Of course, on that day I was just a wee bit reflective. Eighteen is actually s bit of a milestone. I remember mine so well. My parents made a pretty big deal out of it. Still in the middle of all of the graduation hoopla, The First Son’s birthday was simply wedged in between other celebrations. It made me a little sad that things seem to be flying by in such a blur. Sometimes I wish time could be like a rubber band that I could stretch to make special times last longer so we can absorb it all and take it in.
The email that I’ve copied here is a list of things to remember to stay young. I’m all for any hints to that. Some of the things listed I have already learned from others in my life. I have learned by the way they lived their life or by things they didn’t do, but may have wished they did. I think that when you lose people in your life you can take many lessons from that person and from the experience. I think it can be a healthy way to keep that person with you and share those lessons with others.
Here is the list from Girlfriends in God, and my own comments added:
1. Throw out non-essential numbers such as your age, weight and height. (I‘m getting better at this one! I said recently that the number on the scale was not what I wanted but thankfully, I didn’t let it send me into a tailspin!)
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. If you really need a grouch, there are probably family members to fill that need. (How true is this! I’ve decided that I can only have time to spend with friends who are true friends – that make you laugh, give you a hug. Life is far too short to be brought down by negative Nellies)
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Just never let the brain idle. (My mother was great at this. She had an insatiable curiosity. When her eyesight failed so she could no longer read, you better watch out if you were anywhere near with a laptop. She would ask questions for hours for you to google for her. It could be about geography, old movie stars, history, gardening, you name it. She said she lay awake at night and think of questions she wanted to be answered.)
4. Enjoy the simple things. When the children are young simple is all you can afford. When they are in college simple is still all you can afford. When they are grown, and you are on retirement, that is all you can afford.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Laugh so much that you can be tracked in the store by your distinctive laughter. (Now, on this one, you’d think I’d have it down pat. I used to get in trouble at school for my loud laugh. I’m also known to snort when I really get going. I do love a good laugh. I spent some time recently where I didn’t really get that laugh out. Things were just a little too heavy. That laugh will be making its way back now I think. Too the huge embarrassment of my boys!)
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person that is with us our entire life is ourselves. (This is so much easier said than done. Sometimes you can get so stuck in grief or pain or situations that you think you can’t endure or that it will never go away. Sometimes you can’t stop the tears either. That’s okay. Eventually we can all move on. It is a process for everyone and everyone handles things differently. God gives us the strength to endure and gives us this great big life to live.)
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies or whatever. Your home is your refuge. `(I love this one. I’m not really a “stuff” person, but I love being in my home. I love having my pets around, books, music and sentimental treasures. When my mom had to relocate to a new town and a smaller home it was so difficult for her. She was not happy until she had gotten as many of her things from the bigger house into the new smaller house. What I would call clutter she treasured and it made her happy.)
8. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. (Need I even comment on this one? If you’ve been reading this site for any time you’ve likely come across me saying that I come from terrible genes and work every day to fight them and be healthy. I’ve seen what poor health can do to a person and it’s not pretty. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get that check-up, stop smoking, eat healthy, get some exercise.)
9. Don’t take guilt trips. Go to the mall, the next county, a foreign country – but not guilt.
10. Tell the people you love how much you love them every chance you get. Never assume they know. (I love this one. My Daddy was great at it. I never saw him or hung up the phone without him telling me he loved me. One of my son’s has picked this up and even if it’s just habit it’s pretty special.)
11. Don’t worry about things you cannot change or do anything about. Accept them and move on. (This one is a work in progress . . . .My brother had a favorite saying, “It is what it is”. We’ve adopted that as one of our family mottos and sometimes it’s all you can say about a situation.)
12. Read more and dust less. (The Husband’s mother was great at this one. She could care less about how her house looked, but she would be right down on the floor playing with her grandchildren. I so wish I’d gotten this one when my boys were younger. I was so worried about having the perfect house or space that I’m sure I missed opportunities to just “be” or “play”. Now I’m much more likely to let the laundry pile up or leave a dish in the sink.)
13. Spend more time with your family and friends and less time working. (We should all work on this one, don’t you think? My parents were great at this. When I was growing up there were neighbors or friends always stopping by, Friday night cookouts, long weekend trips. The week revolved more around spending time together than working. There were many a time I was required to be at some “forced family fun” time and miss out on some hanging out with friends, but I think they got it right on that one. It was more important for us to be together as a family at some fish camp, hunting lodge or in some RV.)
14. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. Recognize these moments now and cherish them. (I am working on this one. Sometimes I find myself just checking events off the list rather than savoring them. My brother truly excelled at this one. Each day was full of an experience or story for him. He enjoyed each day even if it was a bad day. Even a bad day was an experience to live and share.)
15. Do not “save” anything. Use your good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the next blossom of flowers you see. (I think this one and number 16 and 17 go together. I’ve learned this one from what my mom would not do. She would have things and tend to “save” them. I’m not sure why she saved using the silver, or wearing her beloved JOY perfume or dressing in the new outfit, just because. I think that maybe she was too good at taking care of things and should have just enjoyed them.)
16. Wear your best outfit to the market.
17. Don’t save your good perfume for only special occasions. Use it even if you are going shopping or just to the bank.
18. “Someday” and “one of these days” should vanish from your vocabulary. If something is worth seeing, hearing or doing, go and see, hear or do it now. (Yes, yes, yes! Go now! You never know what today will bring. If you have ever had your world rocked in the blink of an eye and your world changed by something so unexpected that you still can’t really grasp it, you know that sometimes tomorrow might be too late.)
See the full post here.
I think the Summer is the perfect time to take a look at some of these tips on How to Stay Young. We can be a little more relaxed in summer mode, be with our family and friends and make sure we live each day. I’ve seen how quickly 18 years has flown. I want to do more savoring of the days and less enduring and checking them off a list!
What about you? Any more tips on How to Stay Young? Are there some here that hit home with you? How was your Memorial Day Holiday?
Enjoy your day!