Encouraging people to evolve and create new opportunities at any age.

Younger Next Year
I wrote this newsletter in late December as I was looking forward to my year-end traditions:  Christmas decorations, trying new versions of holiday recipes, visiting family in England,  followed by one of my favorite routines: making my New Year’s resolutions.  Truth be told, I frequently don’t keep them, so I have lots of repeats - which I accept without too much self-criticism.   So, the following article - “Younger Next Year” - was written in this anticipatory mood.  I had resolutions already in mind:  finally getting that last 10 pounds off, becoming healthier, stronger, more limber, adding core strength, etc.  In other words, my “Amazon woman” guide was in charge.  Please continue through the newsletter to my concluding remarks.  I hope you will find them amusing and helpful. 
“Younger Next Year” authored by Chris Crowley and Henry S.Lodge,M.D. was published in the AARP  magazine (October/November 2016 issue).

The authors ask “What’s the rest of my third act going to be like?”  “Is this gonna be any fun or just boredom laced with terror?”  And they tell us:  “…it’s up to you.  How long you live is 80% genes and 20% you.  But how well you live is 80% up to you and 20% genes.”  You’re correct if this sounds like my earlier newsletter about choices (see August and October newsletters about becoming potted plants).

Crowley and Dr. Lodge have teamed up to produce best-selling books and seminars.  They say if we follow their advice, we can put off 70% of normal aging till the very end.  “You can actually skip 50% of all the major diseases and accidents…”  
The catch to these glowing promises – and you knew there would be one – is actually three-fold:
  • We have to work out – pretty hard – 6 days a week
  • We have to quit eating “garbage”
  • We have to care about something – other people, or a cause, or faith.

I really recommend reading the entire article.  It’s thorough and entertaining.  Here are some highlights:
  • Lots of movement plus balance and strength training,
  • A diet of 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% whole grains and 25% meat, poultry and fish.  We can have wine, but no more than two glasses a day for men and one for women. 
  • Connecting with others.  I love these quotes:  “Altruism is a biological need.”  And “Connect, commit, and care!”

I went to England with this article in mind....
I got a sinus infection in England.  Thinking it was just a bad cold, I “doctored” myself with very small doses of antihistamine, some cough medicine and LOTS of citrus.  My “Amazon Woman self” (hereafter called AW) was in charge. Shortly before leaving, I pronounced myself “recovered.”  On the trip home,  fellow passengers were obviously sick - coughing and sneezing.  Home in sunny Florida, with my self-diagnosis of “perfectly well”, I plunged immediately into garden work.  I bought a new fire screen with receptacles for 15 candles – all of which I lit for a pleasant affect (LATER to learn that candle smoke often triggers Asthma).  The end result:  I became really, really sick.  After many days in bed, it finally dawned on me that I was having a serious Asthma attack. 
My husband begged me to see a physician.  I returned, reluctantly, to an Asthma specialist I had seen several years ago.  To be honest, I was surprised she gave me an appointment, since I hadn’t heeded her advice previously.  The diagnoses:  acute sinusitis, acute exacerbation of Asthma, allergic rhinitis, etc.  So, you see, I obviously didn’t really need to seek medical attention!!!
I’ve begun 2017 cancelling events, patients, sports, gardening.  I’ve been in bed (pouting) a lot – with plenty of time to think.  I’m glad I didn’t write my Resolutions earlier because my NEW New Year resolutions will be written with the help of a new internal compass. Amazon Woman (AW) has been in charge for quite some time.  She’s now been assigned a different position.  She can remain – but she’ll have to be on the sidelines, rather like a cheerleader when I need her.  
The idea of another compass occurred to me in this time of forced quiet reflection – an unexpected gift from the illness:  the image of the Serenity Prayer. Written by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr  (1892–1971)
The Serenity Prayer was later adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs. * It’s often pictured on an equilateral triangle - one of the most stable basic shapes in geometry.  (Triangles have strength -  supporting pressure from other forces.  Each of the three sides supports the other two.)  *

The best-known form of the Serenity Prayer shows the first line – “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” – ascending from the base to the tip on the left.  The next line, “Courage to change the things I can”, is on the right, descending to the base, and finally, on the base -supporting the prayer – “And wisdom to know the difference.”  Using this image as my compass, my resolutions will need to include:

Acceptance that I must be pro-active with my health, in particular (AW needs to be silent on this one since she doesn’t like to think about vulnerabilities).

Courage to change things that are not working for me in my life. (AW will like this.)

 And a determined commitment of more quiet time – to gain wisdom.     
 *Information on the Serenity Prayer and triangles from Wikipedia.
Continuing the conversation..... 

Another recipe- from Edie, one of the "Pages" from Eavesdropping, Thanks Edie

Ingredients for a Happy Home- source unknown
5 cups of love 
3 cups of forgiveness
5 spoons of hope
4 quarts of faith
2 cups of loyalty
3 spoons of understanding
1 cup of friendship 
2 spoons of tenderness 
1 barrel of laughter
Take love and loyalty, mix it thoroughly with faith.  Blend it with tenderness, kindness an understanding.  Add friendship and hope, sprinkle abundantly with laughter.  Bake it with plenty of sunshine and serve it daily with generous helpings.
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