I read recently on the Mayo Clinic website – www.mayoclinic.com – that “Our three healthy keys to the good life are:-
- Someone to love,
- Something to do, and
- Something to look forward to.”
As far as the first of these is concerned, some of us are extremely lucky in this regard but as the Mayo Clinic goes on to say, “ … if you’re on your own these days, two out of three will do!”
Another great solution to this is, of course, to get a dog which is so often one of life’s great pleasures which also has the built-in advantage of getting us out walking in the wonderful fresh air. My personal preference is to get a labrador, a wonderfully intelligent and loyal companion that will, quite literally, demand plenty of exercise.
Moving along to the second point, I have a valued friend who once told me that, despite being retired for several years, he cannot get out of the habit of waking up at 6:30 am. What does he do then? Does he take his labrador for a walk? No, he sits on the edge of his bed and thinks, “Whatever am I going to do today?”
My father, who led a very active and healthy life until he passed away in his mid-nineties, always woke up thinking of the various jobs he had earmarked for that day. He would make a pot of tea, catch up on the morning news and write a to-do list. As he grew older it took less jobs to make him feel busy and sometimes his list only had a couple of items on it but, nevertheless, he always had jobs to get done and he could not wait to get started on doing them.
Clearly, for my father at least, having some jobs to do was a part of having something to look forward to but it need not be all. For example, many of us turn to things like golf or to a hobby. For me (a very poor golfer), I enjoy a social round every now and then but I would hate for that to be my only distraction.
Unfortunately I have never really had a hobby, a state of affairs that I greatly regret. I suppose it’s fair to say that my work has been my hobby and I am delighted to say that it still is. I look forward to it every day.
As you will have guessed, I think my father had the ageing process taped. Of course he may well have been a winner of the genetic lottery that we are all obliged to play, but he did approach life most positively even though my mother had predeceased him by more than 25 years.
Each and every one of us has something to look forward to every single day of our lives. First and foremost there is the absolute joy of waking up to a new day. Then there is the joy of the things we have to do that will keep our brains active and help us to avoid mental decay. Finally, we may simply have the ongoing joy of the first lick of the day from our faithful labrador, the joy of meeting a neighbour or a family member.
There is joy to be had at every turn and there is always something to look forward to.