As My Parents Age, by Cynthia Ruchti, is a terrific book. If you have parents who are over 70, consider picking up a copy. If you hope to someday be over 70 yourself, consider picking up a copy.
Today, though, I want to depart from my usual theme and tell you about some of the instructions I’ve now given myself, having watched the aging process assail my parents.
Take care of your skin. Dry skin is fragile skin. Fragile skin can tear and bleed and hurt. A good moisturizing soap and lotion may seem unimportant now, but it’s an investment in your future comfort.
Take care of your feet. A pedicure every once in a while may seem frivolous, but it’s also an investment in your “old person feet.” And, no, you don’t have to get your toenails polished.
Take care of your teeth. You know the routine. Floss. Brush. See your dentist. You want your teeth to outlast you. A century or so ago they seldom did, and we all tend to live longer now. So, be warned.
Take care of your weight. You think it’s hard to keep your BMI in a reasonable range now? Just wait until taking a run—or even a long walk—becomes impossible. Moderate your eating habits now so that you’ve created the habit you will so dearly need later.
Take care of your attitude. If you tend to panic or complain now, you’re going to find it nearly impossible to keep your perspective in old age. Life just tends to get more difficult. Do yourself, and perhaps more importantly, your younger loved ones, a favor. Learn to be happy for what you have, to trust the lord in all things, to rejoice, and to be at peace.
As the years creep up, KISS more. Keep It Simple Stupid. That sharp brain of yours will probably dull a bit. So, as time goes on, make your life a bit less complicated year by year.
Enjoy your blessings! Notice what your younger self is able to embrace. Make memories. Love and be loved. Fill your happy bucket with enough to last you if and when life becomes limited.
And, now, please, those of you who have learned other essential tips, please, please, weigh in in the comments section. We all need to know what you know!
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