Do you know of someone who ages well? They seem to know exactly what to do to age gracefully. They are happy, healthy, care about others and are just fun to be around.
This person for me is my mom. She just turned 91 years old and is just delightful. Through her actions, she has taught me many lessons on how to age gracefully. She is youthful, spry and she would not be happy with me that I am telling everyone her true age.
Here are some of her rules or lessons for staying young:
Keep your mind challenged and active
Mom is a numbers gal. She is always thinking about and talking about numbers of some kind. She memorizes and knows every one’s cell phone number by heart. When she balances her check book, she always does the adding and subtracting in her head and never uses a calculator. She knows the date and year of everyone’s birthday in all three generations of our family. Recently, we measured the width of many of the doors in our home and mom guessed most of them correctly before they were measured.
Move and Exercise
Mom and Dad were always bike riders. They had a tandem bike and rode it constantly and rode it well into their 70’s and early 80’s. Mom and Dad completed 15 MS150 Bike Rides. They went on bike ride vacations. Mom continues to ride on her own. Now she rides her stationary bike 10 or more miles daily at home. She pushes herself to pump hard on the bike. She calls me during her rides and I can hear her labored voice.
Take Care of Others
Mom is always doing nice things for others. She visits her friends at home and in the hospital. Mom drives them to their Dr. appointments and to the airport. She brings meals when family members are moving, painting or driving through town. She brings people into her circle who are lonely or recently experienced the loss of a loved one.
Have a Positive Mindset
Mom always looks on the blessings in every situation. She is positive, happy and spreads her good cheer to others.
Stay Socially Active
Mom has a schedule! She and her friend always go places and do things. Some examples are they go to performing arts shows and concerts, farmers markets, shopping, eating out, and having friends over. (This all looks different currently with COVID of course)
Have a Purpose
Mom’s friend has three Standard (large) Poodles. By choice, Mom has become their caretaker. She nurses them (Mom is an RN), feeds them, and looks after their daily care and nurturing. Mom has become the dog whisperer! This gives her something to look forward to every day.
Be Proactive about Your Health
Mom eats healthy foods, drinks lots of water, moves regularly and keeps on top of her health needs and Dr visits.
These are just a few of the principles that mom believes in and demonstrates in her daily actions. She has aging gracefully down to a science. As I age, I want to incorporate these rituals into my daily life.