|Gracie wisdom = bolded quotes|
"I am just grateful to be here!"
I have a mentor for longevity in my life. Her name is Gracie. Without revealing how old she actually is, lets just say she continues to thrive well past the age of retirement. Gracie exercises regularly, works part time at a job she loves (with me!) and travels whenever she can. Recent trips have included Africa, Australia, and Sweden. I have the privilege to pilgrimage with her every summer to Santa Fe, New Mexico where we take in continuing education and beautiful art and opera together. It gives me a close-up opportunity to see Gracie in action. She perpetually inspires me.
"Once you get to a certain age it is all about maintenance."
The Gracies of the world make sure to include some form of physical exercise, brain challenge, and social connection into their daily lives. It is no great shock that psychologists have found that a positive belief system about aging has a strong influence on your quality of life as you age.
Recent shifts in longevity research are encouraging. It appears that brain cell development continues to occur throughout our life. In other words, we can continue to learn new tricks! Taking time to master changing technology, for example, is good for us. I was intimidated about blogging until I met an 80 something-year-old writer at a conference who told me that was silly. She not only maintained a blog, she was on Facebook, and Twitter! I decided to get over myself, and I am glad I did.
"Pedicures are not about vanity- have you ever seen an old person's feet?"
This revelation actually got my husband to try his first pedicure. Healthy aging necessitates self care from the inside out. Attending to the little things in life keep them little. Gracie is a long time cancer survivor because of early detection.We need to make sure to get the screenings necessary to keep ourselves ahead of illness.
Do not procrastinate: Recommended screenings for women.
Also-take care of your feet. They will take you places.
"Allow more time to do anything."
It is not that aging prevents us from doing things, it just may take us longer to do it. A fixed belief that we have control over our physical and cognitive health is associated with decreased anxiety and depression in aging. Anxiety and depression are notorious for isolating us from pleasurable activities. Many older adults get frustrated and give up things that used to bring them joy rather than adjusting their expectations.
Gardening for eight hours might take too much of a toll on an older body, but the same activity spread out in smaller segments across the week is an adaptation that will still bring fulfillment.
"Its never too late to find love."
Do you remember Thumper in Bambi? Last year in Santa Fe Gracie was twitterpated. She could not stop talking about this man who called her "fetching" and asked her out in the grocery store. Both of them were looking for ingredients for dinner that night, neither of them were looking for love. This is a new chapter in their personal stories about life after loss, both had long term marriage before their spouses died.
According to David Myers (Pursuit of Happiness, 1993), "those who enjoy close relationships eat better, exercise more and smoke and drink less. Perhaps, a supportive network helps us evaluate and overcome stressful events."
Will the new love in her life help Gracie's longevity? I am not sure, but she certainly is having some great fun with this unexpected surprise!
Please leave a comment:
Who is your "Gracie "and what wisdom has she shared with you?