Jo Sea­gar:

life well lived

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - NEWS -

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.

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