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Possibilities Have No Expiration Date

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

I saw a photograph of an older woman who had a stenciled expiration date on her forehead.  It was sad, and she looked sad.  Obviously, someone had mocked it up as an expression of the way many Elders feel, as if they are waiting to be thrown away. We are not cartons of milk! Humans, at any age, have such tremendous potential.  Laura Ingalls Wilder started publishing books at 64 and continued until she was 76. The first edition of Roget’s Thesaurus was published when Roget was 73, after he retired from his career as a physician. Maybe the best story comes from here in Kansas when 95-year-old Kansas native Nola Ochs received her college diploma from Fort Hayes State in 2007.  She didn’t start her college education until she was 65, but she kept the dream alive because there was no expiration date on her accomplishment.


I’m not suggesting that we all need to chase a dream in our older years. There is something to be said for contentment and peace of mind. I do believe that Elders are not encouraged to pursue new goals. Too many are saying, “I’m too old to do that!”  Research is telling us that if we want to live longer, healthier lives, the number one remedy is staying actively involved.  Socialization and activity are more important than other more commonly suggested health benefits like diet, exercise, and smoking cessation. The mind-body connection is impressive. It has been proven that what we are thinking about on a daily basis affects our physical bodies. For too many Elders, their thought lives are limited to physical problems, doctor appointments, and, at times, general depression.  We need to encourage each other to think out of the box and take up something new or recapture a passion from the past because there is no expiration on the possibilities!

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