I was raised in part by my grandmother, who was 60 years old by the time I was born, so I’ve been around elderly people from an early age.
It’s something that has continued as I approach 40. One of my current bosses is 82 years old.
While some people see spending time with the elderly as a chore or an outright hellish task, I do not. Some of the best advice and tips I ever got on life, love and many other things came from people over the age of 60. Some of them weren’t even people I was particularly close to or in one case, ever even met. I always thought that someone should compile the best tips and share them with the greater world, so I have done just that.
Hopefully, those who read this will take something away and pass it on. For those of us who aren’t yet old, maybe we’ll even have our own tips to include when we enter those golden years:
1. Never pay retail unless you absolutely have to. Whenever possible, comparison shop.
2. Wait at least 24 hours before making a major purchase.
3. Always ask: is this necessary or can I live without it?
On Looking Good:
4. Be careful of too much sun exposure. If you want to see how bad the sun can be for the skin, set an orchid outside in direct sunlight for a day and see what it looks like by evening.
5. Put your lip and eye make-up pencils in the freezer for 10 minutes or so before sharpening them. They are less likely to break.
6. A smile is cheaper than plastic surgery and will instantly make you look years younger.
7. Don’t worry what others think. Most of us aren’t interesting enough to be the subject of gossip. However, if we are, then we need to congratulate ourselves on being so interesting.
8. The older we get, the more we realize it doesn’t really matter what others think of us.
9. If we look in the mirror and are happy with ourselves, then that’s really all that matters.
10. It’s possible to have many great loves in a single lifetime.
11. Most great loves don’t stay in our lives forever; therefore, it’s all the more important to treasure the time we have with those people.
12. By all means, lose your heart—but not your mind.
13. Money can’t buy love or happiness, but having enough can make life a lot more comfortable than going without.
14. Always have some money to call your own. Don’t be 100 percent financially dependent on your partner, no matter how generous they are.
15. Don’t count other people’s money; worry about your own.
On Growing Older:
16. We don’t stop being sexual beings just because we get old or we are no longer able to physically have sex.
17. At some point, all the plastic surgery, make-up, and miracle creams in the world cannot hide the fact you’re old. In many ways, it’s liberating to no longer have to worry about it anymore.
18. Most people don’t fear growing old so much as becoming invisible.
19. Death eventually comes to us all. Instead of fearing it, see it as a new adventure where not one of us really knows what happens next.
20. Sooner or later there comes a point when we outlive our parents and many of our friends; instead of dwelling on those you miss, be thankful for the ones don’t miss yet.
21. Death is the ultimate PR. Most of us, no matter how unpleasant we may have been are talked about fondly after we die.
Relephant Bonus // Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis on Ageism:
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman