By: Susan M Graham, Certified Elder Law Attorney, Senior Edge Legal, Boise, Idaho
Cornell University (my alma mater) created a Legacy Project to find out from those in the last third of their lives, what life experiences, both positive and negative, have taught them about living effectively. There is a new book called “30 Lessons for Living”, Hudson Street Press, by Dr. Karl Pillemer which gathers advice from more than 1,000 elders.1
Here are some highlights:
1. Marriage: ”A satisfying marriage that lasts a lifetime is more likely to result when partners are fundamentally similar and share the same basic values and goals.”
2. Careers: Be involved in work that you absolutely love and look forward to doing every day.
3. Parenting: Spend more time with your kids. Share in their interests and activities.
4. Aging: ”Embrace it. Don’t fight it.” Most of the 1,000 people found old age had more opportunity than they thought. If you are worrying about dying, then plan for it. ”Get things organized, let others know your wishes, tidy up to minimize the burden on your heirs.”
5. Regrets: Take advantage of opportunities. Say “yes” more. Fill out your Bucket List and start checking off items once they are done.
6. Happiness: Happiness is a choice, not what life deals you.
“Even if their lives were nine decades long, the elders saw life as too short to waste on pessimism, boredom and disillusionment.”
If you want to share your own wisdom and need help in getting started, on the web go to “New York Times.” Type in “Questions for Your Own Circle of Experts.” I bet your family and friends would be delighted to hear from you.
1“Advice From Life’s Graying Edge on Finishing with No Regrets” by Jane E. Brody, The New York Times, January 10, 2012, page D7.