Role models for aging well

In less than seven weeks I’m turning 65. Aging has never held much terror for me, probably because my mother was comfortable with her own. I have a hunch she would have kept her gray hair, as I have, had she not been persuaded by certain family members to youthify her follicles.

My mother’s age never seemed much of an issue to me since she was always an interesting conversationalist. Had we met outside of our family connection, we would have connected on so many levels that I think we’d have become good friends.

When I was living in Oakland, California, I spent a lot of time with two women I thought of as my decade friends. One was a decade older than I. The other was three decades older. The difference in age was irrelevant. What counted was that both were creative, lively, and interesting.

So to me what’s interesting about Octavio Orduno is not just that he was 102 when the Los Angeles Times featured him in a March 14, 2011, video. What delights me is that he didn’t switch to a tricycle until he was 100.

Even better, the retired aerospace mechanic still has strong opinions and a good sense of humour. His advice for longevity: a good diet, an hour of exercise a day, and some handstands, somersaults, and running.

True, aging has its downsides, but being on this amazing planet is no less delicious for me now than when I was new to it.

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6 comments for “Role models for aging well

  1. July 21, 2011 at 7:28 am

    All my life I’ve gravitated toward older men.
    More so now at 62.
    They’ve been where I’m going.
    Their wisdom washes over me.
    Nice sentiment, Cathryn.
    Charlie

  2. Laurie Mueller
    July 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    In a week we will be celebrating another 100th birthday at The Glenshiel. our third one in three years. Alfie tells us he’s enjoying his youth while he’s got it! But I know he’ll continue to enjoy it. He has inspired me to go back to the piano. He took up the violin 18 years ago and plays for everyone’s birthday. And I am 40 years younger than him.

  3. July 25, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Interesting, Charles – and one of the reasons I loved being still as a mouse in a room full of adults when I was a child. They’d forget about me and tell fascinating stories.

  4. July 25, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Good reminder life only ends when we die or give up. Alfie is an inspiration!

  5. Carol Lynn
    July 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you, Cathryn. My father is about to turn 90 and is going to go backpacking on holiday with his lady love (met and fallen in love with recently)(a good while after my mother’s passing). Life is for the living. As for the follicles…if we don’t tell them, they won’t know how many revolutions of planet Earth they have experienced? The spirit within does not count birthday cards…..unless we tell it that it should. Happy celebration of life. I often pause to think of how many on the planet don’t have the same gift – all the more reason we make the most of each moment of it as you so beautifully do.

  6. July 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Backpacking with a new love at the age of 90! Now that’s living fully. You are absolutely right in reminding us how fortunate we are to be celebrating the life we’re gifted with.

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