My Pal Sam: “I’m just too old”, I can’t wait until I go home.”
This pal of mine Sam was 65 as he looked into my eyes and qualified that “home” was actually “Heaven”.
Tuck : “Sam I can get you “home” today. There’s a gap in the fence off a cliff near the top of Mount Bonnell on Hwy 222. You could drive your car off that cliff this afternoon and be “home” this afternoon. Cause Sam, I really like some of the artwork at your house. You won’t be needing it after you go “home.”
I knew Sam could take the sarcasm. My mouth is triggered by individuals who give up on themselves and think it’s ok to say they are old. The stupid humor of “I’m so old my….fell off” is so old it stinks. I think it’s funnier to make fun of people who say they are too old.
So many individuals attack their own sense of self by announcing over and over again that they are too old. Not attractive or they define themselves by a physical limitation or chronic challenge. Dear God and the Universe I pray to never ever live there.
Here’s proof that what’s best about you never ages. Last weekend I met Tootsie Tomanetz, the 82 year old, Pitmaster of Snow’s Barbeque in Lexington, Texas. Great barbeque. Even more magnificent lady. She showed no aches and pains shoveling the hot fiery coals under the grate where the sausage was cooking.
“I don’t have time to think about what age I am. I’m too busy. My Daddy told me since I was a little girl “Keep working and you’ll be happy.” Tootsie said as she wiped her brow with a handkerchief. Ms. Tootsie is the poster child of what I call a Potential Being. She’s left her age behind and off to working on better things. Plus her real day job during the week is being a janitor over at the local high school.
Since the late 1960’s we’ve made YOUTH our God. The fear of aging runs rampant and plaster surgeons are out there to help nip and tuck you through your fear of aging (“Gerascophobia”). I say no matter what kinds of lotions, potions and surgeries you have, if you still think you are old, you’ll always be of the worst age.
Moving out of the known and try something of the unknown. That’s the best way to continue. Staying curious. Talk to those individuals that stay busy. Focus on creating or producing. That’s ageless stuff. It’s where the real Gold of living is mined. Get out there and dig some of it up. Find out what makes you feel useful again. I’ll be happy to help.
As far as my pal Sam is concerned, I saw him the following day.
Sam: “Tuck last night I had a talk with the Lord and he said “Enjoy the riches of life, right here and now.”
Tuck: “Damn I really wanted a couple of those paintings in your house.”
If you see any scary signs of aging yell “BOO” back into the mirror. Really give yourself a worthy scare by attempting to make something better of yourself.
Or reach out and helping someone else that is struggling. You’ll sleep like a baby.
Place: Patti Welder Junior High School Gymnasium –Victoria, Texas
Time: 7th Grade- P.E. Class with Coach Bohn -11 A.M.
“That’s 3 pops Kamin., ” said Coach Bohn, our P.E. instructor in a calm, matter of fact voice. That meant 3 whacks administered on your behind with a wooden paddle. What encouraged Coach Bohn to make his decision? While our class was standing below suspended ropes from the gym ceiling I decided to right there to initiate my career debut as a stand up comic. “Coach, are you going to climb the ropes too?” I smiling announced. No laughs came from my fellow P.E. class members. I bombed.
Coach Bohn had all the stage presence of being the formidable, evil twin of Curly from the 3 stooges. Burr haircut, feet slightly apart, his clipboard placed over his fireplug belly, dressed in his white gym shorts, T-shirt and whistle. The week before Coach Bohn had asked me, “Kamin are you member of the knucklehead club?” “Uh, no Sir” I said. Coach then heavily tapped the top of my head with his middle knuckle. “There you’re crowned. Nuk Nuk.”
Ugh! The un-fun side of school gym class was what defined all sports activity for me. I lettered in Drama class instead of football.
It wasn’t until I was 50, coming out of a divorce that I became an athlete. An amazing athletic amazing woman taught me to run. And with fits and starts and stops I still run. What I discovered at 50 were the outpouring rewards of sustained physical activity. Not just the sweat. The clearing and calming of my thoughts and my whole body. And I lost over 50 unwanted pounds. Holy Wow I now crave it.
I’m not suggesting you start Running. Just start moving.
Age Scientists consistently tell me that one of the strongest proven age retardants
is exercise. As vigorously as you can start moving your body. I’m not suggesting you start running. I am telling you that if you have the energy to make a pie, cake or whatever hypnotically sugar-fied, diabetic fortified dessert recipe you put on FACEBOOK then utilize that energy to move. You will love the lasting taste of accomplishing the act of building back your physical strength.
Bad knees? Problems with your legs? Get on the floor and move your body. Read about my friend Mark Zupan a wheel chair athlete. He’s in my book Design Your Age. Mark believes as I do that there is always a work around. Intimidating? Humiliating? Dear God what will I look like in Yoga pants? Be easy yourself. If you exercise patience you can get pass it.
Here’s some starter wisdom from one of my mentors, Beto Boggiano owner of Pure Austin. A fitness club in Austin, Texas.
Beto: “Start slowly.”
Too many people start off with too many high expectations. Attempting then failing an exercise they used to do. It’s de-motivating if they get too sore. They stop. They get motivated for a week, and then that motivation will die off. So start slow.
Being around other people that want to improve themselves, helps you stay motivated. That’s just a fact. That’s why home equipment doesn’t work.
*Secret Little Side Note here..
If you can afford it. Hire a trainer for two sessions. “Tell the trainer what you like and don’t like. But most of all tell a trainer you want to come back. Ask them to show you how to do something that will give you confidence to come back. Trainers tell me if they can get a person to come back twice, they are more likely to continue to get better physically.
Beto: Only 10% of the people going to the gym are going to be buff. Find the people you relate to with the same fitness goals. That’s 90% of the people in the gym.
Second secret side note:
It is also about stepping away from so much food we eat. Lots of meat, worthless carbohydrates, and sugars. You don’t need all that food you are now eating.
Tell the gym you are the most difficult member they could ever have. You need as many ways possible to encourage you to stay with it. A smart gym will help you with that.
Find a friend that will go with you. This is a big, big, big advantage. After time you will see results and go by yourself.
Don’t weigh yourself. Throw out your scale. Remember if you can combine physical activity with eating smarter. You are ahead of the game.
A number of studies have shown that exercise works as anti-depressant without the side effects.
(Atlantic Magazine March 24, 2014,)
For Depression, Prescribing Exercise Before Medication)… In 1999, a randomized controlled trial showed that depressed adults who took part in aerobic exercise improved as much as those treated with Zoloft.
I’m not suggesting you throw out your anti-depressant. However I am suggesting you try and keep trying to get up and move your body. And remember 70% of weight loss also has to do with what you eat, so try roasting vegetables. Try new spices. You can get out of your slump. Try and try and try again. Email me. I’ll always be your cheerleader here. I get the pom poms. But really I don’t know how they do it in these short skirts. God Bless Coach Bohn.
AGE SECRETS REVEALED !
Plastered all over the Internet this year is how “Age Reversal” and “Reversing Alzheimer’s” is the result of new, successful experiments on mice. Mice have had a great frigging year when it comes to living longer. Now if we could only figure out how to become mice? Hold on, every story always ends with “In a decade” or “In twenty years” all of this work with mice will be possible for humans. Ok so what do we do in the meantime?
Here’s why it’s better now than ever.
“I want to go out the way I came in. Naked and in the arms of a rich doctor.”
Nellie, Age 89
“Food tastes better. Sex gets better. Friends and family, our loved ones, are held more dear with each passing years.” Rita 59
“Calm has displaced the maelstrom of the hormonally driven body.” Becky 63
“Now, I understand that my happiness is a primary objective and is one of my core responsibilities. If I don’t take care of it, no one will.” Carol 72
“Little things: A garden, living in the moment, less head time in the past, future,
ability to identify bullshit quickly, and putting love in perspective. Jane 60
“Awareness in noticing how the invisible power brings about happy experiences.”
(All Excerpts from the book DESIGN YOUR AGE . What’s Best About You Never Ages. By Tuck Kamin http://designyourage.com/book/)
BECOME A MOUSE?
BETTER STILL, START CREATING BETTER LATER YEARS NOW.
The Age Research Scientists and Social Scientists I have the great opportunity to meet tell me a lot of aging is about denial. We do know how to take better care of ourselves. Eat less red meat. More greens. Reduce sugar in your diet. Just get up and move. Exercise cuts down on depression big time. Find your favorite music and play it. Don’t post that heart stopping Devil’s Cream King Ranch Chicken on Facebook.
Don’t be a mouse. Don’t be timid. But choose to ride a new wave. See your aging in a more positive way. Yes you can. Continue to be curious and find new friends. Challenge yourself. Life is soooo short. Make it count. Your greatest adventures and best designs on aging are yet to come. Let me know if I can help. Surf’s up. Start by just getting your toes in the water. Put on some Beach Boys music. Get round get round …to it now !
Meet the one indispensible individual that continues improves every organization.
Now let’s give them a new title. The “Chief Experience Officer.”
Years of experience in the trenches of business. Best equipped to help new startups avoid common pitfalls and give them the added rocket fuel of forward progress.
An older, more seasoned individual will emerge from the invisible to enrich organizations and business / personal relationships.
A common phrase you will soon hear told to young business recruits, “Ask our Chief Executive Officer Susan or Mike. They’ve been there.”
Let me know how an older individual in business might have helped you.
EMERGING is the “New Older”.
A startling new older individual is appearing from the mist. Out of the fog of what we think are our limitations as we age. A “new older” is reported each day creating well into the age of “80” years and beyond.
Is this surprising? Just think when you say to yourself, “I don’t feel 55 or 65 or 85. I’m still 18 inside”. Don’t let the Age Police (representing society and media) catch you thinking that out loud.
Yes Ageism exists. Yes there is age discrimination. That’s old news. Let’s get on with recognizing and understanding more about those that successfully soar above that false framework.
Inspiring 90-year-old individuals I have met, reveal to me their “teflonesque” character. They slough off the notion that they should be frozen where they stand. They continue to live life. They write. Volunteer. Many are discovering how to get paid for their experience. (More about in my next post) These “new older” engage daily in their lives to enthusiastically help other lives. Live each day with a remarkable type of “age valor”. Betty at 100 writes her children’s books. Tom at 95 still coaches to his former students that are now CEO’s of companies. Loretta at age 93 still teaches children to play the piano. Evidence of the unbeatable power of Wisdom is being re-discovered in apprenticeship classes offered by state governments like Connecticut Department of Labor, community colleges such as Seattle Central College and many others. Harnessing the life experience of the “new older” to aid in creating the new.
It’s not just the extension of life expectancy. It’s the exciting expectation that you can now receive the rewards of using your powers of experience in contributing and interacting with others. Imagine being valued in truly new ways as you age. We have much work to do, but we are going to discover a new value system for the new older.
Each day another member of the “new older” is quietly ripping away another piece of society’s and the media notion that strictly defined being older. John Cleese of Monty Python at age 77 is still touring and entertaining. The Rolling Stones. More importantly the continuing efforts by thousands of others you never heard of. Like Ron Mathis* a race car designer whose team won the X-Prize team for a new car that gets 100 miles to the gallon.
Be encouraged. A new time is upon us. One that avoids the fatal definitions of retirement. Even what we called “The Rest Home” or “Happy Vale” are being re-imagined to be more active and satisfying. And with good riddance. You can see this model alive in the soon to be renamed Senior Living Centers.
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and dust off the staid precepts. Believe you me there’s plenty of new ideas that need to come to life, just to trigger better self esteem. It’s time to write new narratives. New stories. And yes you can be kind to those who still declare they are too old to be of worth, but for me they need to go take a hike.
Having lost my Dad to cigarettes at age 60, it emboldens me to honor the years he lost by the hope to possibly a light a path to good health for those that are older.
A whole new set of individuals are arriving daily. New archetypes that will encourage others. It’s time for you to believe again. Shifting the perception of how you see yourself is utterly life changing. Starting practicing. And practice again to see that little hopeful soul when you were a kid. It’s still there. Lift off the stones and boulders of self-esteem. Your zeal. Your joy. Your purpose is ready to emerge.
You don’t have to make a grand entrance. The best of us, quietly step up without fanfare. If you still feel as though you are lost in a fog. Get out there and learn about something new. Maybe that one something you thought you weren’t allowed to do. Do that first. For me, I’m off to get busy. But if I see you, I’ll be proud to shake your hand.
The City of Cold Shoulders? That was not the New York City I just recently visited.
What does this have to do with aging? It is truly a fact, you improve your chances of living longer and happier, when you build a group of supportive caring friends that you support too.
Four doors down from my Air BnB I met Miss Astrid of the Norwegian Seaman’s Church. She gave me a tour of the small church, introducing me to some beautiful Norwegians as she prepared breakfast. A special set of bookshelves caught my eye that featured Norwegian foods. A packet of LOFOTEN fishesuppe (a fish soup) was my purchase. But the greatest prize was discovering these lovely people who welcomed this overly curious, Texan stranger that walked in their door.
Lilac Candy Chocolates since 1922. Meet one of the owners, Christopher Taylor the newest generation of candy makers for Lilac. A wonderful fellow, readily and generously offering free samples of all kinds of Lilac treasures. I found in a new shop in Brooklyn, located in a newly recovered warehouse district.
Since the 1870’s the Easter Parade, on 5th Avenue in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, has been the fashion runway for sartorial display and just outright joyous New Yorker wearables. Here I snapped a random photo of a Pharaoh with stogie and his instant picture pal. Also standing nearby with his 1947 Speed Graphix Camera with a Polaroid back, was Mr. Louis Mendez. I said to Mr. Mendez. “Can I take your picture ? “Get it clicking Man”, he replied.
Dean & Deluca, a gourmet take out that caught New York City by storm when I lived in Manhattan, has now experienced a renaissance. Here in instant conversation Mr. Matthew Koleos, an inspirational, hard working manager asked me about Austin, Texas and offered advice on the finer points of plying romance with food.
Mary Jones of the New York Public Library (not shown here) was an Angel. of She got me the key to city by helping me get a New York Public Library Card (shown here).
Drawn to Sad Stories. Train our brains to look for Good.
Most studies show we are irresistibly drawn to sad, depressing stories in the news. However, we share more stories about good things in social media. And the effect of monitoring good news can train our own psychology to be happier in managing difficult times. This is based on the combined research of Marc Trussler and Stuart Soroka, at McGill University, Canada. And as noted in Psychology today article by Ray Williams. Positive psychologists tell us we can train our brain to acquire new habits by focusing on good news. Let our brains acquire “mirror neurons” that develop a positive attitude can spread to other people like a virus. To quote the article. “This is not about being a Pollyanna or “goody-two –shoes”, it’s about being able to reprogram our brains.”
Get out into the world and practice to see life in a more balance, realistic way. I’m joining the league of belief that this can help stem the tide of depression and possibly suicide.
Manhattan stationed these great souls in my path. Living proof you can find great people everywhere. Hard working and caring individuals that manage to keep our world happier, more loving and safe in spite of horrific headlines
Here’s your open invitation to take charge. I challenge you to the death defying act of becoming a better ager. Always be on lookout for a new friend.
“I know now that I am older, my opinion doesn’t hold much water… but uh ..I’ve got a few ideas uh…I mean you know I’m this age and not as young as I used to be and uh…”
As Ralph speaks he dissolves into mush through computer generated effects. Camera widens to show people in healthier shape and older than Ralph. They are laughing wearing running clothes and slapping each other on the back.
Are you surrendering like Ralph? Or are you still excited about the adventures ahead ?
Think back to when you were a kid. It’s not silly. When you day dreamed about growing up as a ….An astronaut. A scientist. A policeman. A fighter pilot. A doctor ?
What can you do?
First wake up! Then immediately start discussing your ideas with other people you respect. A best friend. Minister. Somebody with smarts. Leave no regrets. The guitar you wanted to learn. The trip to wherever. That crazy invention, left in the closet or garage.
Start living again. C’mon cut down on the sugar. Take longer, faster walks. Your winning checkered flag will appear. Get off your ass and step on the gas. I’ll be cheering you before the finish line.