“Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all?” I didn’t know that aging was the real issue behind the Queen’s jealousy. I was too young to truly understand it. But if the mirror showed someone else’s reflection, she didn’t take it very well. In fact, she made it her goal to eradicate them!
Eradicating someone else is overkill (no pun intended) when centenarians offer 7 ways to remain forever young:
(1) Remain curious. Longing for the good ole days or staying stuck in an era that has long passed is the formula for aging quick, fast and in a hurry. Conversely, adopting an attitude of awe and being open to new things will add years to your life.
(2) Have a purpose. Let’s face it. If you don’t have a reason to get up in the morning, it is easy to stay in bed. I’ve noticed that seniors who have something to look forward to are happier and have more vitality than those who don’t.
(3) Participate in fun activities. Happy seniors don’t sit at home counting the cobwebs they can no longer reach. They get together with their girlfriends, take ballroom dancing, paint, go hiking, get a Facebook account, go to the senior center and participate in life. Connecting to fun renews a circle that otherwise would get smaller with every friend they bury.
(4) Give and receive love. It’s easy to think that romance is only for the young. Nothing could be further from the truth. As you age, you realize that romance is not about wine and candles. It is about having someone to spend time with. A hand to hold while watching television. Someone who makes you laugh. It definitely puts a twinkle back in your star. I watched my mom light up like a Christmas tree in her late 70s when a family friend began dropping by consistently. She later married him.
(5) Live charitably. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a friend, a family member or a pet, there something transforming about caring for another. Knowing that the church loves your pound cake or the neighbor’s child waves at you everyday from the school bus stop is like uplifting music. I remember my grandmother bringing us sandwiches from her job every day. I hate pimento cheese sandwiches now that I’m an adult; but when I was a child, they were the best. I think it was because I could taste my grandmother’s love in every single bite.
(6) Eat whole foods. I remember a woman who lived across the street from us. Her name was Ms. Sophie Grice. She was a slender older woman who worked her garden every day. She’d shell butter beans she had grown on her front porch. Very independent! She chopped her own wood and lived to be over 100 years old. What I took for granted as a child has become the moniker for healthy eating: whole foods.
(7) Forgive. Anger, depression and denial are all part of the grieving process. Until the heart is ready to accept what has happened, you cycle through these feelings. Sure this is associated with death. Just the same, I truly believe it also applies to a heart that has been offended. Without forgiveness, the toxicity will age every cell in your body. There is nothing like talking with a woman or man who has processed the toxicity out of their souls and exude humility, love and gratitude.
I’m sure there are as many ways as there are men and women out there who are turning back the clock every single day. With these 7 ways, you’ll look yourself in the mirror and like what you see.