Thursday, September 4, 2008

How Do You Keep From Becoming A Cranky Old Woman?

Posted by Leona Bergstrom

I went to breakfast with a friend this morning who had just come off of a rather unpleasant encounter with an older woman. After telling me some of her story, she put down her fork, looked me eye to eye and earnestly asked, “How do you keep from becoming a cranky old woman?”

I chuckled because her intense desire to acquire some formula for her own life has been shared by many. In my decades of working with older people I feel like I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen really nice women become cranky, grumpy and downright unpleasant; and cranky women become pleasant – a scenario seen far less frequently. However, generally speaking, we don’t really change all that much as we get older. We just become more so.

So, how do you keep from becoming a cranky old woman? Don’t be cranky now! Start developing attitudes and perspectives early in age that keep you on the sunny side of life. Here are some thoughts I had while thinking through this morning’s question.

1. It all starts with a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness. I cannot recall one person who was cranky and filled with gratitude at the same time. It seems to me that when we understand the graciousness of God, and that everything He gives and allows is truly good, then we begin to be thankful in all things.

2. Focus on something other than oneself and one’s aches and pains. Non-cranky people seem to have a propensity for considering the needs of others and finding ways to serve mankind in some way.

3. Laugh more. You just can’t stay cranky when you see a little humor in most everything around you. Actually, laughing at oneself a little never hurts. Non-crankies usually have a good healthy sense of humor, even in pain.

4. Play with a toddler once in awhile. Or a puppy.

5. Carry a snack in your purse. I have found that cranky people are often hungry people with low blood sugar. :-)

No formula. Just some thoughts. I also googled “How do you keep from becoming a cranky old woman?” and found this WikiHOW article called "How to Deal With A Cranky Senior Citizen" that opens the possibility that others aren’t as cranky as we think!
For more on the topic, check out another view, by a good friend.
(Photo by Patrick Q, Flickr)

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