Do seniors get crotchety? Do they love to complain? I’m 71. One thing I’ve noticed in my senior communities is the penchant to complain. Some seem to make a lifestyle of it. Whether the price of a meatloaf dinner or the restaurant server. The condition of a golf course or price of a prescription. The cable company or the HOA provider. Sheesh! The number of complaints seems to grow along with our age number. Does tolerance diminish? Does patience wane? What is it?
Our worlds become smaller in retirement. We have more time to focus on small irritations. We feel larger if we provide opinions and harangue.
It don’t have to be that way. I propose we strive to increase the happiness within our own lives. Given that we are living the moments that we have left, our happiness factor is an indicator of our quality of life (and those around us). Might we forgive one person each day their failings? Can we overlook the efforts of others that don’t measure up to our pinnacle? Can we extend a smile each day to someone laboring to provide service? I find that kindness really is the greatest gift. It’s uplifting. You’ll be amazed what you get back.
If you or a spouse are one of these misery sorts, and it really doesn’t love company, set anger aside, change your perspective. Extend a hand of greeting and tolerance. How many times a day do you smile? Too few? You can do it. Think of a pleasant memory. Recall a favorite phrase or song. Try a few minutes of meditation. Turn off the news. Disengage from other negative providers. If you find yourself turning to darker thoughts, turn them off. Concentrate on a positive hour, a positive day, a positive week.
Some of us have many ailments. It’s a favorite conversation topic and goes on and on. But if your glass is half full, your ailment report has a positive side. You’re still here. You’re still able to love and be loved. You’re still able to provide someone thanks and gratitude. I guarantee that your heart will be lighter.
I hope the next time we meet I’ll hear all that’s right with you, that you’re hopeful for better outcomes. I hope you’ll share these positive thoughts with others and encourage them to pass along happier moments and pay it forward.
Chris Keto is a retired human resources director who lives in 55+ community in Leesberg, Florida