Sassy Moment #2 Tell Yourself A Better Story

Good morning ladies!  Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and listen in, this is The Sassy Moments Podcast, Moment #2  – Tell Yourself a Better Story. 

Understanding longevity is near and dear to my heart because both longevity and early onset dementia run in my family.  This means, there is a 7 in 10 chance, I will live long and mindless.  And while I am more than happy to live long, it’s the mindless part I take issue with.  

Now some will argue, you cannot fight genetics – I wholeheartedly disagree.  While genetics may load the gun – it’s our lifestyle choices that pull the trigger or not.  And though I cannot change my genetics, I can take full control over my lifestyle choices.  And choice is a beautiful thing.

We live in a youth obsessed society and that society wants us to believe we will end up lonely, frail and forgetful.    Well if you are going to forget anything – forget that nonsense forever.  True or not, who cares?  How is it helpful to believe that?   In fact recent studies in neuroscience have shown that what you think about comes about.  So you could accidentally create the very circumstance you want to avoid.  By thinking you will end up lonely, frail and forgetful you just might end up lonely, frail and forgetful.  So let that nonsense go with radical defiance and  extreme disobedience.  

It’s time to redesign the meaning of aging for future generations – this is our legacy.

Radical defiance – what a great stance to tackle the accepted norms of aging.  Did you know that in the 1920’s women lived to the ripe old age of 58?  Yep 58. I’d be gone.  Fortunately, in 2020 women live on average to about 81 an additional 23 years. And quite often many women well into their 90s and more and more are living beyond 100.  You have 23 more years than your grandmother – what are you going to do with that time?  Pick up the needlepoint? Noooo of course not.  Unless you already feel old.  Choose otherwise!

How old do you feel?  Critical question.  That old saying, “You are as old as you feel” is bang on, though I would change it to “you are as young as you feel.”  How young do you feel?  I feel about the same as I did when I was 31 – just starting my doctoral studies.  Back then I felt ambitious and enthusiastic about my future, ready to tackle any challenges that came my way.  I still feel the same, though the challenges I choose to tackle are quite different.  

How young do you feel?  And why did you choose that age? Questions worth contemplating. 
Perhaps you have some aches and pains from old sports injuries that have come back to haunt you; or maybe you find yourself looking for your keys far too often. We make these things mean we are getting old, beyond our years and dementia looms not far off.  Noooo.  It’s not true.  Stop telling yourself lies. 

Guess what?  The twenty somethings of the world have the exact same issues.  Except they are causing the injuries that come back to haunt them later.  They lose their keys all the time.  The difference is the story we tell ourselves about what those things mean.  The twenty somethings think – huh, I guess I need to get more than 4 hours of sleep.  They do not assume they have dementia or rheumatoid arthritis and are destined to a life of mindless suffering.  Why should you?  Tell yourself a better story.  You can do that.  You get to choose what you tell yourself.

You can just as easily tell yourself that you must have been distracted when you put your keys down.  Of course you were distracted, you were late getting away from the office, needed to pick up a few groceries for dinner and your cell phone rang just as you unlocked the door.  Hmm.  You backtrack your steps and there they are, right where you put them down.  You can then make that mean that your brain is working brilliantly, helping you find your keys when you weren’t paying attention and tada there they are.  Or you can make it mean you are losing your memory.  Which is more helpful? 

Tell yourself a better story – don’t change the facts – in my case, I do misplace my keys and my knees do hurt.  Tell yourself a better story.  You get to do that. 

Talk again soon.

Live Life, Love Life, Always,
Dr Karen