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A Word about Grumpy Old People

A Word about Grumpy Old People

“Hi, I’m Harold, and I’m a grumpy old man!”

“Hi, Harold.”

This is the opening of my GOPA meeting–“Grumpy Old People Anonymous.”

I don’t know that this organization is real, but it certainly could be!  Of course, it is necessary first to acknowledge that I have this problem and need help.  In my opinion, many grumpy old people do not recognize themselves as such, so it may be a very small meeting!

I can see the tendencies in myself.  In fact, there are lots of things to be grumpy about:

  • Medical Concerns–You may have heard that as we age, the only thing that stays fixed is our income.  We all have our aches and pains, but we also have our medical crises.  We lose people for whom we care very deeply, some of whom are younger than we are!  And we don’t know when it will be our turn “at bat.”

(Incidentally, every doctor I have looks like they are still in high school!)

  • Financial Concerns–Am I able to pay my bills, and am I going to outlive my money?
  • Family Concerns–Hurt, anger and resentment can build over time and become increasingly more difficult to manage.
  • Emotional Concerns–Loneliness, Depression and Anxiety are consistently under-diagnosed (thus under-treated) in older people.
  • Cultural Concerns–The world is so different than it was when I grew up, and I don’t see it getting better any time soon if ever!  Am I right?

You may be familiar with the following quote:

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

You may not remember that the author of the quote is Socrates, the Greek Philosopher whose life spanned 470-399 BC.

So, how do I manage and counter grumpiness?

One of the most effective strategies is to learn and practice the art of gratitude!  Try it.  Every day, find something for which you are grateful.  Write it down. Tell it to someone else.  Focus and dwell on it!  Express your appreciation to someone, every day!  Remind yourself about the blessings you enjoy every minute of every day.  Make it a part of your daily routine.  Train your brain.  You might be surprised about the ways you can change your thought patterns, and . . .

You might not need the GOPA meetings anymore!

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