I just received my 304th copy of the AARP Bulletin. This publication has arrived in my mailbox every month since I turned 50. I never read the Bulletin when I was in my 50s because I resented being seen as a senior in those days. Now I’m in my 70s and, quite frankly, I still don’t want anyone telling me how to eat healthy, boost my brain power, sleep well, soothe my gut, or improve my memory, or how to choose the best walk-in tub and chair lift.
In the May issue, I glanced at the lead article:
60 WAYS TO LIVE LONGER, STRONGER, BETTER
Here are some of the actual entries, with a few snide comments by me, added in parentheses.
Make your bed every morning. According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, people who make their bed every morning sleep better. (I told Mary Ellen that I was willing to let her make the bed from now on. She told me it isn’t who makes the bed, it’s the fact the bed is made. I was hoping to get away with that.)
Change your sheets every Sunday. People who change their sheets every Sunday are less likely to develop allergies that disrupt sleep. (No wonder I can’t sleep. We always change sheets on Saturday.)
Take a Do Not Disturb Break: Close your eyes for five minutes and don’t open them for anyone. (I tried that this past Friday just before I heard the Amazon delivery truck pull up. I raced outside to get my new headphones and collided with my mailbox.)
Store fruit in the front of the fridge. You will be more apt to eat a healthy snack that way. (Great idea, but now I’ve stepped on the quart of blueberries that scattered all over the kitchen floor when I jammed my arm to the back of the fridge to reach the Oscar Mayer bologna.
Do the dishwasher boogie: Do what you hate and turn it into a party. For example, dance in front of the dishwasher as you load it. This will remind you both how much fun you can have together. (Mary Ellen and I waltzed around the recycling bin after we rolled it to the curb Sunday night. The neighbors all laughed at us because they knew that pickup wasn’t until next week.)
Choose fragrance-free products. (For Mother’s Day, I bought Mary Ellen a fragrance-free perfume. Did she ever wear it? I’ll never know.)
Bring plants into your home: Plants make you feel relaxed and free of stress. (Wait a second, aren’t those plants illegal in Indiana?)
Take time to appreciate your partner’s skin. (I thought that sounded very romantic. Then AARP added: “Be on the lookout for moles.” Well, that kind of ruined the mood.)
Once a week, try to learn something new. (I did this over the last month and now I have four new things I’m lousy at.)
Decorate healthfully. If you generally keep chocolates on the cocktail table, hide them. (AARP is assuming if you are old enough to get their AARP Bulletin, you won’t remember where you hid them.)
Finally, do an hourly posture check: Sit or stand tall with your feet flat on the floor. Look straight ahead, bringing your shoulders back and slightly tuck in your chin. (Then take a selfie. But trust me, it won’t matter. You’ll still look 30 years older than you really are.)