life well lived
You’re never too old to learn something new. I’ve just returned from a wonderful few days staying at a gorgeous spa resort in Queenstown with 20 fabulous women friends. We had all scheduled a couple of days out of our busy lives to reconnect with each other, and learn a few new things.
No, we didn’t take up bungy jumping or go to ski school (although I’m sure I’ve read of 100-year-old bungy jumpers and people learning to ski in their 70s), but we did learn lots of cool new stuff.
Whoever said “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks” was very clearly wrong – our Labrador dog Tosh almost learnt how to use a can opener in her old age, and she could certainly nudge open the fridge to help herself to snacks.
Teaching old dogs new tricks has actually been the focus of a big study in Germany where researchers tested loads of breeds of dogs and found that all the old ones could, and did, learn new tricks. Arguably they were a little slower than the puppy groups, but the oldies had far better logic skills and great memories. I’m not sure how they managed to test all that in dogs, but there you have it – you’re never too old to learn things.
In a world where wrinkles are seen as something to airbrush or surgically fill with weird chemicals, as opposed to being glorious medals of a life well lived, it’s clear that attitudes to age are back to front and upside down. Young, beautiful people might have the flawless skin of the Italian marble statues in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, but what they lack – and people my age have tons of – is years of embarrassing mess-ups from which to take heed. The young ones still have to wander through the swampland to get to maturity, while we’re already in the enchanted forest phase.
Thus it’s not that you’re too old to learn new tricks, but rather you’re wise enough to sift through the endless anti-ageing shortcuts and
The oldies had far better logic skills and great memories.
miracle cures and to recognise a good thing when you see it.
Our group of girls, in the process of learning new tricks, had fun little lessons on various subjects, from what to wear and how to pack it in a suitcase to travel lightly, through to discovering new apps and being taught new technology skills.
We learnt about properly fitting bras, we had refresher classes on our colours and how to wear the latest fashion trends, plus some make-up lessons and the importance of getting your eyebrows on as the first step in your daily make-up routine. These were all just short, relaxed tutorials – no tests or exams, and no hard-sell stuff.
It was a wonderful few days, which benefited us all. Girlfriends are so important and one of the greatest pleasures in my life is spending time with them. So thank you my friends, and remember, anyone can learn new tricks at any age or stage of life. We sure did.
In the spirit of great companionship and trying something new, here’s a lovely little healthy nibble to share with girlfriends when getting together for drinks.