gmhTODAY 01 gmhToday Mar Apr 2015 - Page 25

{ } AGING with an Attitude Don’t Let Aging “AutoCorrect” Your Life By Dorie U. Sugay Dorie Sugay is the Executive Director of Visiting Angels, a company that provides living-assistance services to seniors and adults-in-need who wish to stay in their own home or receive one-on-one care within a facility. This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It was written independent of Visiting Angels. “A utoCorrect” is a feature on many electronic communication gadgets. When you text and you misspell a word, for example, AutoCorrect steps right in and corrects it. The problem is, sometimes it has a mind of its own! The other day, I texted, “you need to bond” and my friend got, “you need to blonde.” Her response was, “really? You think I should dye my hair blonde? You think he will like me more?” That was a “huh?” moment. I was not suggesting she dye her hair (I am not yet convinced blondes have more fun)! I was talking about the need for her and her man to create an emotional connection! AutoCorrect can be an asset, we just need to make sure we supervise it. AutoCorrect can be an asset or become your worst enema. You could end up posting some thong you didn’t Nintendo. Ha Ha – you get my point. But what do I mean when I say, “Don’t let age AutoCorrect your life.” If you are having a “duh” moment, don’t. Let me explain. Age can correct some things much like AutoCorrect can replace a mis- spelled word. Our priorities and our level of maturity could improve with age. (I know, it doesn’t happen to everyone). Inasmuch as women hate it, many men look better with age. Age AutoCorrects their physique—the dork becomes a hunk, the zits are replaced with a manly beard and the streaks of grey are better than store-bought highlights. But what we do many times is allow age to AutoCorrect our life and we shouldn’t. Some people, for example, think that when you reach a certain age, you need to change the way you look. OK, so some people need to abandon the big bright colored ribbons in their hair, or the dog collar look after 40 — but abandon the long-hair look—that’s AutoCorrecting in my books, especially if you have healthy hair and have the youthful face to go with it. Being petite, and liking the elongated look high heels give my feet, I still wear and enjoy them. I’ve been told to stop wearing high heels. Is that any of their beeswax?? (this AutoCorrect, I tell you). OK—maybe high heels should not be worn constantly because of bunions but who in the heel (arrgh, this AutoCorrect) G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E MARCH / APRIL 2015 are they to tell me not to wear stilettos! No one should let age dictate how they will present themselves to the world really. (Besides, heels are for safety—in a world with crime, I don’t need a license to wear these lethal weapons, so there). I know a woman in her 70s whose bucket list includes going on a hot air balloon ride and experiencing the thrill of a zip line. My staff and I were tickled to hear that she was going for it. But why? Because she is in her 70s? A good friend of mine in his early 60s was diagnosed with cancer and the doctor recommends he be careful of his shoulder bones. He announced at lunch that he is going to jump our of an airplane. Already worried about his cancer, the thought of him jumping off a plane and possibly getting hurled like a ragdoll, made me tear up and beg him to please do something else. But that is AutoCorrecting thinking, folks! They have the umph to be adventurous – because they are not letting age AutoCorrect their lives. Our age should not necessarily limit the activities we engage in or the challenges we take on! Even at that moment when we are ready to bid this world adieu – we have control. It may be limited but we do. I overheard a woman in her 50s at the grocery store tell her friend that she can- not lose weight any more, she is too old. She is using age to AutoCorrect her life. It is harder to lose weight as we age, but not impossible. Someone once said, “if you want it bad enough, you will do what it takes to achieve it.” Using age as an excuse is really an insult to life. Just go to NetFitness in Gilroy on a day when Jack Peters is there. In his glory days, Jack was known as the man of steel. In his 80s, he still bench presses to keep himself fit. Now, there’s a man who respects life too much to allow age to AutoCorrect it! We can laugh about the AutoCorrecting feature of our electronic gadgets. But the next time AutoCorrect twists your words, ask yourself how many times you made limiting decisions that were influenced by age. And decide to make a change. Be in control of all the features of your life… don’t let age AutoCorrect your life. It’s all about…”Aging with an Attitude!” 25