With the right bucket list, 78 can be the new 64
It’s true that people who dream the big dreams, with the gaudiest aspirational goals, make the world go round. But as we age, humility and perspective become more valuable than our time in the 40-yard dash. One successful aging strategy is creating a Monthly Bucket List — short-term and attainable. Make your own list, of course, but here are nine possibilities to get you started.
Leave your town. You don’t need to Uber to Hopkins for this one. Get a ride to a restaurant or mall, or better yet go downtown for any reason. Just get out of your neighborhood for a few hours.
Meet a friend for lunch. Has it been too long since you’ve seen a dear friend? Invite her over. Or invite yourself over. Or meet at a restaurant. Connecting warms your soul on a cold day.
Leave a legacy. The easiest way to ensure you’re never forgotten is to tell a grandchild a story about your upbringing. If you’re lucky, she’ll record it with "StoryCorps" so HER grandchildren will hear about you too.
Open your mind. You’ll be more interesting to friends and family if you change the channel now and then. Hurry back to your comfort zone, but exploring the other side can be thrilling – a healthy jolt to the frontal lobe.
Make a friend. You may feel like Audrey Hepburn in “Charade,” but nobody truly has too many friends to add one more. Maybe you can find one when you ...
Visit a senior center. You’ll be shocked to find dozens of people just like you. They’ll be playing cards, eating lunch, hearing presentations, watching movies, taking an iPad lesson, crafting, playing bingo, doing yoga. You can’t imagine the opportunities to stay active and connected.
Go for a walk. Wait until it’s safe for daffodils, then start small. Stretch it out a bit after a couple of weeks, or change your route. And don’t forget the cell phone in case you’re too adventurous.
Start a book. Plan on another surprise when you’re reminded of what a gift your local library is. Among the perks of a long life: no book reports. So if you don’t like the first 50 pages, chuck it and try another.
Write a letter. If your long-lost pal lives in another town, skip the internet and write a real letter. The only thing more gratifying than adding a stamp and tossing it into the mailbox is receiving the response.
Curiosity, change and connection are among the elements that keep us young. Check half the boxes on your list every month, and 78 really can be the new 64.
Mike Nock is the founder of Thrive Westshore (thrivewestshore.com), which enhances the lives of retirees living at home.