that are more “grown-up.”  In Creative Aging, author Nancy Bost Millner wrote, “The task of consciously aging people is to stop projecting—to stop demanding that the weather, the children, and the universe do what they want them to do.”  She also noted that the self-aware individual will come to realize that expecting another person to complete them, take care of them, and make them happy is not only unrealistic, but also unfair.

In addition, Doctors Rowe and Kahn, authors of Successful Aging, remind us that human beings are not meant to live solitary lives.  In their research, “successful agers” reported that they thrived because of important social bonds with both family and friends.  Rowe and Kahn wrote, “Talking, touching and relating to others is essential to our well-being. These facts are not unique to children or to older men and women; they apply to all of us, from birth to death.”

Similarly, Jimmy Carter wrote in The Virtues of Aging that successful aging depends, in part, on continuing engagement in living.  This task involves keeping up relationships with others and engaging in productive activities.  These experiences, he maintains, “allow us to develop more self-respect and mastery over our own lives—crucial elements of the good life.”

Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, NP