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Push Yourself - Grow, Don't Shrink

One time, when my grandmother was probably in her late 70's or early 80's, I remember my mother asking her if she had any aches and pains. When my "Grammy" said, "Of course, I do", my mother went on to ask her why she kept going. I'll never forget Grammy saying, "If I stop, I'll never start up again. So, I keep on going." She lived to be 100 and only slowed down in the last six months of her life.

Living with my grandmother for much of the time until I was in first grade taught me a lot of valuable life lessons. Mainly, I never saw her limited by age. It's not to say that she was a great athlete or adventurer (although, she left Nova Scotia as a single woman in her 20's to find her way in the U.S.), but I never heard her say a phrase I've come to loath ... "at my age ..." which is usually followed by something someone can't do, just because of how many birthdays they've had.

My observation is that it's not so much about what we can't do and more about what we won't or choose not to do. I was on a European river cruise last year for fifteen days. We started in Amsterdam, down the Rhine River to the Main and finally the Danube and ended in Budapest. I sat with a very elderly couple from Great Britain at dinner one night.

They mentioned that they hadn't known if they could make the trip until just two weeks before. They both had had some health issues during the year and spent time in the hospital. However, as soon as their doctors gave them the go-ahead, they booked their cabin and participated fully in the voyage. They could have decided it was too risky and stayed at home waiting for another crisis, but they resolved to keep on looking for the next bit of fun and a new experience.

If you or I start limiting what we do, our lives will become very small very quickly. I was so delighted when I opened up a Fortune cookie last week and it said:

"As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it!"

What's important is that it's not so much about our aging bodies or our stiff joints, it's how we think about ourselves and what it means to us to be a certain age. I love this quote from Yoko Ono:

"Some people are old at 18 and some people are young at 90.

Time is a concept that humans created."

Whatever it is that you still want to do, go for it. If you have desires, it's not too late. Don't stop living just because you are 50, 60, 70, 80, or beyond.

"Don't let your age control your life. Let your life control your age."

Anthony Douglas Williams

"Yes! Do not hesitate. Do what you want, right away, and then,

go on to the next thing!"


This is what I wish for you.


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager whose mission is to co-create a happier, healthier life with and for others.

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