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Paula Harer | August 21, 2022

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an actual fountain of youth? What if you could just walk up to it with your paper cup, dip it in in the water, and take a big drink? Nirvana, right? Well, no such luck!

But there are keys to living a life that is full of the joy and the intensity and the excitement that we had when we were young. The keys just have a few age spots on them! These are the areas of life that keep me on my toes.

Fresh Air

For so many years, I worked out at the same studio, week in and week out, all year long. Several years ago, I was a pretty avid cyclist but had an accident and didn’t go back to it. This summer I decided that whatever I did for exercise and leisure activity during the hot-weather months, it was going to be outside.

So, I went to the pool a few times. I walked my dog to the park – not just around the neighborhood – more often than I had in years passed. And, wait for it, I got myself back on my bike going for a fairly long ride about once a week.

That time spent outside has allowed me to connect with the world in a way that I don’t find anywhere else, certainly not in my torturous workout class. It is a mind clearing activity for me and a something-else-clearing for my dog!

I also bike a good amount, and it makes me feel like I am able to continue an activity that is healthy and enjoyable, and I even ride to the grocery store, etc., so I feel like I am using my time wisely.

Stay Current

I know technology is hard. I know that it is different from the way we grew up, but I say this in all honesty: when I hear someone in my age group talk about how they hate technology, I think about their smart TV, their digital doorbell that they use to keep themselves and their packages safe, the backup help on their vehicles, and I wonder how they can say that?

Technology isn’t the ruination of our country, and those who say it sound ancient. Really!

Progress is just that, progress. And while it isn’t all good, it has improved our lives and to pretend otherwise makes us appear to be out of touch. Out of touch people, no matter their actual age, are not young in mind, and are not fun to be with.

You don’t need to work at Apple, but you need to show an interest in what’s current and you need to want to learn about it in order to comment on it intelligently and not be left behind by your youthful friends.

Learn to Handle Loss

A friend in his 70s told me this a couple of years ago, and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t hear it running through my head:

“Aging is full of loss, and if we don’t learn to handle loss we will struggle to live a happy life through our later years. And, if you can’t handle it now, you had better figure it out quickly. If not, you will spend the next couple of decades in a state of depression and shock!”

He couldn’t be more spot-on. Really, is there any portion of our lives in our 60s, 70s, and beyond that doesn’t have a loss component?

Consider the loss of standing in the community through retirement, the loss of friends and family to death, and the loss of our own physical abilities as the years go by. That can all make you feel like throwing in the towel!

Without figuring out a way to cope with loss, we can go through life depressed, sad, and grouchy. No one under 50 wants to be around that person.

But, if you can come to grips with the constant loss you face, you can become a more pleasant friend and relative, and be a little happier yourself. Do that and you will feel less burdened, which, in turn, will definitely make you feel younger.

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