It is true getting old gets harder, the older we get! You don’t think about it happening to you so much, and then suddenly you’re in the thick of it.
Sometimes just walking takes it out of you when you used to be up for a good five or six-mile jaunt. As I near my 50th class reunion, (yes, the “BIG Five-O”), I am just glad to be alive; wrinkles, breakdowns, and all.
And I am ready for the next season of my life with my own list for “staying in the game.” Baby Boomers, it’s our time!
▪ Stay connected. I have learned that it is so important to stay connected. See your family often; they are part of who you are. They are threads of your fabric and tend to know you better than anyone. And, as my mother would say, “When the chips are down, it’s your family you can depend on.” That, for the most part, has held true for me over the years.
▪ Maintain those old and new friendships and really understand that having friends is great for the soul. Girlfriends are worth their weight in gold! They love you, unconditionally and are there for you when you really need a friend. Fun and funny, they enrich your life and you can really be you! Choose them well and make time in your life to enjoy them.
▪ Volunteer. It is truly in the act of giving that we receive. Often said, but volunteering really is many times more enriching to the giver, than it is to the receiver. There is little effort needed, yet the act of helping others goes such a long way. And no better time than right now to help our fellow Americans after the terrible Hurricane Harvey that swept Texas, followed by Hurricane Irma that barreled through Florida. Please consider donating to the American Red Cross as they help with the recovery from these disasters. Or consider volunteering at the Red Cross; they are always in need of helping hands.
▪ Try something new. Get crazy and seek to do something new every month. That may sound challenging, but it is truly amazing what we can learn, and the activity of something new and different rejuvenates the mind and the body. Book clubs, wine clubs, dinner clubs, knitting or crocheting, learning a new language, taking up an instrument (ukuleles are very popular right now), growing a “victory garden,” sewing, and the list goes on.
▪ Yoga, which is ever-changing and challenging has been one of the best things I ever started. It truly changed my life and I recommend yoga for everyone. I have heard tai chi is great for maintaining balance and getting centered; I want to try that next month.
▪ And dancing, another recommended activity as we age. “Keeps me on my feet”, a friend told me. How true. And what a great brain activity for focusing.
▪ And keep music in your life. It is a spark for any weary spirit. I once heard it said, “Every life has a soundtrack”, and that is so true. Keep the music going. It has been shown to be therapeutic in so many ways. Music lifts the spirit and helps the brain organize. It is also the universal language. There are no politics when we’re all enjoying a concert; it’s just music, and we’re all moving to the same sound.
▪ Remember your spirit person, and stay involved with your church or faith community. It lends meaning to our lives and reminds us this world, this life is so much bigger than we are. We are just passing through so let’s have fun while we’re here. I look forward to traveling with my husband, visiting my kids and grandkids, and staying involved in life.
I plan to stay connected, nurture my family and friendships, continue to volunteer, and keep active. And I will try new things, like sky diving and experience my unknowns. Music has been and will always be a large part of my life, and I will never leave my faith behind. Baby Boomers get on board the train; we have a lot to see and do!
Susan Ritter is a semiretired business owner and a member of the 2017 Olympian Board of Contributors. She may be reached via Susanhritter@comcast.net.