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青春是一种荣耀,但变老也没那么可怕

更新时间:2017-9-14 11:11:34 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Feeling Older? Here’s How to Embrace It
青春是一种荣耀,但变老也没那么可怕

The realization that you are getting older can come in waves.

关于你在衰老的提醒会纷至沓来。

You watch movies and point to the actors, saying: “She’s dead. Oh, he’s dead, too.”

看电影时,你指着里面的演员,说:“她已经死了。噢,他也死了。”

Your parents move to a retirement community they call God’s waiting room.

你的父母搬进了一个养老社区,他们称之为上帝的候车室。

You hear more snap, crackle and pop in your joints than in your breakfast cereal.

浑身上下的关节咔哒啪啦作响,比咀嚼早餐麦片还热闹。

In society, youthfulness is glorified and getting older is cast as something to avoid, but as your age increases, your quality of life does not necessarily have to decrease, experts said.

在社会中,青春是一种荣耀,变老是需要避免的事,但是专家说,年龄会增长,你的生活质量却不一定要随之下降。

Here’s what you should know:

以下是一些需要知道的东西:

What is ‘old’?

什么是“老”?

Most people wouldn’t say that a 38-year-old qualifies, but once you pass the median age of 37.8, you may statistically be considered “old,” said Tom Ludwig, emeritus professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Mich.

多数人不会认为一个38岁的人“老”,但密西根州霍兰的霍普学院(Hope College)的心理学荣休教授汤姆·路德维格(Tom Ludwig)说,一旦越过37.8这个年龄中值,你在统计学意义上就属于“老人”了。

Studies show that people start feeling old in their 60s, and a Pew Research Center survey found that nearly 3,000 respondents said 68 was the average age at which old age begins.

研究显示人们是在过了60岁以后开始觉得老的,皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)的一项调查发现,将近3000名受访者认为68岁是进入老年阶段的平均年龄。

Daniel B. Kaplan, an assistant professor of social work at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., said in an email that living to an advanced age was a relatively recent achievement.

纽约州加登城的阿德尔菲大学(Adelphi University)的社会福利工作助理教授丹尼尔·B·凯普兰(Daniel B. Kaplan)通过一封电邮表示,活到高龄相对来说是人类近期才取得的成就。

“The average human life span gained more years during the 20th century than in all prior millennia combined,” he wrote, adding that the average life expectancy in the United States is 79.1.

“人类平均寿命在20世纪的增幅,比之前的几千年加起来还要大,”他写道,此外他说美国人的平均预期寿命为79.1岁。

Gain perspective

丰富视角

Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, said that your outlook can make a difference.

曼哈顿勒诺克斯山医院(Lenox Hill Hospital)神经科医生加亚特里·德维(Gayatri Devi)说,你的态度会发挥重大作用。

She recalled a patient who frequently said, “Old age has an ugly face.” The patient died when she was 84.

她记得有一位病人经常说,“年老是一件很难看的事。”这位病人去世时84岁。

Another patient, who was 98, told Dr. Devi that when she was younger she looked like the actress Elizabeth Taylor. When the doctor told her that it must be difficult for someone who was once that beautiful to have aged, the patient remonstrated: “What do you mean? Am I not still beautiful?”

还有一位98岁的病人对德维说,她年轻时长得像影星伊丽莎白·泰勒。医生于是说,对于一个曾经如此美丽的人,衰老想必很痛苦,病人不满地表示:“你什么意思?我现在不美吗?”

That patient is now 100.

那位病人现在100岁。

Diversify your friends

保持朋友的多元化

Dr. Devi said a patient who died at 101 had told her to try to have a friend “from every decade of life.” He had befriended an array of people, including Dr. Devi’s daughter, who was 12 at the time.

德维医生说,有位101岁去世的病人告诉她,他希望在“每个年龄段”里都能有个朋友。他和许多人交了朋友,包括德维的女儿——当时12岁。

Having friends from multiple generations can help head off the loneliness that can come when others move, die, get sick or are no longer mobile.

随着身边的人搬家、离世、生病或失去行动自由,和不同世代的人结交有助于抵御由此产生的孤独感。

“It speaks to an antisegregation of the aged, maintenance of community, as well as keeping in touch with modern advances to prevent being accused of being an old fogey,” she said.

“这有助于消除对老年人的隔离,维护社区,同时还能跟上时代前进的步伐,避免被人说是老古板,”她说。

Get ready

做好准备

Many of the problems that adults face as they get older are unrelated to the normal part of aging. The quality of your later life is partly under your control. Choices about lifestyles and behaviors can influence the effects of so-called secondary aging.

成年人在衰老过程中遇到的许多问题,和正常的衰老无关。晚年生活质量在一定程度上是你可以控制的。在生活方式和行为方面的选择,会对所谓的继发性衰老构成影响。

Exercise and proper sleeping and eating habits will help your physical health, which will benefit your mental and cognitive health, Mr. Ludwig said.

路德维格说,锻炼和合理的睡眠、饮食习惯有益于你的身体健康,对你的精神和认知健康也有好处。

People should prepare for the later stages of their life as they would starting a family or helping a child gain independence.

人们应该像准备组建家庭或帮助孩子独立那样,去准备晚年的生活。

Seek financial advice to help adapt to changes in your income and plan for the costs of health care, Mr. Kaplan wrote. Discuss with your family and friends what you expect from old age and what type of lifestyle you desire.

凯普兰在信中说,在适应收入变化和规划医疗开销方面,应该去寻求财务建议。和你的家人、朋友谈一谈你对老年生活的期待,你希望能有怎样的生活方式。

Embrace the positives

接纳正能量

Older adults are generally happier and less stressed and worried than middle-aged and young adults, Mr. Kaplan wrote.

年长者普遍比中青年人更快乐,压力和担忧更少,凯普兰写道。

Although there can be declines in health and income, “the vast majority of older adults enjoy improvements in the emotional aspects of life” because they are more focused on positive information, he wrote.

他写道:尽管健康状况和收入可能有所下降,“绝大多数老年人在生活中的情感方面都得到了改善,”因为他们更注重积极的信息。

Mr. Ludwig said the reality of aging was not as bad as stereotypes would suggest.

路德维希说,衰老的现实并不像刻板印象所暗示的那样糟糕。

While you might not be able to do all the things you once did when you were younger — he advises against playing tackle football with teenagers, for instance — there are ways you can compensate by finding other activities that are rewarding.

虽然你可能做不了年轻时能做的所有事——比如,他建议不要和青少年一起打橄榄球——但你可以找到其他有益的活动作为补偿。

Find something to commit to improving, whether it’s tennis or cabinetry. Mr. Ludwig suggested focusing on helping others, especially younger people.

寻找一些可以让你全心投入,并且不断做出改进的东西,无论是网球还是木工活。路德维希建议,可以致力于帮助其他人,特别是年轻人。

Remember, too, that you are not the only one feeling sore or slowing down, he said.

记住,不是只有你会感到身体疼痛或迟钝,他说。

“There are millions of Americans waking up with those aches and pains,” Mr. Ludwig said. “What is the alternative to aging? It’s dying young.”

“数以百万计的美国人醒来时感觉痛苦和疼痛,”路德维希说。“人不衰老就会怎样?就会在年纪轻轻时死去。”

Reject ageist attitudes

拒绝年龄歧视

Though it is true that as we age, we may gain some weight and lose some of our intellectual abilities, it is no reason to give in to stereotypes about older adults.

尽管随着年龄增长,我们确实可能会增加一些体重,失去一些脑力,但是没有理由屈服于对老年人的刻板印象。

Myths about older people — that they are disconnected or crotchety — are perpetuated in the news media and our culture. Advancements in technology have accelerated the stereotype that older people can’t keep up, Mr. Ludwig said.

有些关于老年人的错误看法认为,他们与时代脱节,或者脾气暴躁——这样的看法在新闻媒体和我们的文化当中根深蒂固。路德维希说:科技的进步加速了老年人无法跟上时代的刻板印象。

Leslie K. Hasche, an associate professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, said she supported AARP’s “Disrupt Aging” initiative, which seeks to counter social and cultural myths about what it means to be old.

丹佛大学社会工作研究生院(University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work)副教授莱斯利·K·哈希(Leslie K. Hasche)表示,她支持AARP的“打破衰老”(Disrupt Aging)倡议,该活动旨在反对社会和文化中关于老年人的错误观念。

“Too often, the myths create barriers or limits, which get in the way of older adults staying connected or pursuing what is meaningful to them,” she wrote in an email.

“这些错误观念往往会带来障碍或限制,阻碍老年人持续接触或追求他们心目中有意义的事情,”她在电子邮件中写道。

Various milestones — birthdays, changes in careers and the deaths of siblings and peers — are reminders of the passage of time, but you should not lose focus on finding meaning and quality in life, Mr. Kaplan wrote.

卡普兰写道,各种里程碑——生日、职业中的变化,乃至兄弟姐妹和同龄人的死亡——都在提醒你时间的流逝,但你不不应当忽略对人生意义的寻找,以及对生活质量的重视。

“For many people, old age creeps up slowly and sometimes without fanfare or acknowledgment,” he wrote. “While most people enjoy relative continuity over the decades, being able to adapt to the changing context of our lives is the key to success throughout life.”

“对许多人来说,衰老是慢慢到来的,有时候并不会大张旗鼓,往往令你猝不及防,”他说。“虽然大多数人的生活都会在几十年内保持相对的连贯性,但是纵观人的一生,适应不断变化的生活环境乃是成功的关键。”

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