20 Tips to Stay Young Forever: Advice from My 96-Year-Old Grandma.

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 10
Hearts 1.0
Comments 1.0
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
43 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.

Relephant bonus: on Elephant Market, Eco Beauty offerings.

My grandma was always the hottest commodity in her town, and in any town for that matter. Here’s the advice she gave me on how to stay young and hot forever.

Perhaps it is the way she flirted and posed for the camera, even winking as she adorably crossed her legs slowly and deliberately for each photo from age six to 96, as if she were the most beautiful and important person in the world. And ever since I can remember, that’s just who she was: the most important and beautiful woman around, and always the youngest-at-heart person I had the gracious opportunity to know.

Maybe it was the way she knew how to get the best seat at any fine restaurant on a Saturday evening, and without a reservation.

Sounding a bit like Bette Davis on a humorous day but looking more like Betty Grable, she would say, “Now don’t tell me you don’t have room for a pretty girl like me with personality to boot?” as she coyly smiled.

It worked like a charm every time.

“Come right this way,” the Maitre D would reply, as she gave me a knowing grin as if to say, “I hope you’re taking notes.”

Or perhaps it was the way that she laughed, that joyous laughter that captivated anyone who heard it, as it was genuine, hearty and sexy to the core because of its sincere sing-song, unpretentious and absolutely infectious sound.

Anyone who can manage to stay beautiful and youthful well into their ninth decade on this planet is someone well worth listening to. That is just what my grandma, Anna Lee did until her very last day at the ripe young age of 96.

See also: Life Instructions from a 95-year old.

Think of Betty White with a dash of Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball, and a princess or two thrown in for levity, and that’s just a hint of how much the hotness factor played in my grandma’s entire being.

But I believe that what truly made my grandma a gorgeous woman and appear younger than her years was her attitude about life and the way that she carried herself in it.

“If you can’t laugh at yourself, no one will ever take you seriously,” she once casually exclaimed while cutting roses from her lush and overgrown garden.

When I was a little girl, she used to take me along on endless, joyous days when we would visit museums, fashion shows; enjoy Tea Time with her friends and spend long lunches with interesting and fabulously exotic people.

Because I was with her meant that I was somehow beautiful too because she included me in her endlessly passionate and exuberant life.

One day when we whizzed about town in her Canary yellow vintage convertible Jaguar as she donned a Grace Kelly style scarf and sunglasses, she said to me, “I think we need girl’s afternoon to spoil ourselves, what do you think?”

I just smiled back at her, all of the age of 10 with my shiny, patent leather Mary Jane shoes as I held on to my door for safety as she was a fast driver, although she always managed to talk herself out of a speeding ticket with charmed-I’m-sure police officers.

One of my last memories was when she phoned to tell me she was going to purchase a new bathing suit, and “Would I like to go along?” She loved wearing festive, new suits each season as the men at The Senior Center expected as much, and she didn’t have the heart to let them down.

Mind you, she had been been married twice and lost her second husband some 25 years before, and was now a confirmed and happy bachelorette, living each day to the fullest of scales by anyone’s measure.

I regret that I did not shop for a bathing suit with her on that day, but I will never forget one of the last things that she said to me.

“Well honey, I just hope that you take the time to buy yourself something pretty too. It sure does a girl a lot of good.”

Grandma, you’re still doing me a lot of good, and for all of your wisdom and advice that I cherish and now pass on to my own daughters, I can tell you that we are grateful.

20 Ways to Stay Young & Hot From My 96-Year-Old Grandma:

1. Eat Healthy & Watch Your Figure Closely

Watch your figure closely, because if you don’t take the time to do so, nobody else will. She watched what she ate and exercised, but she also knew how to wear a dress like nobody’s business.

2. Avoid spending time with people who complain about how old they feel.

They will just pull you right down with them and make you feel old too. Instead, surround yourself with people who feel and act young, both inside and out. Seriously, she lived by this rule and only kept the company of positive and enlightening folks.

3. Exercise every day, no matter how tired or lazy you feel.

Just moving around will make you forget about how tired you are, and pretty soon, you’ll have more energy to do all of the fun things you truly want to do. She either played golf, swam, danced or walked nearly every day of her life.

4. Travel whenever you are able.

Seeing the world and discovering how other people live adds life, love and lucidity to your years. Well into her 90s, Anna Lee was traveling abroad to fabulous and exotic places on a moment’s notice.

5. Take the time to plan wonderful things for the future.

This will give you something to look forward to and make you feel hopeful. Whenever I spoke to her, she had something new to tell me about what she was going to be doing—both sooner and later.

6. Be extravagant once in awhile.

Whether its eating a decadent piece of chocolate cake, wearing something much too sexy for your own good, or dining at a very expensive restaurant once a year—this can make you feel both happy and young. She could be seen eating a small piece of dark chocolate every afternoon while sometimes wearing a low-cut sweater.

7. Use moderation on a daily basis.

On a daily basis, eat whatever you want, drink what you want, and say what you want, but all with a degree of moderation. While she enjoyed a martini, she didn’t get drunk, although she may have danced a bit more because of it.

8. Flirt with life—not just with men and women, but with all of what life has to offer.

This will make you feel young, hopeful and excited to get out of bed every day. My grandma enjoyed flirting with any man in uniform, and I am certain that if she were around today, she would flirt with my boyfriend while also flirting with the idea of buying new shoes.

9. Surround yourself with people who lift you up.

Surround yourself with lively, smart, fun and interesting people who adore being around you, don’t settle for anything or anyone else. I once witnessed my grandmother speaking to a man with a mustache who spoke to her in Italian about a book he had just written, while he smiled at her the whole time.

10. Be spontaneous.

When you do something out of the ordinary and on barely a moment’s notice, this can make you feel alive and young. She was known to announce unexpected trips and excursions to the beach.

11. Don’t ever feel sorry about yourself.

It is a waste of time and a waste of your life. And it also bores people to tears. Never once in all of my years did I ever hear my grandmother complain about her life.

12. Take the time to be beautiful.

You can’t feel both depressed and fabulous at the same time. She got her hair done every week; it was dyed a beautiful shade of blonde with perfect flips and fragrant hairspray.

13. Treat yourself regularly to wonderful little things, especially if they seem unnecessary and frivolous.

This will remind you that you are wonderful and when you feel wonderful, you just feel better. She often frequented special bookstores and could also be found buying herself shoes and hats on cold winter days.

14. Never say or think that you are “too old” to do anything.

This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, you are only as old as you make up your mind to be. My grandma was the first person to volunteer to do anything that seemed youthful.

15. Live the way that you feel your real age to be, not what others tell you.

If you feel 16, keep that energy up and you will feel like a teenager for as long as you are willing. Even though she was way past sixteen, she could make anyone around her feel as forever young as she was.

16. Master your daily affirmations.

Every morning when you wake up, tell yourself you are a beautiful and wonderful person while you look straight into the mirror. Anna Lee really did this, I saw her, and she would also sing to herself on occasion.

17. Study up on the past.

Read a lot of history, it will teach you a lot about what other people have gone through and their stories will inspire you. It will give you perspective about how good you really have it right now. My grandma was absolutely obsessed about history, especially about the soap opera dalliances of English Royalty and the sufferings of commoners and romantics.

18. Nix negative thoughts.

As soon as a negative thought comes into your mind, make a habit of replacing it with a joke, a humorous anecdote, watch a funny film, or call a positive friend. Grateful to say, she often called moi for a humor boost.

19. Always be prepared to meet the Queen.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, never sit around all day in your bedclothes. Get dressed, brush your hair, spiff yourself up and be ready for the Queen of England if she happens to stop by. Within a half hour of waking, she had her “face on,” her heels and her hair brushed and smelling like candy.

20. Pay attention to children because they know how to be happy, young and carefree.

I should know about this one, I was lucky enough to be her granddaughter, and she paid a lot of attention to me and my three daughters.


Note and Background about my Grandmother:

All of the above was actually said by my grandmother, some of it paraphrased.

Anna Lee Shetler, born Anna Lee Williams was born in Oklahoma to my great grandparents in 1913, her father was a newspaper publisher and local politician, and he later opened up a chain of hip and swanky nightclubs when they moved west to California.

She attended Beverly Hills High School where she met my grandfather, Robert Biller and then attended Chouinard Art Institute and became a well known and respected restorer and collector of antique clothing and dolls from the 17oos through the early 1920s which, along with vintage cars with her second husband.

After he passed away, she spent the last 20 years of her life traveling around the world with girlfriends, tour groups and even ventured to Russia and China by herself.

She also added a small museum to her home where she held private showings of her collections, along with luncheons and charity events.

She loved to tell tales about her travels, share her advice and most of all, be wined and dined by people she loved while she wore beautiful clothes.





These aren’t really even Buddhist, they’re just human tips:



Like elephant family on Facebook.

Ed: Kate Bartolotta
Image: Imgur

And, I give you, China’s “Hottest Grandpa”:

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 10
Hearts 1.0
Comments 1.0
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
43 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Tiffini Sears Nov 28, 2018 9:11am

This article is inspiring! Thank you for sharing bits of your wonderful grandmother with us!

anonymous Feb 24, 2016 2:00pm

i absolutely love this!!!! made me think of how i've learned to live life… and also gave me a few pointers on how to live the rest of my life… thanks. I too have a grandma, who is now 99. She was known for wearing high heels up until she was about 80, always well dressed and someone who i learned a lot from, about being a lady, and a business woman. <3 Thanks.

anonymous Jan 15, 2016 7:09pm

Absolutely love this! I would have loved to have been her friend! I hope I can live life with that kind of adventure!

anonymous Oct 26, 2015 10:15am

Character matters to me more than wearing dresses, obtaining pretty shoes, travelling, or collecting antiques. Your grandmother liked being the center of attention, many of us do not. It’s okay to be whomever you are whether “hot” or not. My mom is 93 and I’ve learned from her to be just as eccentric as you want …not egocentric. There are already too many narcisstic people in the world. I think the most valuable thing your grandmother gave you was her love and attention. Those other things didn’t matter.

anonymous Oct 18, 2015 9:16pm

I thought this was mostly a horrible load of shallow rubbish. Apart from a fair amount of disposable income for many of these, you also need a ridiculous amount of spare time – time I'd rather spend with the people I care about (or reading, or drawing, or playing with my dog, or volunteering – or so many other things) than looking at myself in the mirror.

    anonymous Oct 24, 2015 8:33am

    U are so negative…old grouch?

anonymous Oct 17, 2015 7:36pm

Approximately half of these things you can do only if you have disposable cash…..

    anonymous Feb 25, 2016 6:50pm

    I thought the same thing. This is the lifestyle of someone with considerable wealth – travel, sports cars, privileged. Great work if you can get it

anonymous Oct 16, 2015 5:11pm

I love everything about this article and your Grandma! Thank you so much for sharing her wisdom and positive approach to life! Wonderful.

anonymous Oct 16, 2015 8:42am

Beautiful article, with lovely sentiments and memories. But to be accurate, if she was 96 years old, she was living into her tenth decade.

anonymous Oct 15, 2015 3:26am

This article is wonderful, your grandmother was wonderful. This article opened my mind and gave me the positive impact that I needed. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

anonymous Aug 24, 2015 7:52am

Woow very inspiring,

anonymous Aug 4, 2015 2:24pm

This made my heart flutter! This has definitely sorted myself out, being a better person but showing compassion and being confident about who you are while showing respect to others. This brings to mind that quote , ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

Maya Angelou.

Thank you for this 🙂

anonymous Aug 4, 2015 1:51pm


anonymous Aug 4, 2015 11:02am

Way to go Grandma! You're a lady after my own heart…maybe you were my grandma in a previous life?

anonymous Jul 27, 2015 10:06pm

Oh my god, this is so good! Love all of it. You definitely make me feel better. Thank you.

anonymous Jul 27, 2015 2:39am

I love this article so very, very much! May I write it out and frame it along with your name? Beautiful writing and has set the tone for the rest of my week.

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 11:16am

Lovely article. Aging well is a wonderful art to master! It sounds like your grandmother did just that and left you with a wonderful road map!

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 9:43am

Lovely! Needed that as I was feeling a bit sorry for myself…fighting cancer and feeling less than lovely. Thank you

Intend to retrieve my joie de vivre and hope to dance again.

anonymous Jul 25, 2015 8:57pm

What a worderful thought.. so nicely said..how to live life.. really vry inspiring words…specially for every women … thank u….

anonymous Jul 25, 2015 6:39am

So part of her advice is teaching girls how to be manipulative to get what you want, the best seat at a restaurant,be sulty and seductive and alluring to tease men or people again, to get what you want. There is already SO much of this going on today thanks to feminism and the media, teaching girls to use their bodies, sex, looks, appearance to manipulate men into giving them or doing things they want, we don't need more of it.

While there is some decent advice about replacing negative thoughts with jokes or such, the advice about being extravagant, act like you could meet the queen and England and dress like it, is really all part of the general female psyche's obsession with looks, appearances and vanity, which again, there is already faar too much of in this world.

At a quick glance, it appears that virtually every comment here is from a woman who is agreeing with this whole heartedly.. because of course anything that women can do or use to take them out of the constantly negative thinking most seem to exist in almost all the time is praised, lauded and preached.. but the problem is that as usual, that it's done using vanity or materialism to give you that temporary fix, which is not a true solution and never will be.

anonymous Jul 24, 2015 10:48pm

My grandma lived to be 96 too. She was a teacher and a life long learner. She never gave a hoot about being hot but she smoked and drank til the end. I believe it was more about her curiosity and her disconcern for many things. She never stressed about anything. Things were what they were. It wasn't what happened to you it what how you reacted to them. Life was in your hands. You made it what you wanted it to be. Even death, she always said "it's a natural part pf life". I never saw someone so matter of fact. But as an adult I realize how right she was. You can't stress over things you have no control over. You can be sad about things but only so much. Her sister, also a drinker and smoker lived to be 97. Guess they knew what they were talking about!

anonymous Jul 19, 2015 7:22am

Good advice and great reminder how to live life. I could tell by the advice, your grandmother had a privileged life that had plenty of free time and money. For many people working 2-3 jobs, working anywhere from 10-16 hrs a day, some may find it hard to drive around with a scarf flying in a yellow jag. Oh my!

anonymous Jul 15, 2015 9:56am

Thank you for writing this. I don't know your grandmother but just the way you wrote this made me feel an immense amount of joy and happiness. As if I was experiencing life with her. Thank you for that.

anonymous Jul 14, 2015 9:37am

I am 80 and love life, singing and dancing, but I'm going to have to upgrade to a much higher level to even come near to her! Thank you for giving me inspiration to grow more beautiful and sexy!! 😉

anonymous Jul 13, 2015 2:53pm

I couldn't have read this at a more perfect time in my life. About a week ago I realized I'm stuck in a caterpillar stage and need some time to reconnect with myself and decide what I want to do with the rest of my life. I love what you have written about your grandmother and would love to have a taste of that. I'm going to actually make a copy and hang this where I can look at it every morning and evening to remind me what I can do. Looking forward to it now. Thank you for sharing this. Love!

anonymous Jul 13, 2015 2:29pm

I love this! Thank you so much for writing and sharing your wonderful grandmother with us. Beautifully uplifting.

anonymous Jun 3, 2015 9:56am

This is a truly amazing write up! I want to remain 16 forever and your grandma just helped me realize I can achieve this. Even though not physically, but psychologically

anonymous Dec 11, 2014 7:28pm

This made me miss my Grandmother who was one of the funniest, smartest, and independant ladies. Even though it has been over 30 years, I still miss that old bag:) BTW she loved when I said that to her…

anonymous Dec 11, 2014 1:58pm

Beautiful! Now that was a woman who knew how to live life! May we all learn from this remarkable lady. 🙂

anonymous Dec 1, 2014 9:31am

Hey Francesca! What an inspirational article, it made me light up inside 🙂 I must say, your grandmother sounds very motivated and positive but she also sounds like she was wealthy. Is this right? Its not easy for everybody to travel or forget the strains of their mundane lives.

anonymous Oct 19, 2014 9:21am

Very good advice! Thank you for sharing. I wonder, what astrological sign was your grandmother?

anonymous Oct 4, 2014 5:57am

I loved the article. Thanks for sharing your grand mother's philosophy. It made my day. I adored my grandmother too.

anonymous Oct 3, 2014 12:32pm

This just put a huge smile on my face! I was not fortunate to know my grandmother (Mother's Mom) but my sisters did – and they tell me stories about her all the time and I picture her just like this! I will meet her someday I know it and I can't wait. So glad you had this woman in your life and so glad the memories are so wonderful – what a hoot she was! I hope I'm half that spunky when I'm that age – or I should say I WILL BE THAT SPUNKY IN MY OLD AGE! Thanks for sharing – love the story!

anonymous Sep 30, 2014 11:04am

Nowadays it is very rare to find a person living at the age of 90. Maybe we couldn't get that kind of age because of our lifestyle, but because of what you have shared, my perception really changed! Your grandmother way of living inspires me a lot.

anonymous Sep 17, 2014 3:40pm

I love everything about your grandma Ann Lee, she was blessed with beauty inside ,life is a gift and sure she did it her way.
Thank a million for sharing .

anonymous Aug 10, 2014 9:23pm

I lost my grandmother in May. She was 96 also and a maverick in her own right. My strength as a woman came from spending my childhood with her. We were both blessed with wonderful role models. 🙂 What a great tribute to your grandmother! Thank you for sharing!

anonymous Aug 10, 2014 6:36am

This brought back memories of my Auntie who was exactly like this….brought a tear to my eye ….she died at 98

anonymous Aug 10, 2014 12:27am

Wonderfully inspiring words; I get the lippy and heels out on ordinary days just for a lift and it works! I agree with audiomind and phyllis haig as well; having a consistent financial comfort level that appears to be the case from your article and her bio will make a difference because you always have a 'go to' when the chill wind blows, which does for everyone. Deeper work is required when that comfort isn't present in life so that when the chill wind appears we have inner strength and self-management techniques that don't depend on money to validate and give a sense of worth. She was a classy lady and clearly an absolute pleasure to be around, not to mention wise. She's the definition of glamour in the old school sense of the word; how wonderful that you had her in your life!

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 11:03pm

Love this article. Great advice. What a woman!

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 9:11pm

What a great story and good advice too! I shared it on my MassageAmom FB page for all my mommies!

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 4:10pm

This is wonderful, she sounds like a beautiful character, thank you for sharing her.

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 2:27pm

LoVe this!!! Thanks for sharing!!! Words I hope to always live by….just BEAUTIFUL!!!

anonymous May 9, 2014 11:01pm

You are your Grandmother to the tee….mine was also beautiful and practical….my children and grandchildren are taught by her comments and example. Hugs so close to the Mother's Day <3 May we all be such an inspiration and legacy to future generations!

anonymous May 9, 2014 6:17pm

I love her!! What great gifts she blessed you with! I printed the list and hundreds it in my office as a reminder to age with grace..charm..and fun!

anonymous May 9, 2014 5:21pm

Agree with audiomind above.The positive attitude in life, especially for older women in this cultura, is much easier to maintain when you have money and therefore power, ability to buy great quality food and services, get preferential treatment and thus feel entitled. That feedback makes it easier to maintain one's feelings of worth. That is exactly why it is so important to develop and maintain an insular happiness, joy and gratitude practice that is distinct from materialism or even how one gets treated by others.

anonymous Mar 19, 2014 1:50pm

That's absolutly right

anonymous Jan 9, 2014 4:27pm

Life is quite bit less stressful when $$ is no obstacle. From the details of the article it appears she had enough dinero to ease the daily negative stress involved in providing for oneself and family. $ is the central point of a lot of stress in life and can significantly impact your quality of life, especially in later years.This is an observation, not a negative response.

    anonymous Jan 13, 2016 7:24am

    Note to young men and women everywhere: PREPARE FOR YOUR FUTURE!! Life CAN be lived lavishly by everyone! I'm 38 and realized a long time ago if I want to live the good life, I have to plan to succeed.
    For the *majority* of people who aren't wealthy or set in life simply didnt prepare.

anonymous Dec 20, 2013 5:36pm

Lovely…..I almost feel that I am the grandmother reincarnate !!!

anonymous Dec 19, 2013 4:23pm

It sounds ridiculous but at 31 I am having a lot of anxiety about my age and also getting older. Mostly bc I am terrified of being old and unattractive. This is helping me turn my view around. Thanks for the great post, one of the best on EJ in a long time!

anonymous Dec 19, 2013 4:00pm

Beautiful writing. Love personal stories. Gorgeous memories. Thanks for sharing.

anonymous Dec 19, 2013 3:35pm

Fabulous advice,
your Grandmother was a very great woman . Thank you for sharing this interressant article with us

anonymous Oct 29, 2013 9:58pm

Love this! That's a woman who knew how to live!

anonymous Oct 21, 2013 7:50pm

Oh I love this article! It was a true uplift to my day. Thank you for sharing. It looks like your grandmother is continuing to inspire people even after she has passed!

anonymous Oct 21, 2013 1:59pm

I too had two grandmothers like that! Taught me all I needed to know on how to be a lady and love myself first!

anonymous Mar 4, 2013 7:20am

Fabulous column! My grandmother did many of these things and lived beautifully to the age of 103!

anonymous Mar 3, 2013 7:05pm

Your grandmother was wonderful and an inspiration to all around her. I love #8. Flirt with life. Nicely said and nicely done. Great post.

anonymous Mar 1, 2013 8:16am

Wow. You and anyone who had the opportunity to meet your grandmother have much to be grateful for! She lives on in your words. xo P.S. I especially love that "She could be seen eating a small piece of dark chocolate every afternoon while sometimes wearing a low-cut sweater."

anonymous Feb 28, 2013 10:25pm

Ooooh she sounds like a lovely woman and grandmother! Great advice. 🙂

anonymous Feb 28, 2013 11:15am

your article really gave me a lift…. thanks so much for sharing these nuggets on life/loving/living! not only are they a wonderful rememberance of your grandmother, but a real bounty of inspiration for how i want to live my life and how wonderful it will be to be remembered by my children and (eventually) my grandchildren. it makes me want to get up and dance! thank you, so much……..

anonymous Feb 27, 2013 6:34pm

Robyn, Thank you for loving my grandma too:)

anonymous Feb 27, 2013 6:33pm

Edie Weinstein, I love that! "Juicy as a Result" I may just have to borrow that for my next article :_

anonymous Feb 27, 2013 5:53pm

I love your grandma. I'm sorry you lost her. I lost mine last month at 91. Your grandma sounds like an amazing, vivacious woman who was full of fun and good advice.

anonymous Feb 27, 2013 3:07pm

Awesome! I love this article – what a great way to celebrate her life, her passion, her wisdom and her lust for everything about life – thank you for sharing!

anonymous Feb 27, 2013 5:31am

Wonderful advice.
The specifics depend on the personalities of the people
makeup and hairdos may not be the desire of many
but the passion for life, people and self is what matters

anonymous Feb 27, 2013 5:12am

Great advice! I was blessed to have women in my life….my mother, grandmother and aunts who subscribed to many of those concepts and beliefs and passed them on to me. I live juicy as a result.


Edie (Bliss Mistress) <3

anonymous Feb 27, 2013 5:12am

Wonderful article, I feel better already!

    anonymous Feb 27, 2013 6:23pm

    Hi Cindy, I am so glad that you "feel better already"! So do I:)

Maggie Daicar Oct 25, 2018 6:26pm

I loved reading about your grandmother - truly a girl after my own heart. I am almost 80 and my philosophy is, "Savour every moment of every day."

Suzy Dober Schmitt Oct 25, 2018 3:20pm

Love, Love, Love this article!! I am always striving to be just like that. I will think of this aritcle and your grandmother often. Thanks so much for sharing.

Patricia Kirby May 28, 2018 12:22pm

I hope I have some of your wonderful Grandmother's traits... I look on the bright side(most of the time) spread a little love and laughter where and when I can ( only my family and friends can say whether I succeed) and I still try to maintain a good appearance in my own individual way. To the amusement of my adult grandchildren I continue to place my songs, original and standards, along with my personal comments on my 'You Tube' channel. However, I was beginning to feel the old lady syndrome creeping close to me... THANK THE LORD I READ ABOUT YOUR WONDERFUL GRANDMOTHER.. I WILL TRY TO FOLLOW IN HER FOOTSTEPS FRANCESCA... I AM 80 SO NO TIME TO WASTE. THANK YOU! PATRICIA KIRBY.

Elizabeth Aldam Jan 9, 2018 2:37am

Hats off to this amazing lady!!!

Mahi Singh Dec 28, 2017 12:57pm

Wow What Great Tips: https://www.stayyounghealthy.com/

Ed Ethridge Oct 16, 2017 2:07pm

As a 49 year old man I was a bit disappointed with this. Where is the advice for the men here? You know, the ones fighting declining t levels and desperately trying to keep up with their pre-menopausal wives? We lose the feeling of “sexy” at a time when many women are coming into it. No matter how much love we have for them, there seems to be little advice on how to maintain OUR sexual sense of well being. Just an observation from a guy who hoped my one elephant article for today would give me advice in a low moment.

Ann Marie Watson Aug 13, 2017 8:03am

For the rich...my God...get in touch with the world

Chelsea Nyegaard Aug 7, 2017 4:36pm

Great article but commondity is such a turn off for a first sentence. Just because women have been commodities forever, doesn't mean it's boastful. She also doesn't seem like a commodity at all, but like a beautiful and independent spirit def unable to be owned by anyone.

Aloha Valentine Apr 9, 2017 8:40am

I was thinking the same thing while reading this. When it is a daily struggle to make ends meet- travelling and going to the hairdresser every week are simply not within the realms of possibility.

Lale Javaheri Mar 25, 2017 10:48am

Self love, self respect, self worth. There is a reason they all start with “self”. You cannot find them in anyone else.

Lale Javaheri Mar 25, 2017 10:44am

You can still love yourself enough to buy even the smallest thing for yourself..wether it is some candy, ice cream, etc. You can do it if you want to. This is showing to be good to yourself whatever that means to you personally. Even if you are less fortunate there is a lot you can do for yourself to show yourself love and it's not all the materialistic things. Putting on beautiful music and singing along to it or dancing. Going out in nature and really observing the flowers and plants. Doing these things to give you energy and to get charged up.

Maria D'Angelo Jan 14, 2017 5:17pm

Thank you for this article! What an inspiring woman your grandmother was! I have a 90 year old mother-in-law who is exactly the same way. I'm working to follow in their footsteps!

Lilliane Nicol Jan 13, 2017 3:25pm

Thank you

Lisa Williamson Dec 21, 2016 3:29am

I've often thought, 'how are we going to be remembered?'.This is a perfect way to be remembered,Thankyou for sharing.

Neary Khmer Nov 8, 2016 3:50pm

I keep smiling the whole time I read this. I sure take lots of positive thoughts from your grandma. She's the best.

Blanca Moya Oct 25, 2016 4:10am

Wow. This is BEAUTIFUL �

Shelly Webster Jul 27, 2016 3:14pm

......never take life/yourself too seriously......

Jacquelyne Taylor Jul 7, 2016 9:37pm

Joyce Inman yes in NZ Charity shops and $2 shops are the way to go..

Ruth Irene Martinez May 20, 2016 11:58am

What was your grandmother's zodiac sign out of curiosity?

Joyce Inman May 7, 2016 7:10pm

I think maybe you're meant to do this within your means. Buy one beautiful flower - buy a bar of soap for $3.50 instead of $1.25 one you usually purchase.....An inexensive bright scarf, some nail polish in a fun color..socks........

Rhiannon Hastings May 7, 2016 4:38pm

You make choices and learn to put a little a side every chance you get. Whether a penny or $50... nothing is impossible. You get ino the positive when you always stay in the negative.

Jill Scruggs Magee May 7, 2016 2:29pm

Thank you for sharing she sounds magical! My Grandmother was so amazing. She had nine kids and then her husband died in his late 40's of a heart attack. She taught herself to drive and got a job in records at the local hospital. Even though she worked in accounting doing paperwork she became beloved at the hospital and I remember them giving her a woman of the year award when I was really young. In spite of not having much money she always had her make up on, and wore wonderful costume jewelry, smelled great and had the attitude of Betty White. Just a joy to be around. So much wonderful energy. I'm going to be like My Grandma too. You need a little money to do some of the stuff on this list but not all of it. You don't need money to have a fabulous attitude and to be playful with life and to laugh at the joke. Grandma also had an affinity for dogs and they followed her everywhere. She never remarried. Strong strong woman.

Madeline Mahajan May 7, 2016 12:42pm

Exactly what I was thinking. It's easy to be light hearted and full of energy and life when one has little to worry about, and isn't slaving away with the working class. I kind of think this could even be insulting to those less privleged. Some how it;s their fault that they feel tired and worn out by life.

Becky Boilek May 6, 2016 10:32pm

Sorry you're so hung up with conventional, read, thin beauty and privilege.

Ginnie Anglin May 3, 2016 7:40pm

The stories you tell about your grandmother remind me of my wonderful mother in law who at 80 is active and travelling and full of life. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Read The Best Articles of March
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.

Francesca Biller

Francesca Biller is an award-winning investigative journalist who has written, reported, and covered news and features about politics, culture, race, family issues, and culture for more than 20 years. While her career began as a print reporter and columnist for newspapers and magazines, Biller turned her passion also to news broadcast reporting for public radio, wherein she produced documentary reports for which she received The Edward R. Murrow Award, two Golden Mike Awards, and three Society of Professional Journalists Awards for Best Series Reporting, Documentary Series, and Live Radio Reporting. Currently, she is writing two books for publication with Zorba Press which includes stories and prose about her Japanese and Russian background and cultural identity discoveries.