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Advice from the Perspective of 100

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This marks the 100th posting on our blog since its inception October, 2010, and it gave me pause to stop and reflect on what one learns at 100.  So, whom better to ask than people who have had 100 birthdays, made it to that milestone and have been paying attention along the way.  I have gathered together here a short compilation of wisdom from some centenarians whom I felt had something to offer the rest of us.  You tell me what you think.

    Ruth offers advice on life and style.  Appreciate that Ruth lifts weights everyday and practices Pilates weekly, an activity she just picked up when she was 92.  Perhaps her most memorable piece of advice is about time and age; she says, “Don’t look at the calendar just keep celebrating every day.”  This, from a lady who does not wear blue jeans and makes herself get up and out every day for at least a short walk.  (And she is a real believer in the values of skin moisturizer.)

    Ephraim is a doctor still in practice at age 100  His advice to all of us starts with choices.  The two important choices that top his list include “choosing the right parents” and then “choosing the right spouse.”  The doctor still has a sense of humor, and you will appreciate that if you go to his site to see the rest of his advice which include “keep breathing.”

    Jessie is the other side of 100 at 105. She commends that peace is the root of happiness.  She does not count her time in years, but rather in minutes and the promise that each minute holds for her.  She also stays active and only just recently gave up her favorite activity, swimming, at the age of 101.

    Patsy is a quiet man at age 100. His secret is to simply enjoy life.  Part of that includes his weekly treat from the local pizzeria, one slice of thin crust sausage pizza.  And when he is asked what he means by enjoy, he responds: “I like to be sociable with everybody.”

    Fauja finished the Toronto marathon last year. This stands as a Guinness record, and Mr. Singh was very excited to make the distance on behalf of local charities.  Perhaps the secret to being able to run that far at age 100 is to not start, as Mr. Singh did, until you are 80 years old and also to surround yourself with friends as Fauja did for his run.  

So, the common thread?  Maybe the lesson we can take from centenarians is that it is not about a destination as much as it is about a journey.  It is not about having lived to 100; it is about having lived each day along the way.

Charlotte Bishop is a Geriatric Care Manager and founder of Creative Case Management, certified professionals who are geriatric advocates, resources, counselors and friends to older adults and their families in metropolitan Chicago.  Please email your questions to ccbishop@creativecasemanagement.com .

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