Advice to My (Older) Self
Since last week’s post was Advice to My Younger Self, I thought that it might be wise to consider some counsel for my (older) self. My initial thoughts were much like articles from an AARP or Prevention blog. They all had to do with exercise, healthy eating and staying connected. Sound, to be sure, but, I thought, there must be deeper, more profound guidance for this aging thing. What should I do now, to increase the possibility that I’ll have the kind of dotage that continues to bring me joy, or at least contentment and thanksgiving?
So, here goes. These are my ideas. I’d like to hear your views, and what you think of mine.
- Deal with your demons now. Sit with them, make friends with them, as the Buddhists say, invite them in for a cup of tea. They don’t define who you are, but how you deal with the scars they leave does. If they’re still around at this stage of the game, chances are they’re yours for the long haul. And let’s hope that those remaining are of the more-friendly sort.
- Keep in touch with your friends, old and new. Get over your phone-phobia – call, actually talk, don’t rely on Facebook and email. Visit them, though only for a few days, and invite them to see you. The effort of travel and being out of your nest is worth it. They are the font of treasured memories.
- Be disciplined about your days; keep doing those things that need to be done, even if you don’t feel like doing them. And decide just which of those pesky things really need to be done.
- Keep writing, and if you decide to stop, if you decide that that phase of your life is over, have another passion waiting in the wings.
- Keep your nails manicured and put on make-up – just a little bit – every day.
- Don’t complain, about anything, especially to yourself.
- Don’t worry. By this time you know that the bad times never last. Neither do the good times. Such is life.
- Be grateful for all those undeserved blessings that have cascaded into your life – write them down for when those grey clouds hover near your heart.
- Keep your sense of humor; that should be the very last thing to go.
- Family — love them, be there for them, but have a life apart from them. Don’t be a burden.
- And know when it’s time to say goodbye. Prepare your route, so that you leave those whose lives you‘ve touched sad, not relieved, to see you go.