A “Note to Self” piece I wrote two weeks ago on preparing for old age went viral in unexpected ways.
Of the many readers who wrote to me, the piece that stuck most is replicated here with some edits. It’s from an undisclosed author so I cannot give credit. It is entitled “Between 60 and death”.
I extracted precious gems from it. I hope you will too. Here goes. It’s time to use and enjoy the money you saved up.
Don’t just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Spoil yourself. Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren.
You’ve taken care of them for many years, and you’ve taught them what you could. You gave them an education, food, shelter and support. The responsibility is now theirs to earn their own money.
Enjoy your money with your partner. Always buy the best items for them. One day, one of you will miss the other, and the money will not provide any comfort then, enjoy it together.
By the way, this is a bad time for investments, even the “wonderful” and “fool-proof”. They only bring problems and worries.
On health, keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise, eat well, and get your sleep.
It’s easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. Keep in good shape and be aware of your medical needs, keeping in touch with your doctor, even when you’re feeling well.
Remember however that pains and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older.
Try not to dwell on them but accept them as a part of life. Don’t stress over the little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life.
You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don’t let the past drag you down and don’t let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now.
Small issues will soon be forgotten. Keep love alive. Love your partner, love life, love your family. Value and keep friends close. Remember, you are not old if you have intelligence and affection. Always stay up to date.
Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. You’ll be surprised what old friends and new ideas you’ll meet.
Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideas as you, but they are the future, and will take the world in their direction.
Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them that yesterday’s wisdom still applies today.
Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it’ll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better.
Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, dance.
You can grow a kitchen garden, play chess, dominoes, golf. Get out of the house, meet people you haven’t seen in a while, experience something new.
Travel well, go to museums, go walk through a park. Volunteer to do something that helps others. It will lift your spirits.
If you’ve been offended by someone – forgive them. If you’ve offended someone - apologise. Don’t drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter.
Laugh. Laugh away your worries. Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one.
Many never get to this age, never get to experience a full life. Finally, remember to pray daily and to keep a good relationship with the Almighty. Nothing matters more. Over to you!