Senior Savvy for the New Year

Jan Fowler

is author of the best-selling book, “Hot Chocolate for Seniors”(winner of national & international awards); winner of Gold Halo Award from the So. California Motion Picture Council for Outstanding Literary Achievement; winner of First Place Excellence in Journalism Award (SPJ –Southern CA); Town & Gown “Phenomenal Woman” Award; former television host & KSPA radio host of “Senior Living at its Best with Jan Fowler”; speaker, contributing author for “Savvy Women Revving Up for Success”; founder of Starburst Inspirations, Inc. 501(c) (3) nonprofit which supports Redlands Drug Court. Jan welcomes feedback and comments about her columns and invites you to leave her a message on her website.

“Senior Savvy for the New Year”

 “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”  Oprah Winfrey

Many of us are wondering how we can make 2020 an even better year than 2019— me included!  But in addition to my desire to boost my brain power, physical prowess, and ability to stay abreast of all the new dazzling data in medicine, politics, and technology in this fast-paced world, I still like to remind myself of some basic guiding truths. They are pearls which, for me, never seem to change.

Here are my favorites:

– Don’t “over-think” problems.  Instead, dive into solutions.

– Rebound from failure—the faster the better!  For even when we don’t win, we always learn more about ourselves by going through the process.  And sometimes a minor stall is exactly what’s needed for us to take a giant step forward.

– Nothing makes as much sense as common sense.

– The seven deadly sins—pride, anger, envy, greed, gluttony, lust, and sloth—pretty much cover it all.  Avoid them as often as possible.

– Remain open to new experiences such as untried music, food, art, and diverse people.  Learn a new skill, dance, or sport.  Take a class, tune in to a new channel, take a new route home.  Doing so helps ward off boredom in daily life.

– Make others laugh.  Trying to become their answer to prayer by helping to improve their quality of life fills the empty spaces within our own heart.

– Be joyful.  A good attitude is a great thing to have because it makes others want to be with you.

– Positive emotions have a positive effect upon heart health and longevity, so prescribe smiles, fun, and happy times for yourself.  Seek out others who are cheerful, upbeat, sunny, and rosy.  (Avoid grouches whenever possible.)

– And how about spending more time with people we love and sprinkling their lives with smiles of joy?

– Practice common courtesy as a way of life.

– Reach out to the homeless by donating food, hygiene supplies, or money to charities and homeless shelters. Seek out a need within the community—whether it focuses on assisting veterans, teens, or families with children–then strive to fill it.

– Be a playful player in the overall game of life.  And by the way, a positive attitude doesn’t just happen—we may have to work at learning to laugh more but it’s worth training ourselves to be happy and hopeful. Besides which, we increase our chances of living a longer, more productive life.  So use bravado wherever necessary if that’s what it takes to get us going.

– And above all, let’s always do our best to bring sunshine into the lives of others.

Please join me in making 2020 our best year ever.

“New Year’s Day.  A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written.  New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved.  Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discover.”                 

                                                               Sarah Ban Breathnach

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