hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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May 29, 2014

Don't give in to age -- keep busy

There’s no reason why anyone should crumble with age in your community. Just take a quick look around and you’ll see the opportunities that give geriatrics a bad name.

My mother, God bless her soul, had a perfect answer to it. Make the most of every day and don’t worry about tomorrow.

She lived to age 98 and was a poster child for her generation. When “tomorrow” finally came, she had no regrets, except one: That she could have done even more with her time. At 85, she finally left the Council on Aging in her city — a job she retired to after 40 years as a restaurateur with my dad.

I believe some of that refinement was passed onto me. While approaching the twilight years of my life, I find myself busier now than when I held a full-time job.

A day doesn’t go by when I don’t remember where the time went. As long as the day ends on a positive note, I feel enriched. It doesn’t have to be a marathon accomplishment, either. Something small works just as well.

Maybe running an errand for someone or visiting a patient inside a nursing home. Perhaps calling upon a school or hacking out a column. It’s all about living longer without growing older.

Now, don’t go turning the page on me. Hear me out.

If you find life boring, then take another approach. Get involved. Find yourself a positive outlet. Put a little zest into your day.

Sign up for a course at a community college. It’s the best deal in town. Go back to school as an octogenarian and become the envy of your children and grandchildren. Talk a friend into joining you. The opportunities are endless here.

Maybe you’re a lot like me and don’t pay attention to the surplus of bulletins and brochures that arrive through the mail each day. Sometimes, the urge hits you.

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