Tuesday, July 22, 2014


The speaker, addressing a group of "mature" women,  talked about maintaining quality of life into old age. Her three points:

  • Stay mentally active.
  • Stay socially active.
  • Stay physically active.

She advised the crowd of mostly white-haired ladies to stay mentally active by reading, studying their Bibles, working puzzles, tutoring young people, taking continuing education classes. She advised her listeners to stay socially active by maintaining friendships and family relationships and by getting involved in community organizations and activities. She advised the group to stay physically active:  walk, dance, sign up for an exercise class.

Her three points lodged in my brain. I think she gave excellent advice to the senior women she addressed. But I think her advice is also appropriate for women of any age.

Are you a young newly married woman? It is so easy when your eyes and heart are filled with Prince Charming to reorient your entire world so that it revolves around him. What you think, what you do, who you spend time with - it all becomes wrapped up in the intoxication of "happily ever after" with your beloved, and old friends and former interests are often laid aside. Not only is this unbiblical - Christ should be our center, always - but it puts an awful lot of pressure on Prince Charming to meet all of your needs. That's really not fair to him.

If you are still living in the glow of being recently married to that gorgeous man of yours, here is some advice from an older woman:

  • Stay mentally active. Read, work the crossword, take a continuing education class. Do something to stimulate your brain.
  • Stay socially active. Understandably, your priorities are different now and your primary relationship is that with your husband. But do make the effort to maintain old friendships - call, email, meet for coffee. Look for opportunities to make new friends, too.
  • Stay physically active. This is even something you and Prince Charming can do together! Walk, dance, take an exercise class.

Are you a mom with little children? Maybe even lots of little children? That's an exhausting calling, one that takes every ounce of physical, mental, and emotional energy you've got. Your brain turns to oatmeal. (Do you find yourself speaking in only one-syllable words now? Are your eyes glazed in stupor at the end of the day?) You have no time or money to meet with friends for coffee. And chasing toddlers, cleaning up messes, and fighting the never-ending battle with laundry leaves you too exhausted to even think about exercise classes. All you really want is a good night's sleep and a day at the beach, alone!

Here is some advice from an older woman, one who had lots of little children:

  • Stay mentally active. Read, work the crossword, join a book club, write. Too tired? Too poor? Then just do what you can. Read a little bit. Blog a little bit. Write a new word and its definition on the bathroom mirror each week. The point is - just do something, anything, to get those gray cells firing!
  • Stay socially active. Yeah, this one is really, really hard when you have small children. Join a play group, where the kids can play while moms talk. Get to know the lady living next door. Invite yourself over for coffee. Bake her some cookies. Let the kids color her a picture. Attend school board meetings or community events. Too tired? Do it anyway. You need interaction with other adults.
  • Stay physically active. Yeah, I know - you're too tired to "stay physically active"! Maybe you don't have the strength or motivation to train for a marathon, but do take time each week to go for walks. Or do yoga after the kids are in bed. Or floor exercises while you and the kiddos are watching cartoons. Move your body - energetically, deliberately, regularly.

I'll be honest here: when my kids were little, no, I did not always make an effort to engage my brain, maintain friendships, or exercise. For a long season, I simply gave up on all of that. But you know what? Not only did my own quality of life suffer, so did my family's. So, if you have a martyr complex (like I did) and aren't willing to sacrifice the time and energy to take care of your mind and body for your own sake, then do it for your family's sake. Their lives will be better if you do.

Are you a 50-year-old, gray-haired wanna-be writer/homeschool mom/grandmother? Here's some advice:
  • Stay mentally active.
  • Stay socially active.
  • Stay physically active.

Thanks for the good advice, Judy!

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