Age Gotcha – What You See Is Not What You Get

Did you ever have a “got you” age? I spent a week visiting friends in Kingston, New York. We had a great time running around, shopping, admiring the changing leaves, walking the dogs, redecorating, shopping, shopping and shopping, watching community theater and trying out new restaurants. We rarely stand still and we never run out of energy.

Then one afternoon, after spending a wonderful morning exploring a craft collective, we walked into a lovely little restaurant. After we sat down, I looked around me and wondered if we had entered a major’s residence. We were surrounded by what were clearly “older people.” Gray hair Walkers wrinkles. For a minute, I thought, “Why are we here with all these OLD people?” Then gradually I realized that these were my companions.

Without a doubt, it was a shock to remember that my peers and I were past sixty. It was also a pleasure to realize that you are as old as you feel and act. While good genes and a good colorist can help, here are seven things you can start doing right now to increase your own eternal factor:

1. Learn something new. Countless research studies link mental acuity with youth. The most recent ones suggest that learning something very different from your normal interests keeps your brain more active.

2. Get moving. Remember that old adage, if you don’t use it, you lose it? Think of those muscles that do nothing more than reach for the remote. Get up from the chair. If you can’t get out of the house today, clean something or move something or just walk or dance in your living room.

3. Meet new people. New people have different ideas, routines, and stories. Put a little variety in your life.

4. Be a volunteer. This really combines 1 and 3 with the ability to feel good about yourself. Almost all organizations need help. Can you make phone calls? Help prepare or deliver meals? Teach someone to read?

5. Take a day trip. Discover a new neighborhood or visit a local landmark. Think of yourself as a day trip writer. Take notes and photos.

6. Look good. Never leave the house in those baggy and wrinkled clothes. Clean up. Fix your hair. Check for stains. Basic stuff, and it makes a big difference.

7. Smile. People will respond positively to you and all that positive energy will make you feel young and vibrant.

Now get out there and DO something!