A few years back, my husband and I facilitated a grief support group for Grief Share . My friend, Cathy assigned me to 4 lovable golden girls, with age ranging from 67 to 81 years old. I was turning turn 50 years old that time. As I watched them, I couldn’t help but smile at these brave and feisty widows . Laughing, crying and talking with these golden girls opened my eyes to living old gracefully.
After going through the discussion on the “Emotions of Grief”, I asked Eden (not her real name) on how she manages to look so young and bubbly at 81 years old. Eden showed a calm disposistion and sparkle in her eyes .
In her perfect , modulated English diction, she listed three tips.
1. Of course you know, eat a healthy balanced diet. She added that she doesn’t take pills for any ailment. Just vitamins and minerals. Oh wow , and here I am taking prophylactic medication for my high blood pressure and diabetes.
2. Exercise regulary. I play tennis 4 times a week.
(I was pleasantly surprised at her stamina. Imagine I was 49 years old that time and I begged off playing badminton with Abe because of my shoulder aches.)
3. And most importantly, peace of mind.
I asked “how do you achieve peace of mind?”
Eden continues “I lift all my problems of the day to the Lord. Every day I have problems but when I pray before bedtime, I know the Lord will take care of me”
Of course I knew that. My thoughts rattled off. I was captivated as I listened to this “time machine” who shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Eden is not done talking yet . She explained that when her husband was still alive, they’d both pray together every night without fail. “And you know what? we never faced any heavy burden the next day”
Ack, I twisted my hands.
I felt guilty. A few days ago, my husband and I had a small argument over who did more work on the house improvements. Apparently , he felt guilty that I did most of the work. I tried to lift his spirits “you did a lot of work by giving me the money to buy this house”. He continued to whine. Getting impatient with his self-pitying tactics, I shut myself in my bedroom. “I have no patience for this”. Staying in my room while he got holed up in our meditation room downstairs helped us cool our heads off. But we should have talked it out again and prayed before calling it a night.
Eden’s tips to living old gracefully is not new. We all know these secrets but to actually see 4 single young-at-heart women assured me that old age is something to look forward to.
Ask any golden girl her secrets and you’ll probably get the same answers.