The following edited suggestions been collected from many seniors. In the spirit of St. Irenaeus, “The glory of God is a person fully alive.” That includes people in their senior years.
1. Use the money you saved. Use it and enjoy it. Don’t just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to obtain it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter with big ideas for your hard earned capital.
2. Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren, and don’t feel bad spending your money on yourself. You’ve taken care of them for many years, and you’ve taught them what you could. You gave them an education, food, shelter and support. The responsibility is now theirs to earn their own money.
3. Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well and get your sleep. It’s easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. That is why you need to keep yourself in good shape and be aware of your medical and physical needs. Keep in touch with your doctor, get tested even when you’re feeling well. Stay informed.
4. Don’t get stressed over the little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don’t let the past drag you down or the future frighten you. Live in the now.
5. Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love your God, your partner, love life, love your family, love your neighbor and remember: Intelligence and affection will keep a person young.
6. Have a healthy pride both inside and out. Don’t stop going to your hair salon or barber; do your nails; go to the dermatologist and the dentist; keep your perfumes and creams well stocked. When you are well-maintained on the outside, it makes you feel proud and strong on the inside.
7. Don’t lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your own sense of style. There’s nothing worse than an older person trying to wear the current fashion among youngsters. Develop your own sense of what looks good on you. Be proud of it; it’s part of who you are.
8. Always stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, watch the news. Make sure you have an active email network. You’ll be surprised which old friends you’ll meet. Keeping in touch with what is going on and with the people you know is important at any age.
9. Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideals as you, but they are the future, and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them of yesterday’s wisdom that still applies today.
10. Your time is now. If you are alive, you are part of this time. You may have been younger, but you are still you now, having fun and enjoying life.
11. Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and contentious. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people; it’ll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better. If you spend your time with bitter people, they will make you older and harder to be around.
12. Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, dance. You can adopt a cat or a dog, grow a garden, play cards, checkers, chess, dominoes, golf. You can paint, volunteer at a hospital or just collect certain items. Find something you like and spend some real time having fun with it.
To be continued next week. •