Friday, September 9, 2016

How to feel younger

Valarie


I love to see ladies (and men) quite a bit older than me who seem youthful and vibrant.  A friend’s mother comes to mind – she’s not that old, probably in her sixties or nearing seventy, and she is always a fun lady to bump into.  She never complains about anything, she talks up everyone she knows and if she doesn’t agree with something it’s said in a jokey and nice way.

Because my husband and I run a shoe store, I have seen her feet, and she has the most misshapen big toes I have ever seen – they actually bend in middle -  yet she laughs about them and says it’s from years of wearing stiletto heels in the 1960s.  If her toes hurt, you’d never know.  They probably wouldn’t dare actually.

This lady and others like her inspire me to age well, to get more positive as I get older and get on with the important job of enjoying life.

A seventy-year-old who is healthy, vibrant and happy will be more attractive than a younger woman with a sour and pinched outlook on life who doesn't take care of herself. Of course you can tell the seventy-year-old is older but that is going to be the case no matter what.  She will still be more attractive than younger Miss Sour and Pinched.

I believe you will be most content if you accept your age, and focus on making the most off your health, looks and happiness with every advancing year.

How much nicer would it be to think of yourself that you get 'better with every year - healthier, happier, more hobbies, friends, books read' rather than 'another year older, look how old I look, don’t get old it’s horrible' and basically counting down until the day you die.  Which sounds more fun to you?

I know there are health issues to face and possible bereavements and other difficulties, however these are not the exclusive preserve of older people; there are many youngsters who face all of these things.  And it seems to be a medical fact that stress can make you ill, so by stressing about all the bad aspects of aging you could be making things worse.  That’s a downward spiral I wouldn’t mind avoiding.

Conversely, focusing on all the good parts of getting older you could be doing yourself (and your loved ones, for they have to live with you) a huge favour.  I can see there are tons of items on the ‘positives of aging’ list, such as:

Getting richer over time, simply because you’ve been earning for longer
Having more wisdom from your experiences
More free time to do what you love – hobbies and activities
Less concern for what others think of you
More likely to do exactly what you want – others can’t talk you into things
You’ve worked out your personal style, what colours suit you

Watching the two Marigold Hotel movies and others of their type always helps me feel more positive about getting older.  I love to see retirees behaving badly – my nana Valarie was a great one for doing exactly what she wanted to.   She wore stylish and elegant clothing right through – no old lady dresses or frumpy weight gain for her.  She thumbed her nose at the authorities and drove her Mini even when she no longer had a license (she didn’t go far, don’t worry) and the hilarious thing about that is that she wore a giant sombrero so they wouldn’t see it was her.  As if a hat like that was going to help her go incognito through the streets of the small town she lived in!

If you are retired, I’d love to hear all the wonderful and fantastic things about being so, and if you are younger, please tell us what you are most looking forward to as you get older.

For me, it’s having more time to sew, knit, read and travel.  Yippee!

53 comments:

  1. 60 or 70 is not old by a long shot! You have to be at least 80 to be old now.
    I am not yet at 60 but it's closer than 40. Many of my friends are in their 60s or 70s. They are fit--they go to gym classes, hike, do yoga. They look great. Some even wear their hair long and blonde like Catherine Deneuve (who is 72).
    How to stay young: be active and engaged, stand up straight, don't hurt your back. Wear what you want. Do what you want as long as you DO something.
    Injuries are a big factor in being old: they hinder your activity and the pain makes it hard to keep a positive attitude. It's why moderate exercise is so important, to avoid getting hurt in the first place.

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    1. No, no, I did not mean 60 or 70 is old, I meant that age is still quite young!

      Your friends sound like a great group - very inspiring. Even though there's a lot of 'advice' that says you shouldn't have long hair when older, I love the idea, and I'm drawn to wearing it pinned up when out, but long and flowing at home.

      I completely agree about injuries/exercise and I'm always working on my posture (slouching is more comfortable but being up straight looks better and is more healthy).

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  2. Another post that really hits home, Fiona! I remember reading somewhere that old age is always 20 years older than you are, which at 64 I'm agreeing with at the moment. (I imagine that will get more challenging as time goes by. Oh well.) In her book "The Art of Growing Up," Veronique Vienne suggests we "pick an age you feel comfortable with and stop fretting...Once you've figured out how old you are, stay with it. Make that number the basis of your style. Explore all its possibilities. Reinvent the category if you must, to keep up with changing trends and lifestyles" (pg33). I reread her book a few months ago (one of the many delights of being retired now) and was so struck by this. Thinking of myself as 42, for instance, had an immediate effect on how I held myself and how I felt. I was astounded. I think it is really like your Sabine persona; it is a way of creating a feeling and outlook that is uplifting and has only positive benefits. Thanks for reminding me of all this, Fiona! Oh, and also thanks for mentioning Brian Tracy and his philosophy. I've been watching him on Youtube and there is another uplifting and positive influence I'm grateful to you for bringing to my attention! Best, Gail

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    1. I love Veronique's books too, and I'm so glad you love Brian - he's my man from way back. His gentle and encouraging way of explaining things makes them easy to take in, plus he's funny every so often which I enjoy.

      Thanks for sharing that quote from Veronique's book :) I want to read the rest of it now.

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  3. Lovely, lovely post, Fiona. I'm soon turning 50, and a couple of years ago I decided that ageing in good health, in good shape, and with a clear head was essential for me. I quit smoking, joined a gym, and started pursuing a career that alings with my passion and my abilities. I won't say all my days are "pink clouds and fairy dust", but I am much happier now that I was in my 30s. Do I have more wrinkles around my eyes? Sure. Have I put on some weight? Oh, yes (sigh! - but I'm on my way to shed it off!). I smile a lot, though. And I am pleased with my life.
    It's great that you've decided tell us women that ageing isn't the end of everything. It's rather the beginning!

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    1. I so agree with you Maria, and I am turning my bad habits around too because I don't want them to hinder my health and happiness as the years arrive.

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  4. Lovely post. I think wearing a big smile is one of the most youth generating things to do. I'll turn 50 next year, and I'm so ok with that, way more than I thought I'd be when I was younger. I'm so much more comfortable in my own skin than I was in my 20s. That seemed to begin in my early 30s after having my daughter, and has progressed from there. Sure I'm a bit heavier now and I would really like to lose the weight I've put on, but it's not something that affects my outlook on a day to day basis. I try to stay active, but in different ways than when I was younger, and I take more pleasure in the little things in life. My only concern as I age is having enough to live on, as the savings aren't quite where we'd like them and I have no pension plan from work, but we will get there.

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    1. Yes, Cindy, a smile is the quickest way to a facelift!

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  5. One thing I've learned is that you can exercise and use all the creams you want, if you don't change your eating habits you will still age horribly, inside out. Alpha Hubby and I got off white sugar and all chemicals (going with the premise that if we can't pronounce it, it should not be in our bodies!). We eat as clean as possible. Imagine our surprise at discovering all the aches, pains and small issues like matted eyes disappeared because they were due to processed foods or white sugar! We do exercise, drink plenty of skin nourishing water, take our Omega-3's partially through fish and partially a good oil supplement, I also take astaxanthin (excellent for skin).

    Other than that, we plan NOT to retire. We will take on new faith adventures, keep active, forget about the numbers of age, and go out and DO. The nice thing about aging is that you get to choose what it is you want to do. Life is way too short to spend time doing things you aren't wild about!

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    1. I think you've just given me the message I needed to eliminate sugar for good, so thank you for that. And 'not retiring', definitely!

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    2. It's just white sugar. You can have raw unfiltered unrefined honey - especially locally sourced. It has so many good things for you in it. Also there are some granulated raw "brown/tan" sugars that are minimally processed that don't seem to set off triggers (i.e., you become a raving lunatic seeking out all the "bad for you" foods you'd given up)!! You still have to watch how much you have. This was a good article the second time around, too!!

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  6. HI Fiona. Thanks for this article. I will be 62 in November, and I'm still working full-time, along with my husband. We are healthy and mentally active, but not as much physically as we should be, but we're working on that. Honestly, I've never felt better in my entire life. With age comes clarity, and you know that it matters not one bit what anyone else says or does. It's the most liberating feeling in the world to finally be free of the expectations of others and do and be for yourself. I encourage others to not wait so long in life as I did to finally come into your own. Great article. Thanks again, Bev.

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    1. Yay, Bev, what wonderful positive reinforcement for this message. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love them :)

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  7. Thanks, Fiona! Lovely podcast!
    Trissa

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  8. I worked for twenty years in an industry I despised. It never occurred to me that leaving that job would completely change my life and perspective. As a 67 year old retiree, I have spent the past five years making up for lost time. We've traveled to Ireland, Switzerland, and parts for Canada. I've taken up the guitar, Zumba, yoga and aerobics. I volunteer at our local art Museum and enjoy the wonderful programs they offer. My point is that life can change for the better at any age, even 67. I wouldn't trade this age for any other time in my life.

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    1. Love the inspiration, Kristien, thank you!

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  9. Have to agree that outlook makes such a difference - I have one friend who is about to turn 80 and she is a delight! Always dressed to the nines with hair and nails immaculate - she works out at the gym every morning and she is always up to something - we say that we have to make an appointment to see her because she is always so busy. Everyone loves spending time with her.
    And then I have another friend who has just turned 60 but who never stops moaning about her health "problems" - some real but exaggerated and many imagined. It's difficult to get her to talk about anything else and even when you do get her to change channels it still tends to be of the doom and gloom variety and then she wonders why people don't seem to want to visit or to go out with her these days - frankly it's just too exhausting and no fun. We are all getting older (I'm about to turn 63) and of course there are going to be some aches and pains but you have to get past those things and concentrate on new challenges or old and well loved things to do. Friends like the 80 year old are a true inspiration - we all say we want to be like her when we grow up! :-)

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    1. Margie, your older friend sounds like such a treasure, what a fabulous real-life role model she is.

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  10. Hi, Fiona, great post again. I am one of our older readers, as you know, and I will be 72 on Saturday!
    I would say this, though. Much depends on one's health; I've had osteo arthritis since I was in my mid-20s, but I try not to allow it to stop me from doing what I want to do! But of course, it slows me down and pain is very wearying. However, both husband and I walk two or three times a week, and he does all the maintenance on our house and garden and we both help with our grandson. We've found as we age we can't sustain our momentum as long as we once could; if we are up early and go for a walk and then return and do some chores, we do have to rest - we think this is natural at 72 and 80! But our minds are fit and active - after all, I'm still writing for magazines (received two new commissions today, yay!) and as you know, I've just started my own blog! That's great fun!
    However, I don't now belong to any group activities - done that over the years: a writer's group, the National Women's Register, a choral society, as I simply don't want to subscribe to having to do something every week. I like to be able to choose what I do each day, within reason of course.
    I love fashion still, always have my hair professionally cut and styled, and always wear makeup and nail polish. Indeed, I went for a makeup lesson with the Lancôme beautician in a dept store recently, just to keep up to date and not have makeup that was popular in the 1960s - OK if you want a retro look, but not OK for someone who was around in the 1960s!
    My advice for younger people on ageing is keep the mind active first. Nothing is as boring as a boring old bat!
    PS Also, keep off walking sticks as long as possible unless they are an absolute necessity. And in the bathroom and bedroom, keep all 'old people's things' such as medications, out of sight (and those awful V-pillows that some old folk have on their beds!) I only have pretty scent bottles on the bathroom shelves - mouthwash, toothpaste, Savlon and so forth are tucked away in a cupboard, unlike in a home I went in this week and saw in the bathroom rows of disinfectants, mouthwashes, shaving foam (for the man I presume!), dental floss, nail scissors, and so forth. It all looked so elderly! Only display the Dior, dear!
    Margaret P

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    1. You are so right about the toiletries Margaret, but I would say that this should hold for everyone no matter the age! I also think that medicines by the bedside should be corralled in a pretty box if they must be there. When I had whooping cough, I kept all my stuff in a lovely Japanese wooden box which pretty much hid all of the ugly bottles, etc.

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    2. Happy birthday to you for Saturday, Margaret! I like perfunctory items to be put away too - something that I really dislike when I walk or drive past homes is when you can see the dishwashing liquid on the windowsill along with other cleaning items.

      Tri-pillows, haha, they look comfortable but they're not the most stylish. My younger cousin had one as a teen and his whole family teased him about it, calling him an old man. He probably still has it :)

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    3. That pretty Japanese box sounded lovely, Melissa - that is a very good idea. Of course, when you're actually ill in bed, that is a totally different matter, but I'm sure you know what I mean - the pills and potions that many people take, young or old, need to be kept in the bedside drawer or somewhere out of sight.
      And yes, Fiona, I dislike seeing washing up liquid by the sink, too! We keep ours in a cupboard next to the sink, and only have lavender handwash on show. Even the washing up bowl is put away after use, along with the rubber gloves, cloth, etc.
      Margaret P

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    4. Happy birthday for Saturday ! I hope you have a lovely day.

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  11. Hi Fiona, I'm feeling the least positive of all the commenters on this post! Having gone through a few medical procedures over these past few months has put me there unfortunately. It is very difficult to not want to vent to others when going through times like I am currently. It's sad to me that when I feel I want to talk about what I'm going through, the person I'm talking to may feel like it's a downer to have to listen to it. I don't think it's very healthy to try to be stoic though and it's hard to be in a chipper mood when really I'm not. It feels artificial, and it's hard for me to fake it - I've tried. So I'm coming from a different perspective I guess. I do try to be positive and not talk about ailing health too much because I don't want to be thought of as negative. On the other hand, I don't mind when someone speaks to me about how they're feeling if they're going through tough times, I totally understand. Being surrounded by it all the time though would be tiring, I agree.

    D.

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    1. Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. It must be hard to keep your spirits up and also not to feel like a moaner when you want to have a bit of a vent or even just a talk. I can imagine it must feel quite frightening too, wondering if you're ever going to feel better.

      All I can see that would help is lots of self-care, even if you feel selfish, to know when you're feeling fragile and need some TLC (even if it's from you), and keeping the faith.

      When I was going through a hard time sixteen years ago (divorce, life tipped upside down, new city) I didn't exactly pray, but I asked for a lot from the Divine Spirit/Universe. At various times I asked for strength, hope, peace, love, even just 'help' as in 'please help me with x'. And I did feel better.

      I understand with health it is different, however you might find something that makes you feel a bit more hopeful.

      I wrote in a notebook/journal a lot during this time too - all my upset, fears, unhappiness etc. I got rid of the notebook when it was full and I was past that time, and it felt like all the bad stuff was removed, very healing.

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    2. I would just like to say, D, that I, too, am sorry to hear about your troubles. As with Fiona, I have had problems in the past decade - breast cancer and removal of gall bladder - and there were times when I felt very low. Give yourself time, you can't always be upbeat. Hopefully, you will regain both your physical and mental strength again.
      Margaret P

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    3. Hopefully, your heath challenges are temporary. I, too, am a breast cancer survivor which occurred right after I retired. And I agree with Fiona, praying or seeking support from the Universe helped me. So did a good friend. If you can find even one person to pour out your concerns upon, it helps. And life gets better. For me, it made life sweeter. Hoping it does the same for you.

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    4. D, I too have health problems that seem to have consumed my life, my thinking and 99% of my meagre budget since losing my job two years ago due to sickness. When people ask 'how are you' I don't know whether to lie and say 'great, thanks, and you ?' which is the 'polite' answer or simply grunt and tell them they don't want to know. Some days I feel so angry / frustrated / sad (take your pick) that I think I'll hit the next person who complains about their broken dishwasher or chipped nail polish to me and tell them they've never had it so good. But I don't. I take a breath and remind myself that 'this to shall pass' even if it has been 2.5 years and I still have to rest every afternoon in order to have the energy / will to make it to dinner time. We don't appreciate good health until we lose it.
      I am not a religious person and am undecided about the existence of one God so prayer is not helpful to me. However talking to a trusted friend, family member, doctor, nurse or counsellor - or all of the above - can really help. I have found that the help of my counsellor (psychologist) has been invaluable as (1) she is not related to me or a friend and so won't simply tell me what she thinks I want to hear (2) she is professional so can give me advice or links to services I need (3) being a professional she has the skills to protect herself so I never fear that my woes will drain her (4) I am completely candid with her in a way that I am not with friends or family, no matter how wonderful they are.
      I'm sorry for blabbing on and it's not my intention to make it all about me, I just wanted to let you know that there is someone out there who understands how you feel..... Sometimes when someone asks us how we are and were feeling low you can respond 'I'm getting there'. You may not yet know wher 'there' is but it's an answer ;)
      Good luck to ck xx

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    5. Oh my goodness everyone, you've got me crying. I am so thankful for your comments: Fiona, Margaret P., Kristien62, and Lara. Thank you for letting me know it's okay to complain sometimes,
      I'll continue to try to keep it to a minimum though :)

      Fiona, I've had a journal for about 18 years and it is very therapeutic. You are incredibly gracious - this is your blog and I don't want to take up too much space!

      Margaret P., Thank you for being so open and I'm sure in time I will be my old (excuse me, "young") self again.

      Kristien62, I do pour out my concerns to my sister who has gone through the same thing, and one friend, besides my husband. I try not to with my daughter though, she has college applications to worry about right now!

      Lara, You hit me hard! So many things you've said are EXACTLY how I've been feeling ... the angry/frustrated/sad; having to rest in the afternoon and wondering if I'll have enough energy (even after having a nap) to make dinner. I am considering talking to a nurse navigator when the "what ifs" start creeping into my thoughts.
      Your response, "I'm getting there" sounds exactly where I'm at right now and I'll try to remember to use it next time when I'm feeling down.

      Thank you so much,
      D.

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    6. D, there is as much space as you need! I agree with you, the ladies who visit here are the loveliest people ever. xx

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    7. Hi Fiona and Everyone,

      These are tremendously worthwhile and inspiring posts. I'm chiming in belatedly to report that health problems MAY turn out to be a gift in disguise. At 66 I don't know who I would be if my surprise-health-crises hadn't derailed me completely around 1998. After some 20 years as a medical writer, I had switched gears and gone to law school in my 40s. Just three years into my new career as a health law attorney, I was forced to stop work permanently by a surgically caused spinal deformity. At the time, my son was still in high school and living with me after the total finale of a long, unhappy marriage. I had no disability insurance and almost no visible means of support for the six months it took Social Security to come through for us. As my spinal deformity worsened, so did my narcolepsy (a disorder causing uncontrolled sleep attacks). My doctor tried every possible remedy for the excruciating back pain, but they all exacerbated the narcolepsy so badly that I was dangerously groggy and prone to nod off anywhere: school meetings, religious services, restaurants, traffic . . . (Eventually I acquired a surgically implanted "pain pump" which infuses medication directly into my spine, thus avoiding the brain fog--a real godsend.)

      Of course you need to vent when your life is falling apart the way mine was back then! For me this meant (1) seeing a great therapist who specialized in providing practical, supportive help for people with major medical problems, and (2) finding other women online who had the same deformity I did. Eight of us somehow got in touch with each other and learned that we were all going through similar troubles. We researched the problem extensively and started an online forum, inviting anyone else who might have the same condition to join with us. This was the first-ever group for people with so-called flatback syndrome resulting from scoliosis surgery. It now numbers well over 900 and has been a source of mutual support and factual information for untold numbers of "flatbackers." At first there were only a few orthopedists and neurosurgeons trained or qualified to correct flatback deformities, so, for all my own pains and gripes, I ended up on a sort of "mission" to steer others to those surgeons who would be least likely to damage them further.

      By the time I managed to arrange my own corrective surgery--18 hours of spinal reconstruction in two installments--I was carrying my torso at a 90-degree angle to the ground and leaning on a walker for support. The surgery enabled me to look normal and function better, but it was not a cure-all. I eventually needed five more spinal reconstructive procedures. (Since then I've also had a stroke and have developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.)

      Apart from my online group, one other new development in my life helped me to stay young and hopeful and capable of joy. Early on in my forced retirement, I found myself drawn to check out a small art supplies store. I was entranced -- spellound. I walked out of that store with a few acrylic paints and some paper to paint on. I had always been a dysfunctional perfectionist and neurotic overachiever, so I had naturally given up art completely in the second grade, when a new girl joined our class and replaced me as #1 class artist! Now, in my 50s, I finally rediscovered my love of all things artistic. Today my dining room is an art studio, and my whole apartment serves as a gallery for my original collages and paintings.

      These experiences have deepened my spirituality and joie de vivre as well as my compassion for others, expanded my creativity and curiosity, nudged me into a habit of gentle self-care, and made me profoundly grateful for all the small joys and pleasures of life (which can occasionally include a good,long cry or a wholehearted temper tantrum). They have also emboldened me to be myself and ask for what I need. I continue to grow and change, and I welcome each day as a new beginning.

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    8. Hi Elizabeth, thanks so much for sharing your story. It is truly inspirational :)

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  12. Lovely post Fiona!
    I play bridge every week with a group of women and one of our ladies who is 94...the best "bridge brain" of the bunch and she had a fall...broke her hip and arm...we missed her expertise today and hope that the wisdom of older women can continue to influence us...

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    1. I hope your lovely lady is okay, falls are not good news when you are 94. She sounds like such an inspiration :)

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  13. I turned 60 this year and I love it! I'm looking forward to retirement next year so that I can enjoy more of what I'm doing now - loving on my grandchildren, reading, sewing, travel, going for long walks. I've learned not to care so much about what other people might think - they're probably not thinking about me anyway! Having just lost my dear brother to cancer at age 62, I'm more determined than ever to live life and love every minute of it. I adore your blog, videos and IG feed, Fiona. Oh, yes - and your books - fabulous! Thank you!

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    1. Pammie, I'm sorry to hear of your brother, and I agree, something like this happening makes you want to make the most of your time even more. Sewing, reading, travel, long walks - are you my twin???

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  14. One of the many benefits of aging is that I care less above t what others think of me. I have realised that most people are so worried about themselves that they barely notice others at all ha ha. I spent most of my 20s and a good part of my 30s trying to please others and sucking in my stomach, feeling I was fat. What a waste of time. If only I had appreciated my body more. Now I am closer to 50 and have a chronic health condition that seems to have no clear cause and no cure (chronic fatigue syndrome) and my bits aren't as bouncy as they once were but I wouldn't go back 20 years if you paid me !!! Sure I sometimes walk into a room only to forget what I went in there for but I've been doing that since my 20s :)

    My late paternal grandmother, who I've mentioned in previous replies on this post, died at 91. She was born in 1922, married young, had 12 children and 20-something grandchildren and several great grandchildren. She was a fabulous cook, sewer, first aider, hugger and all round good egg. My grandma was always well dressed (despite never having two bob to rub together for herself with all those hungry mouths to feed), could talk with anyone on any topic and I never heard her swear or complain. I'm sure she did swear and complain - with all of us ratbags underfoot she had plenty of reason, I'm sure - but she did it quietly. My grandma had a series of heart attacks and a bout of pneumonia in later years which slowed her down a little, much to her chagrin.The last time I saw her she was shrunken with age and using a walking stick which she said she hated as it 'made her look old' but used it 'to keep [her] daughters happy'. Despite the being a 44 year age gap and huge generational differences between us, we never ran out of conversation and I always found her interesting. I aspire to be half the good egg she was :)

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    1. Lara, We must be related.

      Your whole first paragraph ... yes.

      Your grandma sounds like my mom. She's 90 years old and FEISTY. I aspire to be like her :) She has incredible posture, much more energy than I've ever had, and sharp as a tack. She still wears suits, pumps, full makeup and hair regalia ... every day.

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    2. Oops, I forgot to sign off. The Anonymous reply above was me, D.

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    3. Lara, thanks so much for your caring comments on this post, you definitely are a good egg :) Your grandmother's comment about looking old with a walking stick reminds me of my nana (Valarie above) saying when the post office closing down in town 'but what will the old people do?' when she was well into retirement age herself. She also used to do grocery shopping for her 'elderly' (according to her) neighbours when she was the same age as them :)

      And I agree with everything in your first paragraph, especially thinking I was fat back then... It makes me reconsider what I think about myself now because I'm not fat, I'm just not really skinny, and is that a realistic or even necessary goal for a good life???

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  15. I find that strength training is one of the greatest tool in keeping your body young. For the mind, nothing beats learning a new skill.

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    1. Thanks for the great reminders, Mireille :)

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  16. Pick your favourite age - great concept. 58 was mine. Relatively fit, retired, able to eat almost anything I wanted, travelling lots, visiting family yearly, down-sized home. Lots of little things. Sure, it wasn't all perfect but no point in a life is. So it's almost a decade later and I think I'll just pretend I'm 58 even if not all those variables are still true. Oh to be able to eat the way I did. Now I have to think of those extra pounds as a way to hide the wrinkles.

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    1. That's what I think too, Julie, the little bit of weight I'm always trying to get off is actually keeping my skin youthful looking...

      Forever 58, love it :)

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  17. I have loved reading this post, and all the insightful comments.
    My mantra is "Better, not Younger". It makes everything seem simpler. If you chase youth, rather than trying to be the best version of yourself (not matter what your age!), you will never be satisfied. I forget my age, and just concentrate on things I can change - being kinder, happier, more caring, more educated, more groomed, more physically active, a better partner/mother/daughter/sister/friend. Since I've started thinking this way, I've never felt so right. x Sybella

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    1. I agree, Sybella, the comments on this post are outstanding and so inspirational.

      I love 'better, not younger' as a mantra almost as much as I love your name; it's so pretty!

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  18. I'm late to this party, but as someone who's recently retired, this is a topic that interests me. I have absolutely no intention in the world of "getting old". I know women (& men!) younger in years than I am who are much older in attitude, outlook, dress & behaviour. They talk about their aches & pains & bowels (what is it with older people & their bowels?). About how many operations they've had, what meds they're on,
    what their grand children are doing (& little else) & how depressed/lonely they are. It doesn't surprise me that they are almost all judgmental, critical & negative about their lives & everyone around them.

    Then I know others, older than I am, who are going non-stop: vivacious, energetic, active, interested & involved in life & their community. They're almost all positive, compassionate, open-minded & curious people who embrace all life has to offer. And this includes the ones with health challenges!

    It is *definitely* a matter of how you chose to think & has little to do with accrued years, physical well-being or life circumstances. [I guess this can be said of all happy people, come to think of it!].

    When I hear people complaining about getting older -- and especially how their health is negatively impacted & how we should "just accept" the aches & pains & stiffness & weight gain & illness & syndromes & limitations of old age -- I want to just slap them! Yes, we age. Yes, our bodies start showing some wear & tear. But with good self-care & a positive, healthy attitude & outlook, an active, engaged mind, good nutrition & hydration & steady exercise, there's no reason at all that we can't live long, active & independent lives.

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    1. Never too late, Susanne, and thank you so much for a wonderful comment. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you've said. Bravo to you.

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    2. I would just like to add a small comment here from someone in her 70s, and I agree with Susanne, that a lot of elderly people do seem obsessed with their health (and yes, their bowels!)
      However, I suspect Susanne is still a young-retired, someone perhaps in her early 60s. As we age, sometimes health issues take over, we have constant visits to the doctor and even the hospital (I speak from personal experience here)and therefore these things are, at least for a time, uppermost in their minds, especially if they live with constant pain. Not all ills are cured with exercise, diet, and a positive attitude, sadly. And, of course, the age range for retired people is enormous, from those who are able to retire when reasonably young and in good health, say early 60s, to those who are in their late 80s and 90s. I agree that our health must not be a constant subject for discussion, and I find it's men more than women who indulge in this! My women friends, some of whom have been struck down with awful illnesses, such as cancer, Sjogren's Syndrome, and Poly Myalgia Rheumatica, talk about books and films and clothes instead - and yes, their grandchildren! - and just say things like "Would you mind pouring the tea, my hand hurts a bit today!" Yes, it helps to keep active and, I think more importantly, to have an active mind, accepting of new things rather than "we didn't do that in our day" attitude! But living with constant pain is wearying and very often does become the topic of conversation.
      Margaret P

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    3. Getting all the necessary nutrients is important to ageing pain-free. It's not all in the mind.

      Although all nutrients are important, the one that a lot of people can't absorb as they get older is vitamin B12. About 40 - 50% of people over age 60 cannot absorb it properly because their stomach acids decrease. Other reasons for not being able to absorb it are pernicious anemia and genetic problems affecting metabolism which are surprisingly common (and can be behind stubborn weight issues).

      And, it is linked to conditions that cause pain, memory loss and crankiness.

      Have a read of this recent article in the NY Times. One detail (boring detail at that) the article doesn't go into is there are different forms of B12 available and not all are equal. Only two are "active" forms the body needs. One of these active forms is the one that lies behind neurological issues and immunological issues. If someone is deficient, no amount of positive self-talk will help. Instead, it's time to see a doctor who is educated about this, as many, unfortunately, are not.

      nytimes.com/2016/09/06/well/mind/vitamin-b12-as-protection-for-the-aging-brain.html?_r=0

      Another good one for ageing gracefully is vitamin K2, which is easy for people in New Zealand to get if they eat eggs, meat, and drink milk because the animals are raised on pasture. In North America deficiency is a major problem, and so it's no wonder than wrinkle creams are so popular because a lack of K2 causes wrinkles, among other, more serious issues. One amazing source is hard cheeses from Europe such as Gouda, Emmenthaler, Jarlsberg,...oh, and Brie is a very good source too.

      Alison

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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