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Let’s not lie to each other—once you turn 65, you have begun to be “an older person.”
And there is nothing wrong with it.
What is wrong is to deny it, and even worse, to live your life as if you didn’t learn a damn thing in the past six and a half decades.
I tell my friends: I am 64, but I feel 64! Because that is what it is. Sixty is not the new 40 and I am not 64 years young! Stop it!
Sixty-four or 70 are not a death sentence, they are just older ages, a time to start contemplating, evaluating, taking inventory, consolidating, liquidating, simplifying, and most of all, a time to really enjoy your life, do something good with the time that is left, and truly be happy—the days for drama and games and toxicity and selfishness are over.
My opinion is that at 64 years old, I have 11 productive years. Eleven years of clarity and good health and reasonable body strength. Eleven years where people know I am old, but they don’t look at me like I am old. Hey, I am guilty of it. I look at an old guy and immediately think: “Holy sh*t, he’s old!” So, 11 years before that happens to me.
The other day, a friend sent a video that said how “exercise” is the most important thing to have a healthy old age—and wow, I could not disagree more! So I made my own list.
I don’t want to be like one of those recipes for apple pie online that first tell you how apples came to be back in prehistoric times and how they were eaten only by royalty (who gives a sh*t!).
So here it is, 10 easy ways to start living a happy life:
1. Know that stress kills.
So, if there is anyone or anything in your life that brings you that sick feeling to your stomach that just ruins your day or when they call you immediately think, “Oh no, should I get it?” or they are negative and critiquing—delete them from your life now.
Focus on those who love you and let you love them. Take away worry that you can’t do anything about and fix the worry you can do something about. Stress kills; it makes you age. Why do you think you feel it when it comes around? Your stomach contracts, your heart beats faster, your blood flows unnaturally, you get head aches—because your body is emotionally hurting.
This includes (very seriously) completely avoiding the internet! I am not even going to try to explain this one. Just get off! As a matter of fact, get rid of your phone or ration it to three times a day to ensure nothing important or urgent has happened that you need to get to.
2. Have sex.
Sex is the most sought-after activity and enjoyable thing that we can have. We all love it, we crave it, and we obsess over it. So have it! Have as much of it as you want—be free and uninhibited and give yourself the gift that it is. Deal with the aftermath later—because there is always some.
3. Eat and drink (hopefully in moderation) anything that you want.
Eating is amazing and lately it seems we have made it some kind of sin to eat. Everything causes something; everything is bad for you. Too much sugar, not enough sugar, to many chemicals, not organic, from the wrong part of the world, not tested by the FDA and on and on! Stop it! Eat and enjoy!
4. Get out and see our beautiful world!
Even if you can’t afford it, get out and explore the next ring outside of your world. Meet people and talk to them, breath the air, and open your eyes to every detail that surrounds you! And do it for you without bragging—nothing worse that braggers who have to tell you “where they just came from.”
5. Have an amazing companion who understands and loves and cares for you and do it back in kind.
Someone to share happiness and food and sex and life in general with. Someone who doesn’t want to change you and tell you what to do or how to do it. Someone you never have to feel forced to be around, someone who gives you joy organically!
6. Enjoy physical and mental exercise.
Find something that you love to do to get oxygen and move your muscles. Something you don’t have to drag yourself to do and that you kind of dread. Do something you would do twice a day if you could. Also, exercise your mind. Play chess or scrabble or read Rumi literature or Mary Oliver poems. Biking is an amazing tool to do both! Skiing also.
7. Spend time with the family and friends you like.
Visit your kids; hopefully, you get to spend time with nephews or smaller children because they feed your soul with truth and honesty. And for your friends: enjoy your time together avoiding vices or negativity or drama.
8. Keep working.
If you cannot work, keep doing things and keep busy. If you must work, work in something you enjoy doing with people you enjoy being around.
First of all, let go of any bitterness or hate. Forgive yourself first—you were human and you are not alone in your errors. No one said you had to live a perfect life and be totally faultless. Then, forgive others. This doesn’t mean you have to be around them, just forgive them. Lift them up to the sky and release them from your thoughts and your soul. Open the cage and let them fly away.
10. Pay if forward.
Be humble, be kind—you were given life and blessings and many things that others may not have. Be grateful, be in awe, and never brag, never boast. Give back to others not just financially but in kindness and understanding and tolerance. Stop judging others—see things from their view point and “let people be.” You have your ways, your beliefs, your opinions—good for you. Let others have theirs.
One last thing: the earlier you apply this list, the happier your life will be!