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What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

Most of my contemporaries agree with me that it’s a shock to be in our mid-sixties. If a person is pretty healthy and clear of mind, it’s hard to feel that old, but the facts are we’re aging, and my body in  particular (but not uncommonly) needs more work than ever to feel fully functional.

First, my vision got worse — in my mid-forties and I had to buy reading glasses — my mother said it would happen! Several years ago, I had pains in my back and legs — oops, I have sciatica. Fortunately I’ve learned to control that with yoga, and at 58 tried it for the first time and fell in love with it. I don’t feel normal now unless I do yoga about three times a week. I stretch a lot at home, and am more conscious of my posture. I tripped on our front porch step recently, and saved myself, ending up in downward facing dog! Who knew?

I have not lost my curiosity. I am pursuing activities like blogging 365 days a year to practice my writing — and just to enjoy communicating better. Since retirement, I go to a children’s writing critique group, and I’m trying my hand at that — it’s not as easy as you might think. Those books with 500 words or less can be pretty hard to produce!

Travel is still something I enjoy very much, and look forward to our upcoming visit to my daughter’s house on the west coast. We explore a little more every time we go, and I’m hoping the weather is on our side so that we can do some walking on Mt. Rainier this time. We go a couple of times a year because it’s easier to fly two people west than 6 people east (and cheaper). I remember well traveling with young children, and while ours were pretty good travelers, it’s a lot simpler now when we go places — to see grandchildren and old friends in different places. One of my wishes is coming true this year: in September we’re going to Spain. The Spanish I started learning when I was 14 may now pay off! I’ve never been to a country where they speak Spanish, although I’ve practiced some with Spanish speaking friends or co-workers. Still learning!

The key to staying young is being active, curious and spending time with friends and loved ones. That means keeping my body in good condition, attending to its needs and then using it to do the things I want. The truth is, it’s much harder to stay fit when one is older, so it has to be a priority.

Another thing I plan to try when winter finally ends is bicycling. I’ve been practicing at the “Y”, bought myself a helmet and have set a goal. We have all kinds of bicycle paths around here. I just have to remember to not fall — I don’t think a downward facing dog would be possible flying off a bicycle.

I still take various courses online to learn how to do things I want to try — like WordPress through www.ed2go.com. I also have something of a Sudoku addiction. Learning creates new pathways in the brain — I hope this will keep me operating on all cylinders.

Of course, I know I’m approaching an age when I will be able to do less, my health may deteriorate, my mind may get slower. In ten years, I may not be able to drive anymore, so someone will have to take me to yoga! Then of course there’s the great beyond to think about…

Right now, I’m fine where I am. Grateful for a wonderful family, good friends, good health, and plenty to see and do.