A friend’s Grandmother turned 100 last month. Her family threw a party for the new centenarian, Ruth, who gave these tips for growing old wisely:

  1. You’ve got to have a hobby.
  2. You’ve got to exercise.
  3. You’ve got to keep thinking.
  4. You’ve got to eat healthy food.
  5. You’ve got to satisfy your spiritual hunger; take some time to feed your soul.
  6. You’ve got to have friends and be a friend; make space for friends.
  7. You’ve got to look tragedies right in the eye.
  8. You’ve got to realize that the way we travel is under construction.
  9. You’ve got to keep a sense of awe.

I’m fortunate, as well, to have a Grandmother still thriving at age 98. She just got back from a trip to Norway. I’ve asked her before what her tips were for a long and healthy life, and she said, “Mainly luck, I guess.”

Nora in Norway with her children, July 2011

But those of us who love her know that it’s much more than luck and good genes. She doesn’t worry for worry’s sake; she  enjoys adventures, but is happy to stay home and knit or play Scrabble; she mourns loss without denial; and she lovingly maintains a constellation of relationships.

And also, there is that glass of bourbon at night.

How about you? Any tips or lessons to add?