1205 SW 29th Street
Topeka, Kansas 66611

On Aging Well

"We have the power to create a healthy aging process."

The following blog post is an excerpt written by Charles “Chuck” Sodergren, who “changed residences” (as he would have said) in 2021. It is with the great pride and blessings from his children that we share Mr. Sodergren’s timeless thoughts on aging well….

Our 104 year old veteran enjoys a Brewster Place program.

I’ve learned that actually experiencing aging personally, from the inside out, gives one a slightly different perspective than simply reading, writing, and talking about it before it happens.

I was drinking coffee with my buddy, spouting philosophy about how personal relationships are more important than money in creating happiness. He looked at me, smiled, and replied, “I’d sure take the money and give it a try.” That caused me to think (as my friend’s wisdom always does) that sometimes I get a little carried away with philosophy and need to be brought back to earth by listening to the advice of my Coffee Buddies.

As a part of planning for the future and preparing for the best chapters of my life, I need to seriously consider what things are worthwhile to pursue and how I can continue to seek beauty in my daily life. Not planning for a life of learning, growing and changing is certainly a health risk that I intend to avoid!

Western medicine examines diseases that occur as we get older and calls the compilation of those diseases “aging.” The way that our bodies change over time is strongly influenced by how we expect to age. In other words, we are active participants in our own aging. Our thoughts and assumptions help shape the way we age. Matter follows mind. How we age is based partly on mental outlook, behavior patterns, and cultural learning. We age the way we have been taught to age, Unfortunately, our culture teaches us to age miserably.

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Many people are frightened about what they believe about aging. The typical belief system includes decline, decay, disease, and death. What if your belief system changed, and you began to think about the blessings and positive things about aging? What if we decided that growing old would be a great adventure into the unknown?

A grateful heart is not hard to maintain when we think of the challenges that are NOT ours. We should be thankful that we don’t have many of these common challenges. We need to rejoice not only for the good things we have been blessed with but what has NOT happened to us. Every day is an opportunity to celebrate life, even though we might have some personal trials. So rather than waiting for good news, we should remember that we have so many things to be thankful for. We should have a daily celebration for what has not happened to us.

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We have a lot of power to create a healthy aging process. We can anticipate growing old as a time to focus on important things and to become more autonomous. We should see that going slower is a good thing. We should see that the art of letting go is also a good thing. If we change what we believe about aging, we will stay healthier.

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