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Do you get a bit “retrospectively introspective” around your birthday? The last couple of years I find myself in that uncomfortable spot – perhaps a twinge of concern about aging. Yes, according to mortality tables – this could be my last decade! That's a bit startling but then I quickly consider the many positives of aging I've experienced myself or through inspirational aging role models. I've been blessed with many! Several of my “role models” live lives (or have lived lives) filled with gratitude and optimism. From them I've learned that gratitude can change your attitude in a quick hurry! Even if not mobile, experiencing scary medical concerns or finding themselves suddenly living in a new environment, these friends celebrate the good stuff in their lives. Usually that starts with faith, family, and friends. After those really big ones, we can learn to appreciate the simple things of life - hummingbirds on the feeder, beautiful music, a well told story, a walk in the sunshine, a dish of homemade ice cream or a thoughtful “thinking of you” card. Gratitude seems to be the fast track to a contented life.
Aging has brought some unexpected but very pleasant new personality qualities! Taking time to truly listen to others (without being in a rush...), becoming less judgmental and more patient, but maybe most of all – becoming more mindful. Living in the present moment – truly not focusing on past regrets or worrying about the future- is a very powerful freedom for aging gracefully. My hope for my upcoming year is that I can be an aging mentor – just as others have done for me. My thanks to all of you ---