Staying young; your mental attitude and interactions with others positively impact your later years. My Mum was a really great example of how to maintain an ageless attitude.
Most of us know the importance of keeping physically and mentally healthy, and there is no doubt that regular exercise of mind and body are incredibly important, increasingly so as we age.I want to share with you a different twist on keeping young; one I learned from my beautiful Mum.
Monica Alice Wild was born in 1910 and lived through two world wars, the Great Depression and the 50’s floods. Hers was a tough life but she maintained a wicked sense of humour and a great sense of fun. Those qualities in themselves were a recipe for staying youthful, for if we lose our sense of humour and our sense of fun, we are sure to turn inwards. But it was something else that I witnessed in my Mum’s life that I think kept her young.
She hung out with young people. No, she wasn’t a cougar or a youth counsellor!
In many ways Mum had no choice but to be around young folk, after all I was a little surprise package that arrived when she was 43 – can you imagine that after a gap of 8.5 years since her last child?
When I was 18 and finally left home, Mum was the age I am now – 61. I can barely think what that must have been like for her, but it seemed just normal to me at the time and I believe her attitude had a lot to do with it.
It didn’t end there though, once I moved away Mum then had 4 granddaughters board with her, as well as a couple of other young locals. So she really did always have young people around her and because she was fairly broad minded she was often treated like one of the gang. She would often be sharing a glass of wine and a game of cards with a gaggle of younger folk.
Mum just didn’t judge harshly and she always made the most of every opportunity for fun. She was also very elegant and one of my fondest memories of her combines that elegance with her sense of fun.
She was staying with me in Sydney on one occasion and came out to dinner with a big group of my friends. As the night wound up, a male friend of mine told me he would deliver Mum home. I gasped at the thought of Mum in her frock, her court shoes and her handbag over her arm, getting into a topless Mini Moke and being driven through the streets of Sydney – but off she went, against my better judgement, no doubt laughing all the way.
It was this ability to just be part of what was going on, to observe without judgement that I am sure kept her young. She picked up that youthfulness almost by osmosis.
So as I entered my 60s I realised that there are certain things I had lost touch with – fashion and music being the most notable. I have begun to address the fashion aspect with little touches of current trends (more on that in a future post) but I have a long way to go on the music front. I need to keep working on this so I don’t get old before my time and just become another matron – no thanks, that isn’t for me. My surname is Wild after all; I need to live up to that.
(Image “Green Mini Moke At The 2007 All British Day Car Show In Adelaide Hills, Australia” by stephenliveshere is licenced under sa/2.0)