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Astrid, you’re only forty! How could you say you understand the effects of old age?

True, I can’t say I’m experiencing old age. I can say that I’ve had the experience of being with older people. After my stroke, I spent time with different people (young, old, patients and professionals) and the same advice was passed around. Use it or lose it!

Now, as I slowly recover, I talk to older people who blame their memory and body pains on old age. I don’t discredit old-age, I attest to the many unwanted changes in life that must be accepted.

When I was an avid volunteer, my memory was sharp, and I was determined to keep my word. With responsibilities, I had a focus to succeed. Now, I must find new activities to focus on and make daily goals to keep my mind sharp. The goals aren’t huge, they’re intended for focus, so I don’t lose my skills or memory. I must choose to move my body every day and try every move, if I desire mobility.

When people complain about changes or blame old age, I can’t accept it as a truth. I used to work daily and I recall the changes when I gave it up for my child. Skills are lost when they’re not used, it’s a choice open to every individual, young or old. Some people have a harder road to make a return and their mission is only impossible when they don’t own their responsibility. The more that is lost, the harder the return.

Please take into consideration who, what and where you are today. Respect what you have, be determined to use all that you’re provided and don’t lose yourself by passing your responsibilities to circumstances. You are who you choose to be. Make a choice you desire and follow it through. Use it, don’t lose it!