“Aging Well is about Enjoying What Is, Instead of Focusing on What Was” Dr. Kerry Burnight
- It’s time to diversify your social portfolio: I loved this idea of not only diversifying our finances, as we get older but also our friendships. Dr. Burnight encourages us to make sure we have a circle of friends that include people who are younger than us, older than us, live close to us and also live far away. How strong and diverse is your social network? Can you reach out to someone younger than you and perhaps someone older? How are your relationships with friends who may no longer be living in the same town as you? Maybe this is the time, to spend time, nurturing and strengthening your circle of love, joy and friendship.
- How do you envision your older self? Dr. Burnight encourages us to really think about, reflect upon and plan for our future self. Not our younger self – but how we would envision living in our 60’s and beyond. If your partner is older than you, how would your life look without them? If you no longer were working would you have enough in your retirement to allow yourself to enjoy your golden years? Do you see yourself working into your seventies? Do you want to travel the world or start a new career when the one you are in right now comes to an end? Imagine yourself in your later years and then ask yourself: Who do I want to be with? What do I want to be doing? Where do I want to be living? And how do I want to feel?
- How do you want to be remembered? I love the saying by Mahatma Gandhi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you were to live forever” What do you want your legacy to be? How can you leave the world a little better than when you found it. We often think we can wait till next week, or next month to start living to our fullest, but time does not wait for anyone. Perhaps think of one thing you can begin today that will make the world a little better tomorrow.
- Beauty comes from enjoying what is instead of wishing for what was. Dr. Burnight shared that her most joyous elders are the ones who are at peace with their age, and are living their today as if it is their best day. I know as I move into my fifties and on the days when I have aches and pains I can sometimes feel wishful for my younger self, but this only wastes precious time. I invite you to notice over the next few days if you find yourself wishing for things of the past, simply notice and then gently and kindly bring your presence and attention back to the present moment.
- Do you have a lot Of POOF’s in your life? Dr. Burnight spoke about the importance of removing as many poofs as possible P.O.F – Points Of Frustration. I know there have been times in my life when something has really bothered me but I have neglected to do anything about it. Is there something in your life, something that you do have some control over that you find frustrating? What is one thing you could do tomorrow to shift either your perspective on the situation, or take an action step that could change the situation for the better? We often make the excuse of not having enough time, but the time we spend to make a situation less frustrating will be time very well spent.
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