“Aren’t you too young to be living on your own?” All I could do was chuckle and reply with a question of my own for the white-haired sister, “How old do you think I am?” She looked me up and down, and came to the conclusion that I was a teenager. When I told her my real age, she smiled and said, “Oh my, you’re well-preserved!” In that moment, she had made my day. Then she continued to ask me the same questions, she’d asked the week before, and when the movie credits started rolling, she asked where she lived. I told her she was home, and she looked around at all the fancy wheels, some fancier then others, and nodded, smiling, “My brother is here, too.” I thought silently, “Oh yes, I know, and he always tells the volunteers they have erotic/exotic names.”
It’s funny, but the more time I spend with older people, the less worried I am about reaching their milestones. I’ve volunteered with seniors since I was a teenager (a real one), and over the many years, I’ve learned so much. And I am realizing more and more, that I don’t have to wait until I have white-hair and fancy wheels to incorporate their wisdom into my life. So, I’d like to share some sage advice that I’ve learned from the centennials (or near centennials) thus far.
- Be yourself, and don’t apologize for who you are. It takes too much valuable energy being someone else.
- Ask for what you need. We all need help sometimes; don’t be afraid to ask for it.
- Say No. If you’d rather stay home on a Saturday night than go to that party, that movie, that dinner date, then just say, “No.” And don’t feel guilty about it.
- Take the time to listen. We all want to be heard. Listen to someone, even if you’ve heard their story before. Smile and nod (like you mean it), it shows that you’re there.
- Ask questions, even if you think they’re silly. Questions help you understand the world, and show others that you want to know more.
- Don’t stop reading. Read large font books or use a magnifier, if you’re eyes are failing you. You also have the option of listening to audiobooks. Keep your mind active and learn new things.
- Say nice things. Notice the small things. Take note of your friend’s new haircut, or headscarf. Compliment your friends and family, and even strangers. Sometimes, nice words can make someone’s day.
- Laugh at yourself. Don’t take life too seriously. If you’re locked out of your house, don’t fret, just crawl through the window. If you spill coffee on your favourite shirt, wipe it off, and laugh about your clumsiness. When you are nearing the 100 mark, you’ll have a lot more than spilt coffee on your shirt.
- Establish a routine. A routine provides stability and comfort. It can promote calmness and greater awareness. It can also help us build our relationships. How so? Read more.
There you have it. That’s my sage advice, in a total random order (that’s my way and I’m not apologizing for it). I’d like to write more on routine, but I’ll save that for another post.
Good night, NaBloPoMo day 14!