Sunday, January 3, 2016

50 Things to Do When You Turn 50 - Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 1

This year I'll be turning 50 years old. When I visited the library recently, a book that was featured on the "New Books" shelf caught my eye: 50 Things to Do When You Turn 50 edited by Ronnie Sellers.

The book features short stories or narratives written by 50 people who share what they believe you should do when you turn 50. I had thought the book would be like a bucket-list of sorts...something to create a list of things to do and mark off. The book turned out to be more along the lines of advice that wiser, older folks are passing along to those younger than them who are reaching this milestone birthday.

It would be like if my parents had sat down with me and said, "Ann, these are the most important things that we want to share with you as you enter this new decade and season of your life based on what we learned in our lives." How I wish I would have asked them what they thought when they were still alive. I would have added it to this list.

This is the advice that I want to remember:
- When you hit 50, you have to stop complaining about getting old, the strangeness of it, the fascination, the horror, etc.
- When people ask how you are, tell them, "Absolutely great. Never better."
- Fifty is the time to try giving up television and newspapers and radio for six months or a year and see what the simple, unmediated life of direct experience is like.
- By 50, everyone can stand to lose 20 pounds, so do it.
- Eat to satisfy hunger; if you're not hungry, don't eat. As you get older, your metabolism changes, and now you can sustain yourself quite well on one meal per day and two snacks. So that's what you do.
- Find something in the here-and-now that absorbs you and take up with that, a garden, yoga, knitting...
- Turning 50 was harder because...there was a lot of real life going on. With so much loss [e.g., death of family members], it became about survival. It made me think, what's precious to me? What do I really care about?
- You know there isn't an endless amount of time. You just know it. But you still have to believe that you can change things. If you didn't believe you could change things, it would be horrible.
- You have to show up every day and hope for the best.
- Go with the hope. Look for what's hopeful and try to find that hope.
- Somewhere around two or three months before the big day, I started to be haunted by memories of a youth now irrevocably over. I had waking nightmares of blazing memories - things I hadn't handled well, stupid choices I had made and could not make over, chances I thought were never more to be retrieved. Grieving the glory of my younger years, I had to face myself and all the pain that comes   with that. Not to worry - all of a sudden the anxiety would lift.
- 50s are great because you don't care anymore what others think.
- Hold onto your sense of adventure and remember what's important.
- Facial lines are hard-earned proof that you've lived a rich, emotion-filled life. Take them all away and you end up looking like a blank, plastic-faced mannequin.
- Instead of fighting the body you have, accept it and make the most out of it. Focus on being healthy, strong, and fit. Commit to making smart food choices and exercising regularly.
- Beauty goes far beyond the physical and what you see in the mirror. It begins from within and it's all about self-confidence.
- 50 marked the beginning of a period of rejuvenation.
- Always being with young people is my way of staying youthful.
- People have to be comfortable. The most important thing that makes a woman feel attractive is being confident; in order to feel confident you have to wear clothes that are comfortable and that you feel make you look better. But ultimately, you just have to live your life and not think too much about it.
- Keep yourself agile in body and brain. Pay attention, be curious, be engaged, and live.
- Climb to the highest of places - whether that be within or without (or both) - and discover all you can be. Stride through life with spirit and strength. Hike for health, happiness, and harmony.
- Regular hiking transforms flesh into firm, defined muscle in a matter of weeks; cardiovascular-fitness levels improve; circulation and skin tone are rejuvenated; and the sport is a useful tool for combating stress and fatigue.
- Hiking improves eye-foot coordination and dexterity, and it's great for developing balance.
- Do yoga for about 3 hours each week. Begin with a gentle approach and then move to a more intense practice.
- Keep away from fast foods.
- Eat lean proteins. Stick with white meat chicken or turkey, pork, and fish; and trim the fat from all red meats.
- One way to reduce inflammation is to eat fish, such as salmon, regularly. An even better bet is to take a daily fish oil supplement.
- Load up on fruits and vegetables.
- Stick to whole grains.
- Eat nuts and seeds.
- Avoid fruit juices.
- Choose local and seasonal foods.
- Go organic whenever possible.
- Blood pressure should be below 120/80.
- Control the stress in your life if possible, or at least your responses to it. Try yoga or meditation.
- Osteoarthritis is a chronic, progressive, often crippling condition.
- Arthritis is enough to force you to use a cane or crutches, keep you from sleeping, or steal your ability to walk from point A to point B. When it affects your hands, it can make the simplest activity either miserably painful or downright impossible.
- Preference of osteoarthritis for the spine, particularly the lower back, is one of the universal miseries of mankind and the most common reason Americans miss work or become permanently disabled.
- Osteoarthritis can result from damage, injury, or even inherited weakness in any of the structural components that work together to create a healthy joint.
- Osteoarthritis can't be cured. So early on, the goal is to control your symptoms through exercise, simple medicines like Tylenol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen,or glucosamine and chondroitin.
- We build up a certain amount of bone in our bone mineral bank by age 20 or so and then we either maintain it or spend it.
- Maintaining a dietary calcium intake of greater than 1,500 mg a day and a vitamin D intake of 400 to 800 IU per day, and by performing weight-bearing exercises such as walking. It's hard to get enough calcium in your diet to meet that requirement, however. So plan on taking a daily calcium supplement.
- To measure the strength of your bones or bone mineral density is the DEXA scan.
- Your brain shrinks. In fact, your brain's potential peaks at age two, when it contains the largest number of cells it will ever have.
- That doesn't mean your brain function has to go downhill. You have to exercise your brain to maintain its health. If you have high cholesterol, are overweight, smoke, have diabetes, eat an unhealthy diet, or don't get enough physical exercise your brain will suffer.
- Stretch your brain, continue learning, expose yourself to new experiences. These can be as minor as taking a  new route to work every day and as major as returning to school for another degree. As simple as completing the daily crossword puzzle and as complex as learning a new language. How about a new hobby, like growing orchids?
- Aerobic exercise and resistance training appear to contribute uniquely to mental efficiency. They also help your memory by helping you manage stress.
- Really use your calendar. Add things that you'd like to or simply need to remember. For example, add exercise onto your calendar, reminders to get the furnace checked, to water the plants.
- See your eye doctor for a yearly exam. Make sure you are checked for glaucoma cataracts, and early signs of macular degeneration.
- Flaxseed reduces the risk of breast cancer and slows tumor growth. It also lowers cholesterol and reduces clogging in the arteries.
- Experts recommend eating about one-quarter cup of ground flaxseed or 1-3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil each day. You can  sprinkle ground flaxeed on yogurt,  cereal, soup, or salads.
- Consider teaching or coaching as a line of work.
- Your best move financially is to concentrate on getting your costs down. If you will need less to live on in retirement, then you won't need to risk desperate accumulation strategies now.
- Make cost reduction Plan A in your Late-Start Retirement Strategy. And the single biggest cost you can eliminate is your mortgage.
- If you are getting a late start on your retirement investing, getting your mortgage paid off ASAP is going to give you the  best, safest return for your money, not to mention great peace of mind. Get it paid off before you retire.
- Make sure your beneficiaries are current and up-to-date on your life insurance.
- Keep current documentation on what you own, including photos, receipts, and records.
- Select an executor or trustee for your estate.
- Name people to handle your financial and health care affairs if you are unable. This means executing a general power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and living will.
- Evaluate what portions of your estate you wish to be divided among people and charities (if desired). For children, decide if the money should be given outright or in trust.
- Inheritance: Go through grieving process first and then six months later determine how to best spend the money. Look at your debts first. Hire help to make sure you are making the best use of the money.
- Do catch-up contributions into an IRA.
- The rewards of philanthropy isn't recognition, it is the empowerment of using your voice and your resources to create change.
 - The Buddhist view is that you make yourself, or unmake yourself, all the time. If you behave well and cultivate your good qualities, they will intensify and you'll be better. You'll be happier. You'll b e a better person. And if you let yourself go, you'll be worse. That belief becomes the meaning of life - that you do more good things and become a better being.
- If you've realized that the really important things in life are friendships and kindness, that you've been most happy when you've helped others to be happy. Look back and remember the moments of your life that were the great moments - moments when you were  caring for another and forgot about yourself.
- Because of your age, you now have the some authority with the young. You can help them have a good life. Don't spoil them too much, but don't be too hard with them either. Help them find a good path - doing so can make you happy.
- If you ask, "Well, now I am 50. How can I use that well, to have a better moment?" Then you will find that turning 50 is an enriching experience. Live moment to moment. Help others more. Have more fun with them, and appreciate what is of value.
- Regrets can be a great teacher, too. People often fin themselves making amends on their deathbed. You've got the opportunity to fix things now, when you reach a milestone like 50, try to anticipate those future regrets and deal with them now.
- People do not regret not having spent more time with their loved ones. Not having read more poems. Not having looked at more sunsets.
- Live as if you're going to live forever. And live as if you're going to die tomorrow.
- Live your faith and enjoy the world.
- We will die. You cannot predict the time for that. So be prepared.
- As you move along, hopefully you mature. You learn more, you understand more. You become more introspective and less materialistic. You become more spiritual and do what you're expected to do in a more focused manner.
- Wisdom is o greater value than physical strength, and that therefore we should rejoice when we reach that stage in our lives when physical agility begins to decline but wisdom increases.
- The wisdom of middle age should include expanding your social network, making new friends to replace friends lost to distance or illness. It should include finding new interests, especially ones that stretch your mind. It should include a sense of obligation to give back to your community and your world some of what life has blessed you with. But most of all, it should include a sense of optimism, the feeling that, in the words of Robert Browning, "The best is yet to be, the last of lie for which the first was made."

1 comment:

Rita said...

LOL! A little late for me as I turn 65 in March. ;)