“From now on I’m going to wear my slippers everywhere I go that way I’ll know where they are when I get home” — Jordy Bonwick, 87
OK, it’s not always sage advice, but it’s practical, kind of.
New Year’s resolutions are like Monday mornings on a larger scale. We indulged over the weekend and now we want to make amends. By Wednesday we’ve decided we need to reward ourselves for getting this far and the cycle continues.
If you live long enough you learn what’s really important, too bad it takes so long and too bad “youth is wasted on the youth” but that’s life.
The common thread of advice offered by our seasoned population is to be happy, healthy, content, grateful, and cherish your loved ones. Simple, but hard to implement when we are running through our lives trying to grasp that career or car or dwelling..
Here are some words of wisdom taken from gerontologist Karl Pillemer’s 2011 book, 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice From the Wisest Americans.
source: The Dallas Morning News
Aging well: “Feed your brain. Don’t neglect your mind. Read books. Be curious. Ask why. If you neglect your brain, that is the worst thing you can do.” — Angela Wiehe, 83
Surviving Tough Times
Surviving tough times: “You need to have faith. You don’t live to be 80 or 90 years old without going through a lot of changes in your life, good and bad: illnesses, moves, losses. Faith is something we can hold on to, a firm anchor.” — Christine Van Cleave, 84
Financial difficulty: “Attitude has so much to do with it. During the Depression, we were poor but we didn’t know it. Most people didn’t have anything either.” — Catherine Cave, 93
“Living through the Depression, you learned how to get along with a lot less, and to appreciate it when you did get things.” — Dick Morse, 89
Regrets: “One of my biggest regrets, and I have a long list, is not spending enough time with my family and my children.” — Roy Steen, 92
Fears and Worries
Fears and worries: “Worrying never fixes anything. I’m married to a man who worries about every single thing. It’s never fixed a problem. He thinks I’m happy-go-lucky, and I’m not. I just don’t have time for that.” — Martha Martin, 70
Marriage: “You need to make a commitment. Today, young people get married with the idea that, ‘If I don’t like this, I’ll get out of it.’ And that’s how it usually turns out if you have that attitude.” — Wanda Joffrion, 80
“You grow into a marriage. It takes time.” — Bob Barton, 95
“Making comparisons to the way other couples or families do things isn’t helpful.” —Sigmund Lieberman, 90
Raising children: “The main thing is to keep your sense of humor. Don’t be so critical that your children never tell you anything.” — Ann Holmes, 91
Cherishing each day: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow, you don’t know. The only thing that is for sure is today.” — Angela Wiehe, 83
“I think it was Confucius who said you hold on to your children by letting them go. If you hold on too tightly, they’re going to rebel. Let them go with your love and your trust.” — Rey Barton, age 84
“Expect the unexpected. You never know what’s going to happen. Live each day as if it’s the last day of your life.” — Gloria Cantu, 71
“Don’t compare one child to another. I raised eight wonderful children. Each one is different. Comparisons aren’t healthy, and they can hurt.” — Iluminada Blasquez, 84
Longevity: “Don’t drink, eat good food and get lots of exercise. I walked on a treadmill every day until I was 102. I had to stop after a car accident last year. I love vegetables, and I never cared for red meat. I do love bacon, though. … I’m not afraid to die but I’m not ready to leave yet. If I didn’t have so many friends and people who show me love and care, maybe I might not want to keep staying. I have a great family, and they love me. What else do you need? When you get old, that’s all you need … love.” — Edna Dishman, 103