I was sitting in the waiting room at my chiropractor’s the other day and I picked up a slim paperback book as I was waiting. It offered easy to follow, sensible, ways to maintain good health in order to prevent us getting old too early.
So I read it. Quick smart! And as I read it made me smile 🙂 for a number of reasons.
The book was called “Don’t let the Old Girl in,” by Robert C. Gould and there was a matching book called “Don’t let the Old Man in,” which of course I had to buy for Dave. (He wasn’t amused. I don’t know why 😉 because it contains lots of great health tips for men.
Dave looked at his gift, and tilted his head, as if he thought that I thought he was getting old, and really he didn’t want me to think that at all! So I had to do a bit of explaining!
But I’d read part of the female version of the book in the waiting room and kept nodding my head, realising how much of it was true, and in minutes I devoured the no nonsense health tips for women. I also thought about the funny things about ageing, and how there are some things we can do every day to prevent us becoming old before we actually have to – at least before things are out of our control.
The preface reads:
“If you believe you will live forever; if you believe you are too old to change then read no further. Either you know it all or are just too lazy to reach for the possible.There is nothing for you here.”
Well, I had to read on because I don’t believe that.
You can probably read “Don’t Let The Old Girl In” in about an hour, it’s a manual which had me nodding in acknowledgement that there are aspects of my lifestyle where the old woman is letting herself in uninvited, and it made me know that I wanted to stop her before she gets her wrinkly foot in over the threshold.
I’m not saying I want to be younger, or that I’m going to be mutton dressed up as lamb. No! No!
Make no bones about it. We are in the last quarter of our lifetime. It’s an age where old age begins, whether we want it to or not, but it’s also an age where we don’t have to really let the old girl in just yet.
We have to face new challenges, some may call it an old age crisis,and this might make us feel uncomfortable, uneasy and worry about the direction our lives are going in.
So we should take some time to figure out how we are going to move forward and adjust our lifestyles to the changes that our lives demand.
Health Care and patching things up.
This will include paying more attention to health care, healthy eating, healthy living and finding new ways to do old things.
Age can creep in without us really seeing it happen. Or it can feel like a wasting condition. Or we feel just like we have to keep on patching things up.
But it doesn’t have to, not all the time.
What gives away your age?
What’s sad but real, and the author alludes to this too, is that *the young* are certain we are old – although at heart we probably feel as if we are still in our thirties! We might say to ourselves that we don’t feel or look old, but that’s not how either our children or the shops salesgirls see us!
We don’t want to be regarded as old people. We probably don’t want to look old, behave old or act like old people, but we will catch ourselves saying and doing things which give away our age.
Don’t say “When I was a girl” (too often!)
It might be because we use a certain word or phrase, or dress in a certain way, or talk about ‘the good old days’, or just don’t adapt to the newness of technology as fast as younger people do.
It’s just the reality of the ageing process. It’s inevitable. It’s not bad. But we don’t have to let it in uninvited.
The do-not-grow-old-before-your-time commandments
The book goes on to offer 15 commandments, each with a brief anecdotal justification and affirmation statements to assist in their execution. There’s a daily check chart and Will Shakespeare’s perspective on the Stages of Life too.
Whatever your age, I think you’ll like it too.
For now, in brief, here are a few of the commandments from the book, along with some health tip commandments of my own.
Tips to maintain Good Health – and Keep that Old Girl Out!
- Accept regular social invitations no matter who they’re from.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Don’t eat empty calories from processed foods, and do cut down on alcohol.
- Laugh every day. Be with someone or phone someone who makes you chuckle.
- Keep moving and exercise for an hour each day – you choose how or what, but just Do It!
- Dress well. There’s getting dressed in any old thing, and there’s dressing with thought, to look the best you can, everyday.
- Keep doing things for yourself – learn how to fix stuff!
- Do good turns every day.
- Get adequate sleep – for me it’s 8 hours.
- Exercise your brain. Read, play Soduko, do crosswords, take up bridge, try and remember all your computer passwords!
- Try to live a more simple life.
I’m giving it a go – living by these commandments, adhering to these daily health tips. I hope I’ll manage to keep the old girl at bay for a while yet, without trying to falsely look or act younger than I really am.
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