When my father was in his mid-80s, I remember him saying that when he was 75 he had to let go of thinking he was 40. He lived for another 10 years after saying that! Interesting – a mixture of a positive mindset and some realism.
I do much to support my life now in my late 60s and have a positive youthful attitude, but the fact is that if I live a long life I will be getting steadily older.
This post is about accepting that fact and preparing. Today I am thinking more about my emotions and health.
Do you do that thing of looking in the mirror, smiling with your eyes and appreciating your beauty? I do, usually, but admit it’s easier these days with kind lighting!
It’s easy to fall into looking for youthfulness and judging oneself on that, but I want to look more dispassionately and lovingly at myself, accepting that it is OK to have a healthy body even as it changes with age.
We have far more images of beautiful youthfulness than beautiful age thanks to the media, but I want to keep an eye out for older women who look gorgeous.
It’s about imagining Judy Dench and Meryl Streep types of women – without make up, in conversation with friends, being seen as whole people with changing emotions, expressions, opinions, new thoughts and senses of humour. People who radiate life.
That’s the older Judy Barber I am preparing for, accepting getting older as an achievement and not as progressive bodily failure, loving being in my own steadily crinkling skin.
Living to 100
I saw a video series recently that got me thinking. It showed a woman of around a hundred walking then reaching and opening a big gate on the way to collect her post. Then she was breaking up the ground in her vegetable garden with a full size hoe.
Hmm, I wonder what I might be doing when I am 100. Surely, it depends on what I do at 68.
Movement Is Crucial
Whatever sports, gym activities, classes – such as yoga, tai chi and others – and exercise routines you enjoy make a huge difference to health, as we are often told.
Movement in every day life is crucial, too. I remind myself daily to consciously move in simple and small ways.
Make sure you keep walking on everyday errands, using the stairs, carrying heavy bags of shopping, carrying firewood, carrying grandchildren, carrying luggage, stretching up to the top cupboards – make the most of those activities.
What about the movements you made as a child? Going on tip toes, swinging your legs, wriggling your toes? All of these keep things flowing and keep your brain happy. You can literally keep on your toes!
Nutrition Brings About Health
Nutrition is an essential part of my plan for a long and happy life. It is relatively easy for me as delicious plant-based nutritious organic food is my passion!
Changing to as much organic food as you can reduces your future struggles with health because you won’t be adding alien toxins from herbicides and pesticides to your cellular biochemistry.
Here’s the math:
Less cellular junk-clearing, aka detoxing, day after day
More energy and life force for an interesting life.
Why plant-based? In my experience, it is easier on my digestive system. It makes a big contribution to energy and vitality, and I’ll be happy to tell you more in future posts and to share some delicious recipes.
If this is new to you, just focusing on organics and making sure you have plenty of fresh raw salads is an excellent start. I would love to know whether you experience a difference.
I have been eating plant-based food, with a big proportion of raw and sprouted foods, for such a long time now that it’s hard to imagine how life would be otherwise. I do know I am still agile and active, even though I’ve never been the athletic type.
I don’t have to deal with serious illness. I know I don’t carry excess weight and don’t have to think about dieting.
That’s not what I see in many in my age group. That’s not the most important thing from the inside though. It’s that I keep on feeling fully like myself, mind fizzing with ideas, body getting me around without much complaint – and I can still kick off my shoes to dance with my daughter!
I prepare for my older self with good food and keeping in motion.
How are you preparing for your older self? What kind of exercise or healthy lifestyle habits are you establishing your 60s? Please join the conversation and let’s exchange ideas!