As Groucho Marx once said, “Anyone can get old — all you have to do is to live long enough. 🙂
But living long enough is not enough, apparently.
It’s a good idea to savor life, one well lived. This from an article published recently by Brian Kozlowksi which appeared In AARP, October/November 2020. (Credit for images below cited in this article.)
At 94, the world’s longest reigning monarch still follows the 10 rules for staying vital, says the author of a new book, Long Live the Queen. Her book lists twenty-three.
- Recharge your willpower
Elizabeth II’s self-control appears limitless because she takes time to replenish it — grasping, as research shows, that willpower is akin to a battery that requires routine recharging. Teatime is that crucial interval for the queen: a sacred break in her hectic day when she rests for a quiet hour with a fragrant pot of Earl Grey or Darjeeling, and something sugary. [She’s also been known to enjoy daily shots of gin and tonic too.]
2. Stick to a schedule
From her first day as queen [and even as a girl], Elizabeth has calmed her mind by following a strict daily regimen, ending each day by writing in her journal.
3. Develop your sense of purpose
The queen lives for something larger than herself — her country. Studies show having a dedicated cause helps immunity and reduces one’s risk of Alzheimer’s.
4. Serve others
The patron of hundreds of charities, Elizabeth II believes that giving herself to good causes can do “as much as anything … to help me put my own worries into perspective.” Her reward: an infusion of an anti-inflammatory hormone.
5. Sweeten the self-talk
“I find that I can often put things out of my mind which are disagreeable,” the queen once said. So-called purposeful repressors — people who consciously dial down negative mind chatter — benefit from a kind of psychological armor. As Elizabeth II observed at one point, “The trouble with gloom is that it feeds upon itself.”
6. Brush aside vanity
From the beginning of her reign, the queen has made a deliberate effort to practice what behavioral psychologists call self-distancing. She can, with a complete lack of vanity, comb through a daily onslaught of personal stories in the tabloids and still remain a detached and, frequently, amused spectator.
Michelle Obama in Becoming:
“I could not have known it in the moment, but I was committing what would be deemed an epic faux pas. I’d touched the Queen of England, which I’d soon learn was apparently not done. Our interaction at the reception was caught on camera, and in the coming days it would be reproduced in media reports all over the world . . . I daresay the Queen was okay with it, too, because when I touched her, she only pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly the small of my back.” (318)
7. Never stop playing
Elizabeth II still takes time, almost every day, to play as she loved to as a child (specifically, with horses). Doing so has kept her muscles active and her mind remarkably agile, thanks to play’s unique ability to suspend the brain in a youthful, flexible state.
8. Keep the faith
The queen attends church every Sunday and prays every night before bed, grounding rites that have been an essential component of her iconic resilience. Whatever worries the world throws at her, she believes there is a higher throne on which to lay them.
9. Be open to change
At an age when many find it hard to accept altered conditions, Elizabeth II has never stopped learning and adapting. “Change has become a constant,” she remarked in 2002. “The way we embrace it defines our future.”
10. Cherish your crowning years
Elizabeth II smiles more nowadays and is more warmly approachable than ever. All of this supports the scientific phenomenon known as the U-bend of life–the discovery that the world’s happiest people tend to be those who are in their 80s and beyond.
Jack London, American author
Inscription on an historic monument commemorating the life of this famous American author, Jack London, author of the famed novels White Fang and The Call of the Wild.
He died at age 40.
I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than that it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of a [wo]man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
Welcome here! Your thoughts on aging, or your own experience of others you believe have aged well.