Sarah on the Go posted and interesting blog today, called Time is the Same in Every Language. In it she talks about her first quarter century coming to an end, and asks advice on how to stay young and fight aging. Since I am twice her age, I thought this was an interesting question.
Sarah, I think there are several things that are key. The first on my list is laughter. You must know how to laugh when the going gets tough. When responsibility heaps, when things go wrong, when the dog dies, your significant other isn’t who you thought they were, when the kids stray the wrong direction, when you lose your job, when your parents die, when all the things of life that happen happen, you must know how to laugh again, and you must have faith, whoever your higher power might be.
All the wrinkle creams, hair color and plastic surgeons can’t combat aging on the inside–or how we perceive life. So a positive attitude is next on the list. You must be able to make lemonade out of lemons, to see things with a positive swing which can be quite challenging at times, depending on what life throws our way.
This brings me to a higher power. Sometimes, when life gets to be too much of a burden, the best thing to do is to give it over to God, or whatever your higher power is. This can make us feel as though our burdens are less, and gives us the ability to cope when we otherwise couldn’t. Never underestimate the power of prayer. It might not be the answer you were looking for, but an answer always comes.
The next thing is friends. “No man is a failure who has friends.” Corny but true. Especially girlfriends. Good girlfriends are indispensable in this life. Hold onto them forever.
Take care of yourself. This seems like the obvious, but sometimes we get so engrossed in our lives, we forget to take care of ourselves. And I don’t just mean exercising, eating right and getting enough sleep. I also mean take care of the inside as well. De-stress. Take a few days off every once in a while, unplug and take an inventory of inner turmoil. Take steps to combat stress, because these are the things that age us on the outside. Everybody has something different that they do to unwind. Find what it is that works for you and do it faithfully and often.
Cut yourself some slack when you make mistakes, but don’t lose the lesson. Get back up and get in the game. And remember, to everything there is a season. And seasons eventually pass–good and bad. Remember that at the end of your life, it’s not the dates people will remember, it’s the hyphen in between–or how you lived. Live it well. Love deeply, and Laugh often.