As my mom used to say, growing old is not for sissies. As usual, she was right, though I used to hate to admit it. But how does one grow older gracefully? Rule 1: Have a more regular filter on what you say. If you just say whatever comes into your head after 70 years, you may come across as silly, stupid, senile, or worse. So think before you speak. Rule 2: Eat less and chew more thoroughly. That way you are less likely to have acid indigestion or bloating or gas. Have Tums on hand anyway. By following this rule you are less likely to promote chest of drawers disease, which is when your chest falls down into your drawers! Rule 3: Do not groan or complain when you just can’t remember something that was supposed to be on the tip of your tongue—- until 10 minutes later. Your memory is almost full, and the short term memory is the thing that gets crowded out first from the limited brain space. Rule 4: Do not make the mistake of talking politics over a family dinner during the holidays. It will not go down well. Rule 5: Prepare your prayers in advance. My favorite gaff at Thanksgiving was when my father was suddenly asked by Aunt Harriet in Statesville to say grace after the meal was served, and unprepared he said ‘Dear Lord please pardon this food and bless our sins, in Jesus name, Amen’. He never lived that one down. Rule 5: If you do a lot of traveling accept the fact that you should move slower these days, look both ways before going etc. Remember slow and steady may not win the race, but at least you get there in one piece. Rule 6: If you snore a lot aka breath through your mouth when you sleep, go get tested for sleep apnea. It’s actually dangerous. Give your heart a break. You need better sleep. Rule 6: No amount of skin cream is going to eliminate all your wrinkles and blotches forever. Which is not to say you may not use some cream occasionally to ward off more skin damage. As in sun screen at the beach. And while you’re at it, get your moles checked from time to time (and I don’t mean the guys that dig holes in your back yard). Rule 7: Spend more time with friends and family intentionally, not just at the holidays. Rule 8: Stop complaining when your spouse says you need to buy bigger shirts or pants etc. It’s time to face the facts. Rule 9: Stop complaining about the constant turn over of technology. You know you are glad to have a cell phone that takes good pictures, and a computer that mostly works and connects you to all sorts of vital info. Rule 10: Spend more time at church and church events. If you are soon to go join the heavenly choir, you need to tune up here below starting now. And besides you want Jesus to recognize you when you get there.
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