I had an opportunity this week to spend some time with a friend who is feeling “old” and a bit under-appreciated. She is having difficulty with the concept of staying young right now. She has family and friends and is quite active on one hand. But on the other hand over the last several months finds herself withdrawing from her usual level of social activity without having a reason she can clearly define ~ she sees it as perhaps taking a “meditative sabbatical”.
As our conversation continued and I observed her sometimes animated stories balanced by some that were quite introspective I realized that her conversation was sprinkled liberally with references to things she “could no longer do” ~ or at least not as easily as in years past.
Obviously this conversation has stayed on my mind and as I’ve dissected it I decided to come up with what I choose to call a …
STAYING YOUNG BLUEPRINT
• Throw out all those nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
• Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down and they are often the ones who tell you to “act your age” and stop trying to feel young “again”!
• Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, writing a book, whatever sounds interesting to you. The key here is to never let the brain become idle. We’ve all heard the saying “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” sometimes allowing our imaginations to create less than positive things to contemplate.
• Enjoy the simple things.
• Invest in spiritual time for yourself: meditate, walk a labyrinth, gaze at a baby’s face and ponder the wonder of life, read a book that guides you to contemplate a power greater than self.
• Giggle with glee. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
• Moving through life brings tears. Endure, grieve, and move on. YOU are the only person who is with you for your entire life! Be ALIVE while you are alive.
• Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, books, whatever. Your home is your refuge. Make it your place of comfort.
• Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
• Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to the closest city to a foreign country, to a park … but NOT to where the guilt is.
• Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
And so, for my friend and my readers, I wish you love and laughter, joy and exuberance, a quiet mind and a peaceful place as you as you travel the path of STAYING YOUNG.