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Healthy Aging

By Sheryl Kraft

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With the holidays approaching, it’s inevitable to reflect inward. Actually, I don’t need that excuse – I tend toward introspection, sometimes to a fault.
 
When I was having dinner with my good friend Robin the other night (we’ve gotten into the habit of Monday night at the movies, preceded by a meal – kind of bordering on the early bird dinners I always make fun of. You know, the ones that the “older folk” in Florida go to at 4:30 in the afternoon?) I don’t know about you, but when a movie starts at 6:45 PM and gets out close to 9PM, the thought of going out for dinner afterwards – and probably not being served until close to 9:30 – doesn’t thrill me. I guess I AM getting old…
 
Anyhow, we’ve been enjoying dinners together for the past couple of weeks, since there are finally movies we actually want to see (saw “An Education” and “The Secret Lives of Pippa Lee” – highly recommend both). Robin mentioned “Pirate Radio” (which I haven’t seen) and was relaying a scene when she told me that the thing she wishes she could have done, if she could do things over, was to be a singer in a rock band. Ah, fantasy.
 
So, it got me thinking: what are the things I wish I had done if I got to live my life over? It brought to mind the movie, “Peggy Sue Got Married (one of my all-time faves!) where she actually did get to do things over. And guess what? She did them pretty much the same as she did the first time around, even marrying the same guy that she was divorcing in her first life.
 
But I’d like to think that given the chance, I’d take a really dramatic detour and do something totally different and perhaps out of character. For instance, I fantasize about living out in California and running a vineyard, or living on a sprawling ranch in farm country and raising lots of dogs. Oh, and definitely this one: living right smack on the beach so I could wake up and see/hear/smell the ocean every single day and fall asleep to its steady, gentle beat.
 
Okay, how about smaller, more everyday things: Here are some that come to mind:

  • I would have taken things slower, forcing myself to sit still and relax with a book when all around me there is chaos and activity. Learned to shut out the world instead of absorbing it all like a sponge.
  • I would have taken the time to learn how to fix a car when my father used to make me watch him work under the hood instead of rolling my eyes and sighing with boredom.
  • I would have stayed longer at the beach instead of worrying about getting on the road because I’d hit traffic.
  • I would have listened less to other people and listened more to my heart.

 
How about you? What would you do if you had to life your life over?
 
Happy Holidays, to all my loyal readers!