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Permission Granted

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging

When the late Nadine Stair, of Louisville, Kentucky, was 85 years old, she was asked what she would do if she had her life to live over again. “I’d make more mistakes next time,” she said. “I’d relax. I would limber up…I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances…You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely…day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, and a raincoat. If I had to do it over again, I would travel lighter than I have.” If this statement resonates with you, then this column is for you and me both. Are you waiting for permission to follow your heart or do something new? Are you waiting to feel safe enough that you won’t make a fool of yourself? Who will give us permission to take a chance? What’s the worst thing that can happen?

The beauty of age is the risk-reward quotient changes. ‘What do I have to lose?’ becomes more evident, or it should. I believe the older you get, the less you are concerned about what others think of you. The benefit of age is that you no longer have to prove anything. I would dare say that if you ask for wisdom from older adults, they would tell you to go for it! But even for 85-year-old Nadine, it is never too late to take a chance, to limber up and travel lighter. I plan to take that advice myself: more daring, less dullness, more flexibility, less rigidity, more fun, less fear. If you’ve lived life too cautiously, take advice from author Wess Roberts who says, “Anyone who doesn’t make mistakes isn’t trying hard enough.” Who wants regret to be our final life reflection?

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