Having the time of our lives
LIFE at the moment couldn’t be much better. I am at a lovely place spiritually, physically and emotionally. Growing older can be a wonderful experience, especially since my angst and fears have dissipated completely with my fascination for living in the moment.
I have found that when we quit worrying about how everything is going to turn out, and live one day at a time, we can be truly contented with life.
When it comes to ageing beautifully, nothing is more potent than filling our lives with whatever it is that brings us bliss. Having good relationships with family and friends is an added joy. Throughout life, friendships provide opportunities for love and support. How cold and hard life would be without the warmth of family and good friends.
We do a lot of growing through our female friends, so it is important to have close friends. A good friend listens and encourages us. Having fun with friends helps offset life’s pressures. Life can be terribly lonely without the emotional and intellectual stimulation of friends. Keeping a friendship alive can be testing but it is often the most enduring and treasured relationship a woman can have. I am blessed to have a loving and supportive family, and a bunch of good friends I can always count on.
Every age should be celebrated, but it takes self- esteem and self- confidence, and you won’t find any of that in a cosmetic jar. However old I am, I want to feel good about how I look; it’s part of my self- esteem. Like most women, I’ve spent time worrying about my looks, especially when I was in my late 30s.
I’ve always taken good care of my skin, so I was a little disap- pointed to see the fine lines, wrinkles, sunspots and discolouration when I was in my late 40s. Thank goodness for the advancements in skincare products and cosmetic treatments which can take care of such maladies.
Remember you are pretty lovely just as you are. There’s beauty in your positive attitude and outlook towards life; own it and you transform what others see when they look at you.
With age we realise that this body of ours needs proper care and attention if it is to serve us well into our twilight years. I have since learnt the art of joyful living: we have to nourish your mind, body and soul if we want to age gracefully.
Our bodies are amazing works of our Creator. We can neglect it for years but once we start cultivating a healthy lifestyle, our bodies begin to heal and start functioning beautifully.
I am a risk averse person, so any form of sport that is remotely gruelling is a no- no for me. I find joy in walking instead. Walking at the break of dawn has brought me great pleasure. The cool, refreshing air energises my body and the endorphin rush puts me in a good mood. After a good walk I feel focused, exhilarated, and ready to take on the day.
I have come to realise that good health is the greatest gift in life. Until a few years ago, my medicine cabinet contained only Panadol. Now I take five pills every morning to ward off impending ailments and my friends discuss fish oil and glucosamine the way they used to discuss contraceptives and PMS not so long ago.
It was music to my ears when I heard there are ways to de- age my brain because these days I catch myself talking about whatchamacallits and that thingy and going through myriad names before landing on the right one. Calling them senior moments and joking about them isn’t funny when important letters get misplaced or disappear completely, keys vanish and cutlery dwindle as they are absent- mindedly thrown into the trash bin with the leftovers.
Scientists now tell us that we can grow the area of our brain called the hippocampus which has a huge effect on memory and brain power. It is said that the more you learn and memorise, the more neural connections are created and strengthened in your brain, which in turn helps boost your ability to register and retrieve new information.
So I’ve decided to stop the inevitable slip into senility by doing crossword puzzles, playing Sudoku and spelling names backwards besides chowing down brain- friendly foods like leafy green vegetables, fish, coconut oil and whole grains as they are load- ed with nutrients that protect brain cells.
A friend recently told me that an African safari was on her bucket list. Whenever friends describe their next big adventure, I make mental notes about what happens to people who go looking for trouble. Call me a wimp but I have absolutely no desire to go kayaking in the Amazon River, only to end up as fodder for red- bellied piranhas.
White- water rafting in Oregon ( the United States)? No, thank you. Hot air ballooning over Uluru ( Australia)? I’ve seen its magnificence from a plane window and that was awesome enough. I don’t want to be plummeting from the sky enveloped in what’s left of the burning balloon only to be torn apart by flesh- eating dingoes below.
Holidays for me are very laidback affairs. A leisurely two- week stay in a lovely cottage in Provence ( France), indulging in good food, downing excellent wines and exploring the countryside on walkabouts with some good shopping thrown in is adventure enough for me.
We are at a time in our lives when there are as many endings as there are beginnings. Some of the endings we knew would come, just not so fast. Endings sting more now. I’ve attended a number of funerals in the past few years, including my parents’ and some dear friends. It is hard to let go. We have loved them for a long time and when they die, our brain looks for that familiar love and we ache without it. These are some of the losses we have to face. Life goes on and we heal eventually.
These passings have brought my mortality to the forefront. I can only pray that it will be an easy passage to the other side. And until that time comes, I’ll continue to enjoy the party on this side.
We can continue to lead active, productive lives even in our twilight years. — Reuters