Forgetting to Grow Old

I am 69. I’m old. But, I forgot to Grow Old. Most of us do – at least in our heads. While your body may betray you in differing ways, your mind doesn’t have to. I have many friends with whom I have discussed this question – “How old do you feel in your head?” Answers varied from 18 to 50, but the general consensus was that you are younger mentally than chronologically. And that is a very good thing!

I still have a list of things I want to do and learn. While I don’t have the daily stamina I used to, I think I will get all of them done. I don’t see it as a Bucket List. Yes, I am aware that I will pass away and maybe I should have a Bucket List, but I don’t. I just have a Future List. If I pass away before I get through that list – I won’t mind!

Last year I retired from a couple of jobs – being a Realtor and working in the office at my church. I don’t view “retirement” as a time to go sit down and do nothing! However, I have enjoyed a few days of exactly that. It was a luxury I had never experienced before. After raising a family, working and living life, it is wonderful. But I don’t stay there.

So, for those of you who cannot imagine being as old as I am, don’t worry. First, I hope you will live a long and blessed life and enjoy the privilege of growing older. Second, I pray that you remain young-at-heart. You can if you want. Here are some things that you will need to do along the way:

  1. Make your faith the most important thing in your life.
  2. Then let God put your life in order.
  3. Make lifelong friends of people who love you, not people who just want to change you.
  4. Keep your family as close as you can regardless of where you all live.
  5. Eliminate toxic things (and people) from your life.
  6. Learn to see those toxic things coming before you ever get involved.
  7. Practice saying “No” in front of a mirror – say it a hundred ways so that you’re prepared for every situation in which you need to say it.
  8. Look up – every day.
  9. Focus on the good and beautiful things in life – there are already enough people focused on the negative and bad.
  10. Find something beautiful every day. Take a picture of it.
  11. Know that you will encounter pain and it can bring the best of you – the part you might not even know is there – to the top.
  12. Be thankful and grateful for everything from the tiniest to the biggest things in your life.
  13. Speak your gratitude out loud every day.
  14. Have some fun along the way by finding peace and joy each morning.
  15. Laugh multiple times every day.
  16. Look ahead. If you do look back, only look for the good or the good lesson that came from the bad.
  17. Look forward again – keep your eyes on God’s love.
  18. Then give His love away to everyone you can.
  19. Learn when to quit and when to keep going.
  20. Learn that you don’t have to follow the words of every person around you unless they are words of wisdom. You’ll know the difference.
  21. Make your faith the most important thing in your life.
  22. Then let God keep your life in order.

Let your life begin and end with faith.
Let God have everything in the middle.

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