Celebrating my father’s 100th birthday last weekend got me wondering if there’s such a thing as a recipe for a long life. I don’t believe there is one recipe for all any more than my granola recipe is the only one. But here are a few things I have observed, many of which come from watching the example of my father.
1. Think not about what you don’t have, but rather what you do.
2. Find gratitude in every day.
3. Seek out people you love and make plans to see them.
4. Never stop making friends. The older you get the more you need younger ones.
5. Spend time every day with beauty, in any form; green grass and trees, a painting or postcard, a favorite song or piece of music, the smell of a flower, the face of a loved one, the texture and feel of a piece of clothing or fabric, or the fur of a beloved pet.
6. Make yourself a place of honoring whatever opens you to beauty. Beauty is a doorway to the soul.
7. Get enough sleep and exercise.
8. Eat in moderation. You can have something tempting and caloric, just not every day.
9. Laugh a lot!
10. And most of all, love and love, and love some more. Never stop loving. Let it begin with yourself. It widens the circle of love around you. I believe that of all the ingredients for a long life, love is the greatest.
What ingredients would you add to the recipe for a long life?
What other question(s) does this contemplation evoke for you?