This is another post in an occasional series from my dear Aunt Doris, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 94.
Being 91-years-old, people often ask me: “What’s your secret for getting there?”
My son says it’s fish, tea and vinegar. Maybe; I really don’t know. However, I do have a few do’s and don’ts that can’t hurt if you choose to follow them:
Eat a good breakfast. I always start the day with a good breakfast. My favorite is an egg with toast, hash browns, fried tomatoes and one piece of bacon. Oh … and of course, tea!
Don’t be afraid of fish. I also eat a lot of fish. All kinds: talapia, sole, oysters, eels. Yes, eels; I love ’em.
Eat all your veggies. I enjoy all kinds of veggies. I especially love spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. I’m also a big fan of potatoes and salad.
Don’t be afraid to splurge on other foods. I do like the occasional filet Mignon, and I love chocolate. Yes, I have a sweet tooth! Give me a Cadbury’s, a Kit Kat, or a box of See’s dark chocolate raspberry creams and I’m in seventh heaven!
Don’t smoke. I used to smoke, but I stopped 27 years ago. One evening, not long after having eye surgery, I was smoking only to find some smoke going in my one “good” eye. I stopped cold turkey right there! The next day I said to my then-four-year-old grandson, “Hey, Mark! I stopped smoking!” That’s when he said, “Praise the Lord! We’ve been praying you would!” Yes, there are healthier alternatives to smoking. Even so, I could never go back to smoking of any kind after that.
Never lose your sense of wonder. I can look at a sunset, a perfectly-shaped tree, a rose, or a new baby and it reminds me that God’s in heaven and all’s well with the world. And when I hear Chris Botti play “Summertime” on his trumpet I feel good all day long!
Encourage others. One “attaboy!” trumps 50 “told ya sos!” every time — and does more good too!
Get a hobby. Since I had my stroke over two years ago I’ve had to stop some of my hobbies; my right side is weak and it’s hard to paint stones or thread a needle. But I can still knit up a storm! I make hats of all sizes — for preemies to adults! A friend calls them “Lovey’s Lids.”
Exercise your brain. After my stroke I was happy to find I could still answer the questions on Jeopardy and solve the puzzles on Wheel of Fortune.
Keep a positive attitude. I now get around on a walker named … “Johnny.” (Of course.) I also keep a small pink horn attached to it; I get smiles instead of looks of pity when I honk it. Remember the old song “Accentuate the Positive”? Eliminate the negatives and — for heaven’s sake — LAUGH! Oh, don’t get me wrong. I do have my “Why Me?” days, and I’ll yell and rant like a banshee at times. But then I get it out of my system and I start laughing again.
All in all, I suppose luck has also played a part — but the good news is, if you’re careful, don’t do anything foolish and strive to always keep going, you’ll probably get there too.