Learn these wise lessons well

Like everyone else, I missed my mother when she was gone. Badly!
I missed her casseroles and apple crumb pies. I missed her laughter and her frequent phone calls, even at work.
And I missed our coffees in our favourite restaurants.
But what I missed most of all was her advice. Something I wouldn’t have expected. After all, I was 58 years old and had been making my own decisions for years.
I missed her advice so badly, in fact, that when I had a difficult decision to make or something to unburden, I used to imagine her sitting beside me in the car as I drove to work.
As I formed my questions, I would speak them. And then in the quiet of my heart, I would know what she would have said.
The greatest loss of the older generation is their wisdom and their understanding. Their advice! That’s why I was delighted to get a review copy of “30 Lessons for Living–Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans” by gerontologist Karl Pillemer.
Dr. Pillemer, a professor at Cornell University, has spent the last three decades researching older people. He has spoken throughout the world on successful aging and has authored more than 100 scientific publications.
So this renowned gerontologist knows what he’s talking about!
In this book written for the popular press, Pillemer promises “Advice from the Wisest Americans.” Yet he interviewed 1,000 ordinary older people from all walks of life.
Like my mother, these “wisest of the wise” are called “wise” because of their age and life experience! And from these 1,000 people, the author has gleaned 30 “lessons for living.”
These lessons are so profound that I really don’t know where to begin. But I’ll focus on three that particularly resonate with me.
1). Live like you will need your body for 100 years–because you very well may!
Remember, if you forget to exercise, eat the wrong foods, and punish your body in other ways thinking that you don’t want to live to 100 anyway, you just may be sentencing yourself to years of ill health and poor quality of life.
2). Stay connected. You need people more than ever as you age, says Pillemer.
But sometimes our world gets smaller as we age. We no longer go to work and we may stick closer to home. As a result, we may not interact with all ages of people.
Researchers say that staying connected is very important for successful aging. So make friendship a priority!
3). Remember life is short!
Earlier this year, the Washington Post interviewed Pillemer and asked what his favourite “lesson” was. Although he said it is a hard choice, the gerontologist selected “Live like your life is short.”
As he was doing his research, Pillemer found that the older the respondent, the more likely he or she was to say, “I’ve learned that life passes by in a second.” Or even “in a nanosecond.”
“30 Lessons for Living” is a very helpful book for any age of person. It is a road map for life that will help you take a look at your own situation and choose new patterns.
New ways of living that will make you happier for the rest of your life.
Write Marie Snider at thisside60@cox.net

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