George Carlin on Aging

George Carlin was a very funny and brilliant guy (albeit a little raw at times). His take on aging is wonderful so I thought I’d share it with you. Enjoy!

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Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions. ‘How old are you?’ ‘ I’m four and a half!’ You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key.

You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. ‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m gonna be 16!’ You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life! You become21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30.  Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re Just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed? You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40.

Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50, and your dreams are gone.  But! wait!!!  You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would!  So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50, and make it to 60.

You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that, it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80’s, and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn’t end there.

 Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 
‘I Was JUST   92.’ Then a strange thing happens.. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. ‘I’m 100 and a half!’ May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

HOW TO STAY YOUNG 

Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them That is why you pay them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning.   Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever, even ham radio. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s   family name is  Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.  Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.


AND, ALWAYS REMEMBER: 


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Life’s journey is not to 
arrive at the grave safely 
in a well preserved body, 
but rather to skid in sideways, 
  
totally used up and worn out, shouting Wo’hoo,
‘Man, what a ride!

How To Awaken Your Inner Child

One of my favorites quotations is “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” Here is some sage advice I found in my archives on how to bring out that inner child in you.

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Do you remember how wonderfully carefree you were as a child? Children are typically honest, innocent, and sources of steady outpourings of love. They are naturally curious and ask questions; they’re mystified by objects and experiences we have long since chosen to take for granted. I certainly miss that outlook on life and every once in a while, letting a childlike mentality take control is exactly the springboard I need to help me feel refreshed.

Jump back into those adorably small, yet ridiculously patterned outfits, and let your inner child emerge once again.

  1. Jump for joy.Today, getting excited may involve a gasp or a fist-pump, but remember when you literally jumped for joy? We should learn to employ that vigorous enthusiasm to our lives a bit more often. And if you find the act of jumping too embarrassing (a very adult outlook), then at least allow your soul to jump for joy. Do something that you know will give you that sensation of happiness. I’m sure you won’t regret it.
  2. Believe in miracles.In a world where research is the basis for drawing conclusions and reason is rewarded, allow yourself to believe the unbelievable in life. The word itself, miracle, often seems magical or childish. But don’t let the unexplainable just slip by without at least a nod of recognition. Believing in miracles allows these experiences to be much more valuable. Help them along by allowing your imagination to get involved.
  3. Nourish your inner child by being completely silly with friends or by enjoying an activity you wouldn’t normally do. Taking that step to simply play and expend energy will produce a newfound sense of awe. The feeling of wonder that comes with peeling back the layers of thought and assessment is lost all too often in adulthood. With that in mind, play before you give it a second thought, and let the thrill of life take over.
  4. Draw outside the lines.It seems so simple, but we spend our days caged in by boundaries and consequences. While these concepts define our comfort zone, sometimes tearing down those walls and exposing our imperfections takes us to a place of greater learning. A child’s uninhibited attitude toward tasks and challenges is admirable, and certainly something to learn from.
  5. Love unconditionally.Why do we tie strings to our love? And when did we learn to do that? One of the most beautiful things about children is their ability to love. They love unconditionally their families, their neighbors, their everyday experiences, and people from all walks of life-they love questioning the world itself! It’s amazing (and disappointing) that we can lose this ability as we grow. Reclaim your ability to love unconditionally-even if it’s just for an hour.

I hope that some of these tips bring back old memories and attitudes that you’re willing to rely on once more. It’s amazing how simple and positive a child’s outlook is. I suppose that with time and experience, our perspective becomes convoluted and much less naive (with both positive and negative influences). Nevertheless, relish your inner child, and enjoy the simplicity and beauty of living all over again.

Have a happy childhood and keep growing young!

Check out my “Living Your Life To the Fullest” book series at amazon.com/author/lindsaycollier

 

What If the Hokey Pokey Really Is What It’s All About?

A while back, I bought a cap with this caption on it. For some reason, when I put this hat on I tend to loosen up. This thought reminds me that perhaps I shouldn’t take life so seriously. Don’t take me wrong – there is definitely a serious side to living a happy life. But perhaps we can get to that point by letting go of our feeling that life is so serious.

For those of you who are golfers (or perhaps engage in other similar sports) you may already have noticed  that sometimes the harder you try, the worse you become. My worst days of golf are usually those times when I’m trying too hard. When that happens, I often tell myself to “Loosen Up”. Don’t be so serious and just let it flow. The results are sometimes amazing. I found this also to be  true when I was an active skier and tennis player (Oh to have those days back again). In my book, How To Live Happily Ever After; 12 Things You Can Do To Live Forever, I give an example that might just help you to change your thinking in this regard:

The nucleus accounts for almost all the atom’s solidarity yet occupies one million millionth of its total volume. The rest is empty space (with electrons spinning around). Bodies are mostly empty space. The solid matter for all the human bodies on earth lumped together would be no bigger than a pea. The solid matter for the entire world would fit inside a football stadium.

Kind of puts a perspective on things, doesn’t it?

So the next time you find yourself being much too serious, take a good deep breath, and ask yourself. “What if the Hokey Pokey Is What It’s All About?” Lighten up, loosen up. and just go with the flow. You may really surprise yourself!

Speaking of lightening up, let me leave you with some sad news about the loss of the author of the Hokey Pokey.

Larry LaPrise, author of ‘The Hokey Pokey’, dead at 93

Keep on Growing Young.

 

A Very Funny Look at Aging (Even if you are just growing young)

I have been teaching two courses at The Villages Enrichment Academy based on two of my books. One course is called, How To Live Happily Ever After; 12 Things You Can Do To Live Forever – Guaranteed! The other is called Add Humor To Your Life; Add Life To Your Humor. As time permits, I usually share the following video and the people love it! Fritz Coleman, a weather-caster for NBC in San Diego gives us his view on aging – and I think you are going to love this! Share it with your friends (and tell them about the Growing Young Site too).

 

By the way, I find that leading these courses has been a wonderful way for me to stay on track with my own learning. Also, I will venture a guess that just about all of you who are reading this have the knowledge and capacity to teach some courses of your own. Is there an adult learning center somewhere near you? Do you have some topic(s) that may qualify as somewhat of an expert? (of course you do).

If you are not sure, you may want to start by taking some of the courses offered. It’s never too late to pour some more stuff into that brain of yours. Your brain will love you for it! After taking a few of these courses you may get the bug to take on one of your own.

Go for it!

10 Ways to Start Losing Weight, No Matter How Unmotivated You Are

I was impressed with a recent article from Silver Sneakers and thought I’d pass it on.

By Christa Sgobba |

Shedding pounds does not require a complete diet-and-exercise overhaul. Do this instead. For us mature folks, weight is easy to gain, and sometimes hard to lose. This is some good advice.

older woman smiling on couchYou know you want to lose weight, and you have a pretty good idea of what you should do to make it happen. You just need to get started. And unfortunately, that’s often the hardest part.

When motivation is lacking, remember this: Shedding pounds does not require a complete diet-and-exercise overhaul. In fact, starting small is often the best way to meet—and maintain—your weight loss goals, says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., founder of CORE in Boston. The good habits you adopt can snowball, leading to bigger changes down the line too, he says.

Here are ten ways to start losing weight with minimal effort.

1. Eat Foods That Hydrate You

It may sound counterintuitive, but eating more food can be a key to weight loss—as long as we’re talking about foods with a high water content, says Christine Rosenbloom, Ph.D., R.D., author of Food and Fitness After 50.

Eating water-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, or broth-based soups can fill you up, leaving you less likely to overeat on more calorie-dense foods, she says.

In fact, a study published in the journal Appetite found that when people ate a broth-based vegetable soup 15 minutes before a pasta lunch, they consumed 20 percent fewer calories overall, compared to when they just ate their main meal. The researchers believe the soup slows the rate at which food moves through your digestive tract, which can increase feelings of satiety.

There’s a mental benefit too: Seeing more food in front of you can make you feel less deprived, Rosenbloom says. And that can cut your urge to end your meal with a calorie-rich dessert.

Try starting your meal with a broth-based soup, even if you’re eating at home. Not a soup fan? Look for other ways to include more water-rich foods to your plate. “Add two or three leaves of lettuce or more tomato on your sandwich,” Rosenbloom says.

2. Wake Up to Protein

Eating a protein-rich meal in the morning can set you up for a whole day of healthy eating, Rosenbloom says. That’s because, like hydrating foods, protein boosts satiety. And if you’re feeling satisfied, you’re less likely to graze all morning.

“Aim for 30 grams of protein at breakfast,” she says, adding that most people get less than 15 grams.

Adding a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie is an easy way to pack it in: A single scoop contains roughly 20 to 30 grams, depending on the type you choose. If you prefer solid foods, “think eggs and a whole-grain cereal with filtered milk, like Fairlife, which contains more protein than the regular kind,” Rosenbloom says.

3. Give the Sweatpants a Break

One of the perks of retirement is not having to get dressed up every day. But living in yoga pants or sweats might actually be doing your belly a disservice since you’re missing out on the instant feedback of a too-tight waistband, Rosenbloom says.

“It’s a little bit of self-monitoring,” she says. Noticing your go-to pants suddenly feel tight can lead you to make changes to your food or exercise routine—which you may miss if you’re wearing elastic pants that are more forgiving. Your weight may change more significantly before you realize something’s up.

You don’t need to swear off sweatpants for good. Even trying on the same pair of dress pants every Sunday can be enough monitoring, she says.

4. Rearrange Your Fridge

If you’re like most people, the most nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods—think fruits and vegetables—are hidden in your crisper drawer, while the ready-to-eat stuff that tends to be less healthy remains front and center.

So when you pop your head in for a snack, what’s going to catch your eye? Probably not the produce stored in those drawers.

Keep quick, healthy snacks visible on the shelves of your fridge, Rosenbloom says. That means giving prime real estate to those apples or that bag of baby carrots. And use the opposite technique for treats: Store them out of sight so you won’t be tempted as soon as you open the fridge.

5. Pony Up for the Pre-Portioned Snacks

Portion control is key to staving off weight gain—and triggering weight loss. “When you’re just munching from a giant bag of potato chips or pretzels, it’s really easy to overdo it,” Rosenbloom says.

The most budget-conscious solution is to buy the cheaper, family-size package at the store and portion out servings into individual baggies. But if your motivation is lagging, that task will seem like a huge burden.

Instead, start by buying the smaller, single-serving packages at the store, Rosenbloom says. They may be a little pricier, but the built-in portion control is worth it. Once you get used to your eating tweaks and your motivation increases, you can start packaging them out yourself to save some cash.

6. Lowball Your Exercise Routine to Start

Think about how many times per week you want to commit to working out. Then ask yourself how confident you are, on a scale of 1 to 10, that you can hit that number each week.

If you give it a 7 or an 8, it’s probably realistic and a good place to start. If you give it a 4, then you need to reassess your plans. There’s no such thing as too small of a goal to start. The key is committing to something you know you can achieve—without question.

Once you come up with a number, mark each day you intend to exercise on a calendar, Gentilcore suggests, so you can actually cross it off. “There is just something magical about checking something off that provides the motivation to continue with it,” he says.

7. Set a Goal That Has Nothing to Do with Your Weight

Instead of telling yourself you want to lose X number of pounds, challenge yourself to knock X number of points off any lab readings that may be high, like blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

“I like to work with people to focus on their health instead of their weight,” Rosenbloom says. “You start eating a little better for the health issue, and before you know it, a couple of pounds are coming off.”

You can use this trick in the gym too. Simply choose a fitness goal you want to reach, and then work toward meeting it. “Performance-based goals are pretty much the way to go for every population,” Gentilcore says. It could be anything from walking a mile nonstop to performing 10 reps of a bodyweight squat.

“You’re putting in the work toward reaching that goal,” he says. “The aesthetic stuff kind of follows automatically.”

8. Stop Doing Workouts You Hate

We often fall into the comparison game when we’re talking about exercise, Gentilcore says. For instance, if your friend dropped 15 pounds walking on the treadmill for an hour each day, you might think that’s what you should do too.

But if exercising on a treadmill makes you want to claw your eyes out, it’s not going to be a sustainable plan—nor is it going to motivate you to get moving when your couch looks extra-inviting.

“There’s no golden rule that you have to do any one exercise or any one methodology,” Gentilcore says.

Consider swapping the treadmill for a hike outside, or get your blood pumping with racquetball instead of using any cardio machines at all. Don’t like free weights? Stick to machines—or give resistance bands a try.

“9. Build Your Support Team

A knowledgeable fitness instructor and encouraging exercise buddies can help you feel more confident, have more fun, and stay on track when motivation dips. And with SilverSneakers, you’ll find both types of support, plus:

  • Free gym membership at more than 14,000 gyms and fitness centers across the nation
  • Free gym fitness classes led by certified instructors who specialize in working with older adults
  • Free community fitness classes that range from tai chi to boot camp to yoga
  • Unlimited access to any participating location or class in the SilverSneakers network

10. Keep Moving—Not Just When You Exercise

Even on days you can’t get to the gym or do a formal workout, there are many opportunities to move and burn calories. Take every opportunity you can find to keep moving.

Helping Others/ Helping Yourself

This is one of my favorite stories about the value of helping others. There’s a great lesson in this story – what goes around, comes around. Always keep an eye out for someone you can help.  Helping others is one of the best ways I know to feel good about yourself.

 

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was those chills which only fear can put in you. He said, “I’m here to help you, ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.”

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, “And think of me.”

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: “You don’t owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do, do not let this chain of love end with you.” Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard… She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, “Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.”

That’s nice, isn’t it? Keep this story in mind the next time you get a chance to help someone.

The Mind and Body Challenge

 

It’s the New Year and many of us have made resolutions to exercise more.  Often these resolutions kick in on January 1st and are forgotten about by January 12th. In my book, How To Live Happily Ever After, I delve into a number of things you can do to maintain a healthy body and a healthy mind. The way I look at it, our bodies, and our brains are designed as working machines. If you don’t keep them working, and continually challenge them, they will just atrophy and rust. “Challenge” is the keyword here, and I believe you need to exercise both your body and brain to just past the “comfort zone” to get maximum benefit. Any exercise is good, but the best exercise is to work to the end of your comfort zone – and then add a little more. Like a good sports car, you need to take it into the “red zone’ every now and then. You need to know when to stop though, because you shouldn’t overdo it.

It’s all a matter of getting into a few habits. For your physical health, get into the habit of walking, swimming, golfing, racket sports (tennis, pickle ball, racquetball etc.), biking, or working out. Stick to it and have fun with it. Remember, those abs of steel are probably not coming back, and you’re not exactly trying out for the Olympics. Your goal is to just keep your mind and body healthy.

To keep yourself mentally challenged, get into the habit of engaging in something that stretches your thinking every day. First thing in the morning is always a good time for this.  I think of these challenges as being in four categories:

Word Challenges

This includes crosswords, Words With Friends, and Word Search, along with others.  There are scads of crossword books and apps available, or you might just get in the habit of solving those in your local newspaper. Most of the time, they start with a fairly easy one on Monday, and get progressively more difficult each day.  Words with Friends is a rather addictive game of Scrabble that you play on line with friends. It’s a fun, challenging way to sharpen you connection with words. Download it here and challenge a few of your friends, I guarantee you’ll love it.

Visual Challenges

Jigsaw Puzzles and those that ask you to spot the difference between 2 pictures are my favorites. My favorite jigsaw app is called Magic World, free to download here.

Logic

Sudoku is the overall favorite here.  There are dozens of books and some very good apps that can provide you with challenges at every level. If you are new to this, start at an easy level and work yourself up to one that really challenges you. My favorite app is called Finger Arts and you can download it here.

Memory

And then there pure memory games like” Trivial Pursuit” and” Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”.  There are a number of apps for both of these if you search. Or you may want to challenge your friends or family in a game such as this.

And, if you want some more mental challenges, buy this Brain Games book which is full of some very different challenges at all levels.

OK – get up and have at it!

 

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