A good friend turned 80 this past February and we had a great celebratory week of parties. She never says “getting older” it’s always “getting wiser.” I think it’s a great idea. Words do matter!
When you see Penny around our RV Park you see this slim, strong woman in sweats and long-sleeved t-shirts walking, biking, golfing or on the pickle ball courts. She always has a big smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. The next season we will see her with her newest family addition – a golden retreiver.
Just like the rest of us Penny is fed up with COVID. It has certainly changed the way we conduct our daily lives. We understand that as retirees we are in a group who doesn’t have the pressures of the younger generation. We don’t have to make a decision about whether or not our children attend school, whether or not we will maintain our income or how to carry on if one family member becomes ill. As “the wise” generation our focus is to remain positive and not ‘awfulize’ the situation…..we don’t want to add pressure to those around us.
Penny and I have been talking and here are our 12 tips as you become “wiser.”
- Remember that each day when you open your eyes you have two choices- to be happy or to be sad. Make a conscious choice.
- Look for new experiences and cultivate a variety of friends. Penny thought about each decade of her life and focused on a different activity-such as triathlons, polo, traveling in a motor home and taking up pickle ball. Any chance she got, she would travel to other countries. While our travel is now limited, there is lots to explore within your own community.
- Set your kids free and allow them to be self-sufficient. The same with adult grandchildren. Allow them to live with their choices.
- Eat well. Limit processed foods and use lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Penny has recently become a vegan and feels her pain from inflammation is much better. (I have noticed she hasn’t given up her nightly scotch or me my wine.)
- Allow yourself quiet time daily such as reading, listening to music or simply watching the world go by. Get enough sleep each night.
- Do whatever exercise you can each day. Walking, golfing, pickle ball, swimming etc. Just because you aren’t as good as you used to be, enjoy the experience. Be kind to yourself.
- Accept invitations. Socialization is great for your mental health. A change of scenery and a different conversation improves mental health. With careful thought, you can be sociable and social-distance.
- Do not be obsessive, be knowledgeable not judgemental as you stay current with the daily news. Limit your viewing time.
- Focus on today. We can’t change the past and have no control on the future.
- Pain and discomfort do not always accompany “getting wiser.” Rather than accept it, go to a health professional (physician, physical therapist, dentist, chiropractor, nutritionist etc.) Once you have their opinion, follow their advice.
- Respect the younger generation and value their opinions. Be supportive and encouraging. Do not judge.
- Laugh lots. Look for people, experiences and activities that make you smile.
How are you staying positive during COVID? What would your 12 rules be?