Lighten Up and Enjoy the Ride

Rev. Suzanne Marlatt Stewart

My husband received this email from a dear friend. I wanted to pass it on because at this stage in life, we all could use a little more humor.

I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 some years later. I don’t have to go to school or work. I get an allowance every month. I have my own pad. I don’t have a curfew. I have a driver’s license and my own car. The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant and I don’t have acne. Life is great!

However, old age is coming at a really bad time.

When I was a child, I thought “nap time” was a punishment. Now it feels like a small vacation.

The biggest lie I tell myself is, “I don’t have to write that down, I’ll remember it.”

I don’t have gray hair—I have “wisdom highlights!” I’m just very wise.

If God wanted me to touch my toes, He would’ve put them on my knees.

Of course, I talk to myself. Sometimes I need expert advice.

At my age “getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.

Dennis Kravetz, psychologist, physical fitness buff, business consultant, and writer offers the following:

Develop a positive mental attitude. How you feel about getting older can affect how long you live. This gets tested more as you age because of an emphasis on youthfulness in our culture. You must have goals and look forward to the future.

Don’t act your age. You are only as old as you feel. The key to psychological health is how you feel inside, not your chronological age or your physical appearance.

Resist mobility aids until you need them. It’s too easy to become dependent on a mobility aid because they are easier than doing the work our bodies need. Walk slowly and walk often to build up your strength and endurance.

Continue working in retirement. Research has shown a correlation between early retirement and earlier death. One study showed that for every extra year of early retirement, workers lost about two months of life expectancy. Work, actual or volunteer, is in part what keeps people living longer.

When you have health problems, keep your chin up. Even if you have a disease or illness that’s impacting your life, having a positive attitude can keep you healthier and could extend your life.

See aging as an opportunity. Ones who lived longest demonstrated a positive outlook about their future and their ability to function effectively.

“It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.”—quote from our dear Betty White.

Rev. Suzanne, a resident of SaddleBrooke, is an independent writer and speaker. She was ordained non-denominational, representing all faiths, and her focus is inclusiveness. Email her at [email protected].