Nowadays, if we are lucky, we reach the Elderly phase at 80, and this phase is merely preparation for actually becoming old. Seriously old only begins 20 years later! Senior Citizen in their 80s can also have a lot of potential, and we would be fools not to take advantage of them. Most of us will have sophisticated prescription glasses by this time, and hearing aids that we can adjust to different ambiances through our smart phones. We won’t be old, forgotten people feeling isolated. However, most of us will be beginning to get frail, which means that being content in this phase will have a lot to do with our spirits and our attitudes. And our spirits and our attitudes will have a lot to do with the planning and dreaming we did in previous life phases.
The Elderly phase can be a developmental time of life. Our spirits can continue to evolve upwards, and with modern technology we will be able to feed our curiosities as much as we want to. If we are no longer running marathons, we can restore or organize family photos, study the places we have been to or wish we had been to, organize family recipes, perfect a musical talent, paint, knit, do embroidery, crochet, cook, become a library or a museum volunteer, work with potted plants, or practice a foreign language with grandchildren or great grandchildren. The most important thing to remember is that it is up to us to find a passion for something.
We can feel a certain sense of liberating relief that we have given up all anti-aging resources like hair dye and Botox applications. This Elderly phase is a good time to do what psychologists call a Life Review, and try to return unsolved past conflicts to our consciousness for reevaluation and resolution. We will not be too old to reset our brain pathways, if necessary, and replace negative feelings and prejudice forgiveness. It will be a time to make ourselves better than we were in the previous phases. It will be a time to recognize commonalities between people, religions and nations instead of differences. If we play it right, we can be very useful to society and to our families in our Elderly Phase.
Tattoos have been around for more than 5,000 years. Egyptians, for example, used tattoos to differentiate between peasants and slaves, a kind of social branding. But ink art, which is what some fans like to call tattooing, has really exploded in the past 25 years. But not all of us have succumbed to this fad. And many of us who don’t have a tattoo have a favorite mug. Having a tattoo or becoming attached to a mug are not dissimilar. According to research, 60% of Americans say they have an emotional attachment to a favorite mug. And about 40% said their special mug was irreplaceable, and about 1/3 of those said they would be devastated if it broke. Personally, I think that most of these people don’t have tattoos. Mugs and tattoos are both an extension of our personalities, and both express the way we would like the world to perceive us. That is not to mention, of course, that those of us who have tattoos or mugs are often irrationally attached to them.