Note to Self – A Guide to Self Preservation in my Senior Years

Often, we read about people writing to their younger selves, sharing advice they wish they had known in their earlier years.  This is done in the hopes that another younger person may read it & benefit from this sage advice.  An attempt to somehow lessen the stress & self-doubt a younger person feels as they move forward in life.

This got me to thinking.

At the age of 54, based on my life experience to date, what advice would I deliver to myself in my senior years?  If I had the chance to have a conversation with my older self, what nuggets of knowledge would I feel it necessary to share?

Hopefully one of my kids will have tucked this away in a safe place, waiting for the appropriate time to present me with my own words of advice.  Lord knows, I won’t be able to find it anywhere & I will most likely have forgotten my password to know how to get into my blog.  So kids, I am relying on you to make this happen, should you feel I need to read this!

 

July, 28, 2015

My dearest old gal,

If you are reading this, I am guessing you are in need of a little attitude adjustment. Consider this a friendly nudge from your younger self; to heed your own advice.  I have compiled a list of 18 suggestions for you,  all of them coming from my own head & heart, learned through the difficult process of dealing with my own aging parents years ago.  

I know what you’re thinking.  “18 is kind of a random number!” Be that as it may, I gift them to you, in hopes that you are of sound enough mind to receive them in the spirit they were written:  

1. Seek ways to put laughter in your day & maintain your sense of humour.

Sadly it seems when we get old, we feel we don’t have as much to laugh about.  We have most likely lost many of our friends, our family & possibly even our life partners.  Some days may feel unbearable, but I urge you to seek laughter.  Do not be crotchety!  Find someone to share a  good belly laugh with, one that starts at your very core.  Laughter truly is the best medicine!

2. Practice tolerance & try to stay young at heart.

I am guessing you are feeling like things have changed since you were a young girl. Rather than longing for the good old days, learn to adapt & go with the flow.  Talk to young people about the issues of the world today & listen to what their challenges are.   You are never too old to stop learning!  Be a sponge & soak up the news of today, while at the same time being able to share your wisdom based on your life experiences.  It’s a win win for everyone!  

3. Use your manners.

This seems like a no brainer but aging has a funny way of making you forget to use your manners. Please, Thank You & Excuse Me are as important now as they were when you taught your children to say them all those years ago.  Practice what you preached. It’s not okay to fart & not say excuse me.   Unless of course, you are in your own company.  In that case,  see #1.

4.  Use your filter.

I am not talking about your coffee filter.  I am talking about your social filter.  Think before you speak.  Don’t just start rattling off about things before you give pause to how this information is being received.   It will save you, your children & those around you, a ton of embarrassment.

5. Continue to exercise.

I know it hurts.  Most likely, you are filled with aches & pains, but for the love of God, keep moving!  If you can do nothing else but wave your arms in the air, do it with vigor! Remember the saying, “use it or lose it?”  It still applies!  Get up & move those old bones!

6. You don’t know everything.

Just because you are old, it doesn’t mean you are right all of the time.  Quite honestly, you have always had difficulty with this one.  I would guess as you age, it will be even more challenging for you.  Stand down my friend.  There are smart people still living, you may meet the odd one now & again, so be prepared to “agree to disagree”.  Just sayin’.

7. Be kind & generous in spirit.

These are qualities that have been of the utmost importance to you, all of your life. Extending kindness to people, offering them a safe place to fall if they need it.  Continue on this path, there is only good that come from it.

8.  Look for something positive each & every day you are gifted.

Quite honestly, seniors complain a lot!  I suppose after so many years, they have lots to complain about, but this can be wearisome to those around you.  I beg you not to be this person.  Look for the positive, don’t be the cantankerous old gal in the group.  Be the gal people enjoy talking to. Continue to embrace every day as a precious gift, seek a wee bit of adventure in your day & put a smile on your face.  Regardless of what age you are, a smile is a beautiful thing.  It can change a person’s day.

9.  Share your story.

You have had the benefit of living such a rich & full life.  Look through your photos.  You may not recognise all of the faces, but theses photos will remind you of how much love & joy has surrounded you in your lifetime.  How lucky you were to experience such amazing adventures in so many incredible destinations, collecting stories from each and every place you visited.  Share these stories, for they are so much a part of who you are.

10. Your children will most likely have to make some difficult decisions on your behalf.

This is a hard one.  At some point, our parental roles change & our children end up having to help us with life decisions that we may not necessarily agree with.   Trust me when I tell you this will be harder on them than it is on you.  Never lose sight of how much they love you & respect them enough to hear their position.  It is most likely for your own safety & well-being.

11.Practice Safe Sex.

I’M KIDDING!  I just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention. If you are still gettin’ some at your age, trust me, safety is the least of your concerns!  Sorry kids, refer to#1!  

12. Be grateful for the wonderful life you have been given. 

I read today, about a beautiful 20-year-old young girl, who was tragically killed in a car accident. I cannot fathom the loss her family is feeling.  I imagine the things she will never have the opportunity to experience. Be grateful for the fullness of your life, the experiences you have had & the people you have loved along the way.   If you are reading this, it means you have been one of the fortunate ones. 

13. Be patient.

This seems to be a really tough one for seniors.  There is a sense of urgency to every little thing they do.  Please, please, please, do not be the prickly senior with a short fuse at the bank, or in the line at the grocery store.  Seriously, where is it you need to be?   Give people the time they need, for you probably have more time on your hands than they do!

14.  You may need to lower your expectations.

High expectations are something you inherited from your grandmother.  It is not necessarily a bad thing, for it has served you well in what you expect of yourself.   Unfortunately sometimes your expectations are hard to meet, you may need to lower them just a tad.  

15. Don’t drink too much

Quite frankly, this has always been a fear for you.  Your family history has been one plagued with the wretched disease of alcoholism.  If your kids suggest you are drinking too much, stop!  I mean it.  Clean out the cupboards of anything alcohol related, get rid of it!  Period, full stop!

16. Listen to Music

You have always loved music, all kinds of music.  For some reason when people get old, many stop listening to music.  They find it annoying.  Their car radios & their disc players are silent.  Perhaps they have forgotten how to turn them on?  It’s a mystery to me.  I hope you still listen to music.  It was & is, good for your soul!  

17. Love your life to the bitter end.

None of us knows when life may end.  Savour every moment.  Find joy in your day.  Try something new, regardless of how scary it may seem.  Never give up on life before it is taken from you. 

18. Be someone you would like to remember.  

Leave your mark in this world as someone who loved life to its full capacity in every regard.  In doing so, when you close your eyes for the very last time, you will have lived a good life, a full life, an enviable life.  One you were so blessed to have had, & hopefully one that left an imprint on the hearts of those who had the pleasure to know you.

So there you have it, my dear heart.  I hope this advice has helped you in small way, offering you guidance in knowing the person you wanted to be.  

Hugs

Your younger self

I open it up to you my friends.  If given the chance, what would you add or share with your older self?

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418 Responses to Note to Self – A Guide to Self Preservation in my Senior Years

  1. Hi Lynn, I feel like this would be an all time note that I’d always hand it to myself…
    It also made me think that maybe I could write a note for my older self as well, even though I’m sure that I would look at it after 10 years and realize how naive and clueless I was, but it’s always a good time to connect with yourself no matter how old you are!
    Thank you for sharing this.
    Judy. 🙂

    • Lynn says:

      You are so right Judy, these points apply to people of all ages. Perhaps a revisit each decade might be in order to not only learn about the younger version of ourselves, but to enhance the list as we age! Thanks so much for visiting!

  2. If I may.
    Don’t put off what you want to do till tomorrow
    When you could do it today.

  3. bessie butts says:

    Paul I feel you!
    I intend on living my life as I wish from this day forth. Taking back my power of self has been a difficult task, however, I have made significant progress.

  4. Okay, quite frankly, this made me teary eyed. What a beautiful and complete post! I’m currently 22 and I know there are a few changes that I can make today that will benefit me throughout the life, especially in the old age. A habit is harder to change; so let’s make all the things we want to do in our senior years a habit; that’s my motto.
    This was a lovely post.
    Stay happy and blessed.

    • Lynn says:

      What a lovely comment Munazza! I think there is always room for improvement in our lives, tacking stock of the things about ourselves we are proud of but at the same time, recognizing the things we may need to improve on. I love your positivity!

  5. This is a wonderful perspective Lynn – absolutely things to live by daily – but oh so true as we age. Thank you so much for the look through, and always the humor. Blessings.

  6. diyanagpal13 says:

    Absolutely love it! I’m gonna try this too.

  7. nabomitadas says:

    Oh, Lynn,
    I am so glad that I got this blog post on my screen. Only at some points did it feel that it was meant for my “older self” LOL. Otherwise, this is a good note to me at all times.
    Loved and laughed every bit of it and that’s the good part about Fridays for me. <3.

    Reblogged this on https://mindeology.com

  8. nabomitadas says:

    Reblogged this on mindeology and commented:
    Found this lovely blog post and wanted to treasure it for my future self. ❤

  9. I just read this incredible post and printed it. I don’t want it to get lost in cyberspace if I want to read it again. And I will want to read it again.

  10. iamjane2017 says:

    Great reminders to start 2018! Thanks for these valuable lessons! God bless!

  11. manogya says:

    Amazing and complete! 🙂

  12. Just posted my story of the day. Com check it out

  13. Lynn you are a beautiful inspiration❤

  14. ekpettenyemajiye says:

    This is such a beautiful piece. Everyone needs to see this because.

  15. The D Theory says:

    A great concept for realisation… I loved reading it.

  16. Reblogged this on Happy Heart and commented:

    I find this “Note to Self” and helpful tips on ageing closed to reality than any other self help book I encountered… Come to think of it I may not be that person that can be considered as young anymore, ohh forget the numbers and read…

  17. Kaycee says:

    Nice tip. My best advice is the 18th advice. Loving yourself to the bitter end. Now that’s a pretty hard thing to do especially with the high rate of low self esteem creeping into the world

  18. I’m 55 and it sounds like good advice. Although, I do wish someone would have given me the same advice 20 years ago. It would have avoided a great deal of silliness.

    • Lynn says:

      It seems we often have to learn these lessons ourselves, regardless of someone trying to give us advice. Besides which, sometimes a little silliness is a good thing😂

  19. thetrixiepot says:

    Reblogged this on theTRIXIEpot and commented:
    i relate to this completely

  20. Don’t sweat the small stuff and try not to stress about the stuff you cannot change. That has been the hardest lesson for me to learn and one I struggle with daily. I really wish I would have taken this to heart at a younger age.

    • Lynn says:

      I don’t think you are alone in trying to learn this life lesson. Some days it seems much easier to let go of stress than others. Thank you so much for visiting!

  21. Sabrina says:

    I’m in that stage at 46 where I am caring for my mom. No one ever prepares us for that. Reading this, that is what caught my attention the most.
    I don’t want to be like my mom. Can we avoid getting old? Nope, but we can be and do what we went until our mind or body gives out. My mom just stopped living and it’s sad to see her just sit and do nothing at 70.

    • Lynn says:

      Sabrina, dealing with the challenges of our aging parents is exactly where the idea for this piece originated from. How sad your Mom has given up living at 70. Are there any senior support services in your area that might be able to assist?

      • Sabrina says:

        I wish I could get her involved. We have a local senior center, but she won’t go without me. Which is fine, but I wanted her to make choices for herself. Now it’s too late she can barely stand or walk. For any other services, I’m not sure what is available. I learned after daddy died that if I brought someone in her home to help, she will just fire them or tell them not to come back she didn’t need them. That is why I brought her to live by me.

  22. Thank you so much……I appreciate your blog post. I have about ten years on you and the things you said get truer every day!!

  23. Excellent suggestions. I’m not ‘old’ yet but I will be following up on these. Thank you. I have already written a letter to my older self but it wasn’t an advice letter. Perhaps I should consider writing a second one. Enjoy those twilight years when you get to them!

  24. adsolved says:

    Hi Lynn, I’m Kaidee. I am 34 to this day, and will be 35 in a few months. As the years go by, I think about what I could have done differently trying to change things as I go. It seems to get harder as I get older, but I think this is a great technique to start. I’m going to share this advice on my Facebook page Inspiring You Because You Can. Please Like and Share if you are a part of the network.

    • Lynn says:

      Thanks Kaiden. I think life is a journey of learning. We pick up life lessons along the way & although we cannot change the past, we have the ability to change how we conduct ourselves moving forward & to tackle goals we hope to achieve.

      Thank you for sharing! Keep on inspiring!

      • adsolved says:

        Thank you so much Lynn for those encouraging words. I too have face a life battle that made me realize that each day should not be taken for granite. We can be up today on top of the world, and have the world on top of us helpless the next. I am grateful to have overcome. It makes me feel joy when I see others with an awesome story such as yours. Stay inspired and keep inspiring. I’m with you.

  25. Sushmitha says:

    Loved it! Thank you for this wonderful post.

  26. chimdelu2 says:

    Wow very interesting and awesome, this letter is a very strong one and all the advice was in other😄😄😄and it made laugh and also admits to myself.it’s nice to take note of it all.Thanks for sharing it😍

  27. luvuga says:

    Reblogged this on Quirkyalone and commented:
    Some seriously good advice and not necessarily for the older you.lol

  28. K T V says:

    This was beautiful to read. Thanks for sharing!!

  29. silverarpita says:

    So beautifully expressed.

  30. Pingback: SoCM on a cold, wet day – Karyn's Domain

  31. This is a really good one 😍 I’m new here but this is my 2nd post. I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think. https://kristelangelique.com/2018/01/22/dos-and-donts-in-your-20s/

  32. peacewithin. says:

    Hello
    Finally found some like minded woman! Im back on WP and just turned 50 and wrote about it…Getting ready for my camp next month and trying to have a following on WP and still trying to figure it out!

  33. misswitch2017 says:

    Reblogged this on A Witch Awakens and commented:
    This is a spectacular read!! I can totally relate to all of it. Definitely worth the share

  34. dearmaria says:

    Funny, I’ve been contemplating about this since new year and found this , somehow got me an idea.. thanks ma’am 🙂

  35. fipwmum says:

    Wow so true and you’ve written it in such an amusing way. Thanks

  36. quasi40 says:

    Reblogged this on Site Title and commented:
    Loving this so much I will print it and send it to myself. The way the Post works it will arrive in 20 years anyway….

  37. ArùwàQueen says:

    Thanks so much maam❤

  38. dianemoments says:

    When I was 30 I happened to stumble upon a diary entry message from when I was 15 to myself at 30. The basic gist was not to be boring, hahah.

    • Lynn says:

      Diane, I love that! I too, have several diaries from my younger years. It’s been awhile since I dug them out to have a read. Perhaps it’s time to look at them again to see what inspiring messages I may have written 😂

  39. Nicky says:

    I wonder how you filter all those life lessons. Great job 😊

  40. Pingback: Note to Self – A Guide to Self Preservation in my Senior Years — Life After 50 – theirreplacable

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