Why not ‘put old on hold’

Fortunately or unfortunately, I began the first grade just three weeks after my fourth birthday. So as I grew up, I always felt way too young.
In first grade, I was too young to go without an afternoon nap. In fifth grade, I was too young to hear the secrets my classmates told.
In high school, I was too young to date. In college, I was too young to be elected secretary of the literary society. After college, I was too young to go to Europe to help in the reconstruction after World Ward II.
Somehow, I could never catch up with my peers.
So imagine my horror, when I reached my 25th birthday and realized I had lived a whole quarter of a century. For the first time in my life, I felt very old.
But amazingly, I have never felt old since. And now, I’m looking forward with pleasure toward a whole century.
So I like what Barbara Morris says in her book “Put Old on Hold.” She talks about two distinct models for aging that exist in our society:
1). The dominant traditional “senior culture” . . . a way of living that invites decline and dependence; and
2). The new, growing “ageless culture” consisting of innovative ways and techniques to put old on hold . . . a new way of being that defies decline and dependence while promoting healthy, productive, ageless longevity.
In contrast to most anti-aging books, which are written by self-styled experts in their 40s and 50s, this book is written by a 70-something full-time pharmacist.
She’s a woman people describe as looking 20 years younger than her chronological age, and who defies the dominant senior culture by continuing her career well past “retirement age.”
As a child, Morris noticed some of her mother’s friends looked very old and some looked very youthful. She decided right then she wanted to be youthful as she aged.
“Put Old on Hold” is her life story and how she has achieved agelessness even better than she had hoped.
Her book is divided into three parts—Health, Retirement, and Attitude.
“Good health is your most important asset and prized possession,” says Morris, adding you have to be aggressive about your health and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Educate yourself about your medications and your supplements. Eat healthy whole foods, drink lots of water, and exercise.
Morris also advises that you should think hard before retiring. Make sure you have money enough and lots of interesting things to do. “Traditional retirement is a fast track to decline, decrepitude, and an early demise,” she warns.
But, according to Morris, the real key to agelessness is attitude.
Check your attitude about aging in general and about your own aging. Do you ever feel “too old” to try something new? Do you think you or your friends have “senior moments?”
Or, on the other hand, do you have a positive attitude toward aging? Do you have long-range goals and short-range goals? Are you always ready to try something new? Do you believe in yourself?
It’s up to you to reject decline and dependence as you age. So vow today to “Put Old on Hold” and follow Morris’ advice.
Take care of your health, throw yourself enthusiastically into interesting work and activities, and choose a positive attitude toward aging.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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