Life Changes

Namaskaar. Vanakkam.

We, Revathi Bhaskar, Radhika Sridharan and Krishnan felt it would be nice if we went
back in time and took a helicopter view of life and flew till we reached our current age.

Remember this is just a glimpse, a few observations and some tips.

We have done this in first person plural pronouns as in WE, third person pronouns as in
HE or SHE and in general terms. Taking liberty with the English language.

Forever Growing Up

A life is born. It is God’s way of telling you, he loves you and wants more of your genes
to help make the world a better world. From the mother’s womb to her warm and
emotion packed embraces to the tall shoulders of her father, children grow faster in their
first year than at any other time in their life.

Their growth is like peaks and valleys and they go through some dramatic physical,
emotional and social changes. They strengthen their bonds with parents, relatives and
friends and the pace with which they learn new things is amazing. Their preschool and
early school years are joy, frustration, wonder, pride, sometimes fear, but altogether a
different world experience.

We are going to fast forward a bit and get into the juvenile , adult and senior
years as this podcast is about growing up and lifestyle happenings that make,
shape and determine the way we spend our lives.

A Strong Start for Life

Seven tumultuous years begin at thirteen. You want to change the world.. You discover
a new kind of love where the heart beats faster. Heartbreaks and tantrums are a fact of
life.

A person of 40 will never understand the decision making process of a teenager even
though she has crossed that stage earlier in her life. Puzzling and bewilderment are
adequate descriptions of the teenage behavior process.

Well, let’s begin with what psychologists refer to as dramatic changes taking place in the
front part of the brain, with huge activity of cells that make a million things fight for
recognition in the decision making process. Peer pressure, the ability to hold multiple
thoughts, not fully comprehending the reward versus risk conundrum create some
fantastic results as well some disastrous ones.

Teenage is the bridge between childhood and adult years. Childhood is already a
sweet memory. As you cross the bridge dramatic changes happen in your life. The
bridge is made of wood. As you cross, “it burns behind you.”

The mood swings and stress you experience as you go through puberty can shape your
brain to determine the person you will become.

Our brain wiring becomes more stable, we are able to consider consequences. We start
saving money. We drive closer to the speed limit.

These are important years as they influence our long term thinking and actions and
have a bearing on the later outcomes of our life.

As parents we stress on academics, but maybe we need to focus more on their
emotions and development of their personalities.

Young and Wise. The Pace Quickens

Discover yourself in your 20s. Dream big as great new ideas spin in your brain and you
want to change the world and of course find a new you. Find projects that you care for,
find your purpose and start developing skills that will help you go forward and also how
to deal with stress and anxiety.

This is the time you experiment, discover what you are good at, a time for trying out new
things, finding new opportunities and start deciding about the best career path for
yourself. And cultivate marketable skills.

Start building a network of friends, influencers and advisors to help you achieve your
goal, both personal and professional. Start setting financial goals, learn to start
managing your money,

Push outside your comfort zone.

Your 20s and 30 are decades where you should be taking risks and seizing
opportunities. Opportunities can bring money but also give you experience and new
insights.

This is a period where you should push yourself. Maybe make mistakes, but diligence
and persistence will strengthen your mind to face the future more resolutely. This is
when you find balance and steadiness.

The dugout break

The referee has signaled half time and as this is when half of your life is spent and you
can pause and decide how you want the rest of your life to be.

Start looking more carefully at what and how you eat. Enjoy your food without guilt and
get a good balance of diet and exercise. Prepare yourself for the next part of the
marathon called life.

Look at yourself more carefully. You have done the tough bits. Found a job, found a
spouse or decided to go it alone, kids, house, prepping for later life – time to start
thinking about it. Most probably your career is on a firm path by now, it is time to nurture
relationships,and start spreading kindness, love and care for the less privileged. In
short, free up your emotional capacity and find time for yourself.

Here is when we feel we know as much as we need to, but life is learning. You are
lucky to be in the middle of it all, and enrich the young, not so old, your gen and your
future peers.

Do things that will challenge you as later on doing many things will be really challenging.
Get out of your comfort zone. Maybe paragliding, maybe a new art form, maybe a hiking
trip, whatever. Your bucket list is now.

Never think you are too old to do things that may seem a bit different, but stop at a
reasonable point. You are not a wacky teenager!

Walk or cycle to work. It’s both practical and enjoyable.

The best is ahead

We are starting this with a cliche “ Growing old is mandatory, Growing up is optional”

Major life changes take place now : retirement, children leaving home,physical and
health challenges, loss of relatives and friends.etc etc.

We need to learn to accept and overcome challenges and fears and find new things to
enjoy, staying physically and socially active, and feeling connected to your community
and loved ones.

A lot of seniors enjoy good health, the open secret being a good balance of diet and
health, managing stress, developing hobbies and engaging in social and community
activities.

Another cliche here” you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.

Not true.

These are the years that knowledge, wisdom and experience come into play and you
start rediscovering yourself. Learning to cope with change will reduce stress and
increase the joy of living.

Laughter is the best medicine said Reader’s Digest and they were not too far from the
truth. If we look outside ourselves, meet and interact with children and the younger
generation, we find joy and new meaning to our lives. Some starting points:

Community involvement, joining a club, volunteering, helping social causes will add
meaning and purpose to your life

Find peace in nature, prayer and travel.

Stay connected. Loneliness is a deadly friend of old age.Keep it away

Spend time with at least one person every day. We know of friends who have more
friends now than when they were younger. And it shows on the smiles.

A recent Swedish study found that exercise is the number one contributor to longevity,
adding extra years to your life – even if you don’t start exercising until your senior years.

Get plenty of sleep.

Have fun, these are the best years of your life.

Remember we saw this from a helicopter and just added a perspective and put it all in
one place, sorry podcast.

Wishing all of you the very best in life.

Thank you.

by Revathi Bhasker, Radhika Sridharan and Mr V Krishnan, residents of Covai S3 Retirement Community

Reblog – originally published as a podcast at CovaiVani

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