As I deliver this bit of shocking news, I hope that you are not sitting down. Frankly, you need to be standing at attention. Here goes: if you are over 40, only about 60% of you have even thought about getting old. However, one third of you prefer, ‘not to think about aging at all.’ Now consider this: If you are over 65, 70% of you will be needing long-term care either from a relative, home health aide, assisted living or a nursing home.
Great! Some of you may think to yourselves, “That gives me 25 more years to think about it.” Fine. Have it your way. Stay in denial. You won’t be alone. If you’re like many, you’ll be botoxing, bleaching and bonding whatever it is about you that seems like it’s getting old. If that doesn’t work, you’ll tighten and sew up the rest. Trouble is, when you really DO get old, you’ll actually look older, if not kinda weird.
There is only one way to stay young: stay involved. Meet new people. Take an interest in young people. Take an interest in old people. Plant a different kind of flower in the front hedge. Teach your dog a new trick. Read up on something different in the news and share it with a complete stranger. Don’t just walk across the crosswalk, skip. Ride your shopping cart if the lanes are clear. Wave to that cop in your rear-view mirror. Put on some music and dance while you make dinner. Trust me NOBODY is watching.
Shake it up. Nothing deadlier than a rut. Once you’re in one, that tire just doesn’t want to move from the groove. Recently, I started running backwards in the pool. Figured if I’m gonna go back and forth and get nowhere, might as well do it backwards. Get out the scrapbook and find that picture of you graduating from college. Remember how you felt that day? Life was ahead of you? You were gonna make things happen? Nothing could stop you? Well what’s stopping you now?