A lot of people obsess about aging and, as a result, waste a lot of money on useless products. They color their hair, wear a rug or plug their scalps, purchase anti-aging pills, potions and prescriptions. Some people opt for other, even more drastic actions such as having plastic surgery or taking a lover young enough to be their grandchild!
While no remedies prevent aging -- only death can do that -- you can mitigate the usual and customary effects of aging in many ways. I'll give you eight tips for starters, and if you favor other "remedies," please let me know about them!
1. Get real! Accept the rules of life. You can't be a kid forever, nor can you be a 30-something when you hit your 50s and 60s. Everybody knows this on some level, but many unconscious desires, hopes and frustrations occur when the reality of it is not accepted at the deepest, unconscious level. In many ways, getting old is not as good as being young, but it's life. Deal with it as cheerfully as possible.
2. Maintain and even improve your health and body. Go to extreme lengths to become remarkably fit. Exercise vigorously on a daily basis and become a competitive athlete as well. Hard workouts will be more fun that way.
3. Develop a heightened sense of humor -- and make yourself the punch line. For example, tell people why you are too old to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. Examples: "I'd have to get another kid to chew the candy for me!" or "I'd be afraid that when someone dropped a candy bar in my bag, I'd lose my balance and fall over."
4. Watch less TV. In addition to avoiding ads for insipid products that do not help you avoid aging, you will improve your prospects for getting outside, doing things, meeting people and having fun. (One recent study showed that seniors spend, on average, 30 hours watching television each week.)
5. Adopt a cause and be passionate about it. Abba Eban, a former Israeli foreign minister, said, "Men and nations will always do the right thing in the end -- after they have exhausted every other possibility." Do the right thing now. Time is of the essence and the world needs your help!
6. Gather facts on aging. Let your peers know that they are pioneers, with a chance to set new standards for what it means to grow old with panache and verve, style and chutzpah. There were only about 123,000 Americans over age 85 at the turn of the century, and almost no centarians. At today's last count, there were 3 million people over age 85 and 50,000 centarians! The Center for Health Sciences forecasts there will be 50 million geezers over age 85 by 2050, myself included (I'll be 112 by then.) We're special, by golly! Let's "cure aging" metaphorically by letting people know it's nothing to worry about!
7. Become a role model for your friends, relatives and perfect strangers. Recently, one of my best friends died. He was 83 and the oldest person (at 77) to finish the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon. More importantly, he was a cheerful, optimistic and thoughtful inspiration to those who knew him and to a great many others who knew about him without having had the good fortune to appreciate him personally. You can be a Jim Ward, too, in your own fashion, doing what you enjoy in equally cheerful and optimistic ways.
8. Live a great wellness lifestyle. Your goal might be to eventually die healthy, as late in life as possible. Someday, I'm going to start a club for people who want to overcome aging: the "Don Ardell Live to Be 100 Club!" It will cost $100 to join for life, and if you don't make it to 100, you'll get your money back! For your membership costs, you will get a reading program, a list of exercise regimens, a recommended diet pattern and a T-shirt.
For now (and always), enjoy yourself, be well, have fun and always look on the bright side of life.