Stack of numbers

How to Age Gracefully In Ten Easy (or not so easy) Steps

Tracey Columns

1) Age is a number: If you believe that your age defines you, it will. Try not to let those little digits represent who you are. It’s really about how you feel about yourself that is a much better definition of your age.

2) “If you’re not where you’re at, you’re nowhere!” Do you remember wonderful old Col. Potter from the 1970’s television series, MASH?  He delivered this line to poor Klinger, the man desperate to get kicked out of the army. The point Col. Potter  was making? That while living in the past can be entertaining, it has very limited value. Conversely, worrying too much about the future can stop you in your tracks. Naturally, we enjoy our memories and it’s foolish not to plan for our futures. However, there is real value in acknowledging where you are in life right now and making the most of it.

3) Stay physically active! I know, I know, we hear it all of the time so I won’t belabor the point. But I will ask you to stop simply thinking about it and start doing it!

4) Connect with the world around you. Time with friends, family, and the community at large translates into nothing but good things. This social network will nourish you in the good times, and support you in the bad times.

5) Do not deny children the valuable lessons to be learned by working! Many Boomers are still raising children, a situation somewhat unique to our generation. But for reasons too lengthy to go into here, some parents have come believe that it is their responsibility to function as a  bottomless pit of financial support! Think again. Both generations will benefit.

6) Keep learning! To put it quite simply, use it or lose it!

7) Find something in life that gives you a sense of purpose. We all do better when we have a reason to get up in the morning. Enjoy each and every day of your retirement but know that if you don’t develop interests that take  you outside of yourself, you may not find your golden years to be quite so satisfying.

8) Learn from your parents. Whether you are fortunate enough to still have them in your life or not, your parents can teach you about aging gracefully – from both their successes and their challenges.

9) Do something to tackle our current healthcare crisis. Write your politicians, volunteer to work on different committees, lobby your insurance carrier because every little bit helps.

10)  Work on a positive attitude and your sense of humor. You’ll increase your feelings of well being and improve your physical and mental health. Surround yourself w/ cheerful friends, turn off the news, avoid depressing movies – see the funny ones. Do whatever you can to keep up your spirits.

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