Since I am sure I am not going to do that right, I read it right through. I realized that most of the ageing well stuff you read is all about skin and freaking out about looking older. Since it hasn't been my looks that got me what I needed my whole life, this is not my own particular crisis.
Let's face it I am older. So what? But there are some thoughts and observations I am putting together and I expect this list to grow. This is what I have so far:
1. Have younger friends. If all your contemporaries are going to die or get sick around the time you are that's got to get you down. If you have younger friends you will still have someone to talk to who understands you. My best examples of great ageing are my mom and my professional mentor. Both have friends 20-30 years younger, in fact nearly all their friends are in this category. Over the next two weeks I am having dinner with each of two younger women I worked with in the past, both in their thirties. One girl is making me dinner and serving me wine while I alter some pants and we catch up. Sewing is a great connector.
2. Go to your kids, don't expect them to go to you. This is not your first choice, but it is theirs, so you do it. Let's face it, all we want our whole lives is for our parents to be interested in what we do, and that involves being where we are. Naturally it would be far nicer to have them back asleep down the hall than staying in some hotel waiting until they wake up to call, but this makes the difference and if you want to keep part of their lives, move on with them. The parents who complain that no one calls or visits are the ones who sit at home and wait. I am noticing this.
3. Babysit and sew and cook and not just for relatives. Be useful and be glad every time you can do it.
4. Don't over invest in things your whole life. I am starting to see people de-clutter and downsize. What was the point of working your ass off for most of your life so you can spend the last part of it trying to get rid of all the stuff? I have a message on my answering machine from a relative who are moving out of a huge house I always admired asking me if I want "first crack" at buying their stuff so they can move into a condo. They have worked so hard and been so house proud not everyone knows them, and now they want to offload their life's work. BTW I have all the stuff I need.
5. Keep working, at something. I hate to say this because so often I figure it would be great to retire and cruise around but you really don't see that vacant look in seniors who have a job to do. This can be some kind of work, taking care of family, and even treating your sewing as a real job (I know that is completely possible to do and one day I am going to do it). I have an 84 year old father-in-law who says "there just isn't enough hours in the day" because of all his building and gardening activities. My husband puts it another way "if you can contribute, you should."
Anything you would add?