Five Key Lessons the Over 90 Generation
Can Teach Us

Last updated on July 30th, 2017 at 02:04 pm

LIl Golden at 98_aging gracefullyNot too long ago after a casual lunch with my mother and daughter, I posted a picture we took of my mother to Facebook. The headline read: “This is What 98 Looks Like in My Family!” The response was overwhelming, producing the most interaction on anything I’ve posted there.

The comments and likes continued pouring in. When I told people my mother was “blowing up Facebook”, they laughed, until they saw her picture and were equally astounded by how fabulous she looks. Not one single person believed she was 98.

People were both amazed and in disbelief, expressing what an inspiration she was. An inspiration of what is possible. Naturally most people were curious to hear her “secrets” to longevity. Her vitality and joie de vivre shines from the photo, her blue eyes sparkling with life and energy.

The Fastest Growing Generation

This reminded me of a recent 60 Minutes show about the aging population in the United States. The piece reported that the over-90 demographic is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.

Looking deeper, I found a report by the U.S. census stating, “The nation’s 90-and-older population nearly tripled over the past three decades, reaching 1.9 million in 2010, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau and supported by the National Institute on Aging. Over the next four decades, this population is projected to more than quadruple.” Interesting.

This started me thinking of the people I personally know with parents or relatives in my mother’s generation who are still living vibrant and rich lives. Curious me wanted to understand the “whys” behind this wonderful phenomena.

In the back of my mind lived several questions. “Does my generation and the younger generations after us, have a chance of living to this age? And if we do, will we have the same vitality, clarity of mind and energy to stay active the way many of the 90+ generation do?”

The researcher in me continued asking questions. Several factors stayed consistent in what I heard and read, resulting in what I believe are five key lessons the growing 90+ generation can teach us.

1. Conversation Means Talking to Each Other…In Person

This might seem obvious, however, the 90+ generation did not have technology as their main life focus and it did not comprise their principal form of communication. The ability to interact and engage with others, person to person, makes a huge difference in the quality of their lives and our lives, I believe.

My mother’s socialization took place with friends at the playground, park or each others houses. People got together in groups, spending weekends dancing, hanging out, talking and laughing with each other. Face to face, in person. Their lives were lived in the world, having real conversations, not alone having silent conversations via keyboards.

The ability to communicate face-to-face is key to the quality of our lives. #communicationClick To Tweet

Why Communication Matters

A 2012 Forbes piece stated: “As human beings, our only real method of connection is through authentic communication. Studies show that only 7% of communication is based on the written or verbal word. A whopping 93% is based on nonverbal body language. Indeed, it’s only when we can hear a tone of voice or look into someone’s eyes that we’re able to know when “I’m fine” doesn’t mean they’re fine at all…” My mother still looks directly into the eyes of anyone she’s talking to, and we both can tell by the tone of the others voice, how we really are.

Watching psychologist Sherry Turkle’s Ted Talk, “Connected, but Alone?“, brought up food worthy for thought too. “Human relationships are rich and they’re messy and they’re demanding. And we clean them up with technology. And when we do, one of the things that can happen is that we sacrifice conversation for mere connection. We short-change ourselves. And over time, we seem to forget this, or we seem to stop caring.”

This ability to communicate with others through in-person conversations, is perhaps one of the most important and overlooked lessons the 90+ generation can teach us.

Two women on park benches talking to each other2. Physical Activity Means Just That

The 90+ generation were definitely more active physically. New research shows that the obesity crisis in the U.S. is directly related to the decline in physical activity over the past 20 years.

My mother spent much of her childhood at the local park and became a consummate athlete, playing baseball, swimming or skating depending on the season. Walking lengthy distances was also common to meet up with friends, regardless of weather. The 60 Minutes research showed that those who exercised, even as little as 15 minutes a day, definitely lived longer.

Research shows that those who exercise even 15 minutes a day, live longer! #longevity #exerciseClick To Tweet

3. Be Kind to Your Brain – Write Longhand

The 90+ generation learned how to write longhand and communicated this way. This is currently a topic of much discussion as it continues to be phased out of early childhood education. The research clearly shows the advantages of cursive writing to the brain and learning. My book Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie, was actually written longhand on large unlined pads of paper, as I’m aware that putting pen to paper accesses a different part of our being, allowing our creative self to flow onto the page.

A piece in the NY Times reported research that shows “Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters — but how.

It's not just what we write that matters, but how. Writing longhand is good for your brain! #writingClick To Tweet

A study at Indiana University led by psychologist Karin James, showed that when children write by hand, three areas of the brain become activated-– the left fusiform gyrus, the inferior frontal gyrus and the posterior parietal cortex. There was no activation in these areas when children just typed or traced letters.

4. Food Glorious Food

Although this topic warrants an entire piece on its own, the food the 90+ generation ate was less processed and adulterated. Their food was much healthier, food we now call “real” food.

My mother has never worried much about what she eats, never smoked, still enjoys a glass of wine, and is a bit challenged to remember what foods have gluten in them, or all the other food rules I’ve adopted in my life. Thanks to digestive health issues from an early age, I’m uber cautious of what I ingest.

5. Attitude is Everything – Really

With so much interest in the secrets to my mother’s successful aging, I picked up my Iphone at a family dinner and asked her what her message for the world is. It mirrored what so many in her generation say. She says it all in a 27-second video. “You’ve got to be positive about things. You’ve got to be happy. No matter what goes on, don’t let things get you down. You’ve got to make the best of everything.” She ends with a universally held truism. “And you’ve got to love everybody!” Then she laughs. Pretty simple formula. Kind of like the Beatle’s message coming from several generations earlier. All You Need is Love.

There is truly a wealth of experience and wisdom to learn from the 90+ generation. Searching for information on how this older generation is teaching and impacting the younger generation, I found little to nothing. Documenting and preserving their stories, their legacy, is so crucial now as a way to offer younger generations a chance to learn from them. My fear is they might become a generation reserved for casual historical mentions of the times they lived in, their memories and lessons forgotten and lost forever.

My unanswered questions remain. Will we have the opportunity to live to be 90+ and to leave such a powerful legacy? What will our lives look like if we do? Love to hear your thoughts.

postscript 2017: My mother just turned 101 on March 2nd and is still vivacious and astounding people who meet her. We look forward to celebrating many more happy birthdays with her! You can read about our 100th birthday celebration with her on “My Mother Taught Me That Aging Gracefully is All About Attitude“.

Woman in the 40's generation laughing showing her wrinkles and crows feet

Beverley Golden

About Beverley Golden

Beverley Golden is a writer, storyteller, peacenik and health & vitality consultant, who loves testing unconventional ways to shift paradigms in the playing fields of health and wellness, storytelling and creativity as a path to world peace. Her passion is turning the “impossible” into the possible, using her own experiences with a lifetime of health issues, to inspire and support others to live their life to the fullest.

You're invited to a Complimentary Health Consultation, starting with the True Health Assessment that offers a customized personalized snapshot of how healthy you are in the areas of lifestyle, heredity and nutrition. Contact me to get started!

82 Comments

  • Joyce Hansen says:

    So many good points that make for a better quality of life as one grows older. We will be keepers of the wisdom and the one to explain how there could be life before Google. Love your observation about messy relationships and how technology is used to clean up the mess. Personally, I’ll take the messy conversation over connection any day.I guess I better start prepared to live to be 100.

    • The online world is wonderful in many ways, isn’t it, Joyce? And yet, the issues it helps to gloss over…like real person-to-person communication, is taking a toll on our humanness. I do hope more people look to the elders for their wisdom and insights, as it seems our world would greatly benefit from some of that right now. I will also take messy conversations and real person to person interaction any day…see you when we both get closer to reaching a 100 too. We can compare notes.

  • All wonderful lessons Beverley! If I had to select a favorite, I would go for talking to each other in person. This is one issue that I decided not to budge and I have explained to my inner circle that I am not trying to change them; however, I don’t respond to 99 percent of the text messages I receive, nor email messages that are written for a conversation that is best conducted in person (or AT LEAST telephone). This stance surprises them all since my background is high tech LOL.

    • It is somewhat ironic that you are a tech/online person, yet value in person conversations as essential for you. I know you are making sure to have a balance of the two in your life too! It’s great that you limit how much of your time is spent conversing via non-verbal means and that you are much more inclined to suggest a telephone conversation. I feel exactly the same! I do not like long silent online conversations either!

  • I definitely learn better when I am also writing long hand. It makes me sad that so many children are not being taught to write cursive in school. So many of my friends have had to engage cursive tutors so their kids can learn to read and write it. I do think that you absorb a lot more when more of your body and mind is engaged in the task.

    • I completely agree with you about kids not learning to write long hand, Jennifer! Most educators agree that it is a mistake to exclude it from early childhood learning. The proof is there that development is aided when the parts of the brain that are activated by learning it. I think your friends are doing that right thing by engaging cursive tutors for their kids! We absolutely have a different experience when we use our body and our mind, vs. just typing on a keyboard. I admit I am getting too used to writing on my computer. I would be wise to write by hand and then transfer it to the computer.

  • Lorii Abela says:

    Oh my! That is wonderful that she is now 101. I remember having a grandmother who reached up to 100 and she was also sharp and up and about. I do not know if I want to live that long but definitely, your mom is such an inspiration. I am sure she is a joy to talk to.

    • Thanks so much Lorii! My mother is quite an amazing lady, indeed. That’s wonderful that you had a grandmother who lived to be 100. You know what I am talking about when it comes to how sharp and with it they are. So many people have qualifiers to the idea of living a long life…I think it is something worth aspiring to, if you still want to be here on planet earth!

  • Beverley your mother looks amazing! I was thinking earlier today that many of my friends who look young take time to meditate and clear with people when there is conflict. They live life consciously. Your list you shared is great. Sherry Turkle’s comment made me laugh. “Human relationships are rich and they’re messy and they’re demanding.” My sentiments exactly.

    • Thank you so much Candess! My mother is quite an inspiration indeed. I am not sure if my mother grew up in the generation that lived life consciously, but something about her mindset has certainly kept her young of heart and mind. I love that quote from Sherry Turkle and her work too. And, yes, human relationships are rich and messy and demanding.

  • Anne says:

    Great article! Thanks for sharing your mother’s tips 🙂 I remember when her photo was “blowing up Facebook”…I know I was one of the comments! She’s radiant. We can all learn alot from this woman! And you too!

    • Thanks Anne! Some of the tips were learned from my mother and her amazing generation. Yes, this year on her 101st birthday she also ‘blew up Facebook’ and you were kind enough to comment then as well. She is radiant, enjoys live and has a lot to teach us all about living long and well! Thanks for mentioning me in the mix too!

      • Your mother is on Facebook Beverley? Does she connect with strangers (I’d love to connect if she does because she seems like a delightful person to know).

        • My mother isn’t online in any way, shape or form, Rachel. I’ll tell her you thought she would be an interesting person to connect and converse with though!

  • Lori English says:

    Beverley,

    The internet can make it difficult, but if you truly want to connect with people on a one on one, it is all possible. It makes it easier for others not to communicate face to face, instead they go online , however you miss a lot of the important things that are found in In person conversations.
    Lori

    • Thanks so much Lori! I am happy to hear you make an effort to meet with people face to face, as that truly is so important to our humanness. It is easy to just have silent conversations online, however, nothing will ever beat the one on one communication we all thrive on.

  • Kimberly says:

    Beverley, your mother is beautiful, and definitely doesn’t look 98!
    Thanks for the great list to keep us young… I do drop off in the exercise area when I get to busy, which throws other things out of whack…
    She is definitely a testimonial to living well!

    • Thanks for your lovely comment, Kimberly! My mom is now 101, and still looks beautiful. I agree that she is an inspiration and a grand testimonial to living well! As far as exercise, even getting out to walk is a wonderful way to move and commune with nature. It does wonders for the soul!

  • Alene A Geed says:

    This is a heartwarming tribute to your mother. I did not know that the over 90 population was growing. This is so encouraging don’t you think? Communication IN PERSON is a long lost art that seems to be lost on many of the youth. While communication via text is expedient and sometimes necessary, I love sharing a lunch or a day out with friends and family. the personal connection is vital.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Alene. And yes, I absolutely think it is encouraging that the over 90 generation is growing. So much to learn from them. I also agree that communication is about human to human and that means face to face, not just texting and emailing. Let’s hope more of the younger generation adopts the in person connection and sees it is vital to our humanity.

  • Robin says:

    Hi Beverley,

    What a wonderful piece! Your mother sounds amazing ,and you are so blessed to still have her with you!

    The over 90 generation has so much to teach us. Recently, I spotted an elderly man with his wife at a McDonalds. I noticed his WWII hat and had to talk to him. He is 93 and served as a marine in the Pacific. His mind was as clear as can be, and we talked a while. It was an amazing experience.

    • Thanks so much Robin! I agree with you about the over 90 generation and how much they have to teach us. How lovely that you stopped to talk with this man and to hear more about his life and his story. I also find that their memories are so clear and the face that they are able to share their stories, is truly a gift we all can learn from.

  • Meghan says:

    My husband and I discuss these topics frequently! People used to do more with less. And, in the end, that served them well. Communication and connection are such important pieces of our health, wellness, and longevity. Unfortunately, today’s tech and emphasis on money have hurt us overall. Your mom’s advice is spot on!

    • It’s so wonderful to hear that you and your husband are talking about important topics and reflecting on them for your own lives. People certainly did live richer lives with much less, Meghan. The generation my mother comes from were so active and their love of life and longevity are a great indicator of how it served them. I also fear that are addiction to technology and how that is isolating people and creating social disconnects, will have dire consequences. I agree that my mother’s advice is spot on! Words we all can learn from.

  • Reba Linker says:

    I like this list a lot, Beverley, and I can say I agree with everything. Writing in longhand – that was a new one for me. Who knew?

    • As someone who has young children, making sure they learn to write longhand is a great gift you can give to them, Reba. It truly does make a big difference in how the brain develops and how we express ourselves, believe it or not. Glad you enjoyed this list, as they are things all of us can learn from.

  • Cathy Sykora says:

    “You’ve got to be happy”….words to live by. And she does NOT look 98!

    • I agree Cathy! Such a simple message yet so powerful when we live a happy life. And thanks, as my mother definitely does not look her age!

  • Your mom is such an inspiration, Beverley! I love all of these, but most of all, Attitude. That’s really it, isn’t it. I think that generation, who lived through so many horrors, just understood that.
    “You’ve got to make the best of everything.” My mom used to say that too!
    Thank you for this.

    • Thank you so much Susan! I agree that my mother is quite an inspiration for all who know her. She really is a powerful example of how attitude can create our life! Once we embrace that I think life changes in a very positive way. How lovely to know your mother was also someone who grasped the idea that “You’ve got to make the best of everything.” Happy this brought back wonderful some memories for you.

  • Hi, Beverley! Your mom looks wonderful, and she (and you) have some awesome advice for those of us who need reminders on how to live to the fullest. I especially love the fact that you name communication in person up front, since I think that is the most precious gift we can give to each other.

    • Thanks so much Liz! My mother is quite an inspiration of what aging gracefully can look like and how important engaging with people in person and having the ability to communicate is. And I agree with you. I am so delighted by daughter (even though she is more of the tech generation than not), has an outgoing personality, concern for people and an ability to communicate and be with people in person.

  • Great article Beverley with a lot of food for thought about the older generation. 🙂
    Katarina Andersson recently posted…6 Sassello Chianti Classico in a Vertical Wine TastingMy Profile

    • Thanks Katarina. Glad you found some interesting food for thought in this article when it relates to the older generation and what they have to teach us. 🙂

  • I do very well with numbers 3 and 5. But the others, not so much. You and your mother’s example has given me a bit of a wake-up call to pay more attention to how I’m living.
    Jane Gramlich recently posted…Self-Expression is Your Gift to the WorldMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for reading this post Jane, and I am happy it offered some food for consideration for you and how you are living. Sometimes we forget the simple things in life, as our world gets more complicated with technology and de-socialization. Even though people think we are more connected, I see how much disconnection there is as well.

  • I think you and Roz were on the same page. lol My comments to you are similar as to her….

    First, your mom looks great and you are right.. times are different. We have an obese nation because people are lazy and super size everything. We didn’t have as much fast food “back in the day” and we sat as a family for dinner, a cooked dinner. We didn’t have the distraction of social media…and neither does my family at family time.. and we still have dinner at the table. It just kills me what our world is coming to, ya know.

    Let’s not forget a hand written birthday card or thank you note. GASPS.

    I’m fearful of what this world has turned into and it isn’t pretty. Sad for my kids and their kids.

    Great read Bev!
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…Review on Email Marketing – AWeberMy Profile

    • You totally get what the important things are to our humanity, Kristen. Yet, sometimes it is challenging to not be swept up in the 24/7 technology world we seem to cavalierly accept as life. I congratulate you for doing family dinners and making this a priority in your house. And yes, to handwriting of all kinds. I know from the feedback I still get, how much people love to receive something someone took the time to sit down and write…by hand. We all can lead by example for our children and trust that all is not lost, but that the tides are turning and there is more awareness of the core things that really matter. Community, family and communication are tops on my list too!

  • Tamuria says:

    You’re Mum is amazing and such an inspiration! Mine is 88 but has serious health issues. I saw a show a few years ago featuring a town in Europe – Italy I think – that boasted the longest living residents. When interviewed the residents all claimed it was because of their sense of community and the interaction they all had with each other. We lose a lot of that with technology. It’s also true re the processed foods and exercise changes but I think it’s the positive attitude that is most effective. Great post.😀
    Tamuria recently posted…7 REASONS YOU NEED TO BE GARDENING WITH KIDSMy Profile

    • Thanks for that info on the town in Europe whose residents were long-lived and saw community as one of the big contributors. This is what I believe my mother’s generation had as an advantage that the technology age is quickly stripping away from us Tamuria. Technology has its pluses, however, I think we are losing those core foundational elements that make us humans who we are. The in-person communication in community. Of all of these lessons this generation has to teach us, I believe it is attitude and the value of community. Sorry your mom is dealing with health issues, and I hope she is still enjoying some aspects of her life. And yes, my mom is quite an inspiration of what is possible!

  • Karen says:

    All of your points are valid and so true, but #1 really strikes me. I have such a pet peeve that the younger generation does not communicate face to face and don’t even like to call on the phone. It is all done behind a screen. I do worry about that with teen sons, yet when they have tried to communicate outside of technology, no one responds.

    Your Mom does look amazing. May you age as well.
    Karen recently posted…Sleep to Detoxify Your Body and BrainMy Profile

    • One of my big concerns as well, Karen, is that younger people are losing the socializing interpersonal skills so important to building relationships. I imagine it is challenging to be the only one in your group who reaches out to connect offline, yet I know it is possible to lead the revolution back to in person communication. We can lead by example and hope our kids find the groups who love to meet in person and enjoy each other’s company. My mother is amazing, thank you. With all my health issues, I am grateful to be so healthy and vibrant and I plan to keep my mother’s longevity alive.

  • Great post. I make it a point to eat as clean as possible. I very rarely drink and do not smoke. I am the oldest in my family and I look at least 5-10 years younger than my cousins. It’s amazing what the healthy clean living does to you in the long term. All the points you mentioned are something that we as the Generation Xers have to really look at and reevaluate what we are doing. Thanks for the reminder.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…One Pot Spaghetti DishMy Profile

    • Happy to hear you are living conscious and healthy choices, Sabrina. Yes, we boomers and Gen Xers do have much more to think about and so many more choices to keep ourselves healthy. It is amazing how clean living is evident in the way we look and feel. All of these points are all but being lost in today’s technology driven world and yet, we have all the advantages we want to take for ourselves.

  • Lisa Swanson says:

    So many good points I don’t even know where to begin! As I walk around mall, the airport, a park I am always amazed at how many people are overweight. Their skin is sallow and they have a piece of processed food in their hand. Modern medicine is keeping us alive longer but I believe if we, as a nation, could get back to cleaner active living, yes we will live healthy vibrant lives right through our 90’s. At least that’s what I plan on doing! 🙂
    Lisa Swanson recently posted…How to Create Weight Loss Goals That StickMy Profile

    • My sense is my mother’s generation had so many advantages over our current fast food inactive generation, Lisa. Attitude goes such a long way as well and for my mother, that seems to have been the fuel that has kept her going. She loves life and engages fully, which is so key as we get older. Cleaner conscious living is so important, perhaps more so now than ever. That with some healthy attitude gives us a head start on living long and vital lives.

  • Carol Rundle says:

    How wonderful to have your mom around still! My mom passed at 87. She was very sick and tired of living. I remember that a few years prior to her death she said she was too old to learn new things. I think that when you stop learning you start stagnating, which leads to death. And attitude, oh boy, attitude is so important. You’re so blessed to have your mom!
    Carol Rundle recently posted…Frankincense and MyrrhMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing a little bit of your story Carol. Attitude is everything, regardless of our age and the elders in our society have so much to share and teach us if we stop to learn. I am very grateful to have my mother as a glowing example of what is possible when it comes to aging and that she is inspiring people who meet her to emulate her vitality and longevity. Thanks so much for your kind words and here’s to healthy and long life filled with spunk and attitude.

  • I can certainly relate to your article. There is something to be said for life experience. I miss those talks at the kitchen table and garnering so much wisdom from my mom and dad who lived into their late 80’s & early 90’s. They certainly are an inspiring generation, Beverley!
    Jennifer Hazlett recently posted…A Resource For VA’s Or Business Owners Looking For OneMy Profile

    • Those of us who have been privileged to have parents who lived into their 80’s and 90’s certainly do understand the wisdom and the invaluable lessons they have to teach us Jennifer. My reason for writing this is to keep their legacy alive, in hopes that more people will see that we would be smart to learn the lessons while they are still here.

  • So good to hear your mom is in good shape. I was just talking to someone the other day about how we, in our culture, just don’t respect our elders anymore. And I don’t mean to sound like a sour old fart; just that we should treasure the wisdom that our elders have accumulated and honor them for their contributions.

    • This is partly why I wrote this article, Jackie. I believe in North America at least, youth rules and we seem to have discarded and disregarded the invaluable lessons the elders of our society have to teach us. My mother is a glowing example of someone who still has much to contribute and share, even at the age of 99.

  • Other than stating the obvious–that your mom knows and lives the secret to longevity and a youthful outlook–I’d love to point out that maybe all that handwriting I did in school paid off! 🙂 Your article illustrates many of the things that I’ve been thinking lately. The rise of technology has been a blessing and a curse. Connecting with people is easier than ever in one sense, but much harder in other ways. Email and social media help with keeping in touch but don’t replace the need for in-person interaction. The things I learned in high school may seem obsolete to millennials, but you and your mom have proven that not all past lessons are outdated.
    Meghan Monaghan recently posted…Six Mistakes to Avoid When Building Relationships on Social MediaMy Profile

    • Yes, all the handwriting you did in school definitely did pay off, Meghan. I am so sorry to hear that schools are removing cursive from the curriculums and that younger generations can no longer even sign their names! Technology is definitely a double edged sword. It allows us all to feel connected, yet so many people have no socialization skills and have challenges meeting even their peers one to one. I think the jury is still out on how our education will serve us compared to how the younger generation is receiving their education. i still believe from all I’ve learned, that we might be altering the way people connect and communicate to our human detriment.

  • Where do I begin. This is a perfect partner to my post series on Aging Gracefully. Your Mom is the best example and will soon be 99. Having done much reading to write my 2 posts on this topic, I have to agree with your mom and you that attitude is everything. We may not all end up being mobile or healthy or have the resources we need, but how we face the opportunities or obstacles will make the difference.

    • Love how synchronistic our posts are this week Roslyn. And yes, my mom is a wonderful example and will actually be 100 in March of 2016. Definitely something to celebrate! I’m happy to see that research confirms what my mother has lived most of her life. Attitude is everything and mind over matter is real. Although we all get older, how we age is more a choice than ever and how we view getting older certainly goes a long, long way. Thanks for taking on this topic as well, as it is something we need to keep in the popular conversation.

  • Beth Niebuhr says:

    You have good genes to help you, Beverley! My husband has lost 3 aunts recently but they were all over 100. One of them had a FB page, which the next younger generation didn’t, played golf into her late nineties and had a part time job until then too. Her son played a video of her at a reunion last year, months before she died and she was sleepy but smiling and positive. Like you, I wonder what happens with all the non-physical, non-connected in real life new generations.
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    • I love hearing about the senior generation Beth, as it is very affirming to watch them and learn from them. Amazing that three of your husband’s aunts lived to be over a 100 and that one of them even had her own Facebook page. Fabulous! Attitude and early lifestyle certainly gave that generation a solid foundation. I am also concerned about the younger generations inability to connect and form relationships in person. Face to face and person to person, still goes a long way to creating healthy socialization skills.

  • Longevity runs in both sides of my parent’s family and I remember my grandfather being very active at 80+ which included driving his car and playing bridge with his buddies on Sunday afternoons.

    Age really is a state of mind and if we keep ourselves active including staying interested in the world around us, then we can enjoy a quality life and be good role models to younger more sedentary generations.

    I think your Mom is awesome, Beverley (and so are you)!
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…How to break free of limiting beliefs created by others without cutting off relationshipsMy Profile

    • Love hearing about your family and how you have longevity on both sides of your family. My father’s side most of the men and many women died young, so my mother’s side is the longevity chance for me. Wonderful to hear how active your grandfather was well into his 80’s. I believe that is partly what keeps people young, Vatsala.

      Getting older is inevitable, however, aging is optional. 🙂 Staying vital and active certainly contributes to living an interesting and healthy life and I believe the generation my mother is in has a lot of advantages to ours. Thanks for the lovely words about my mother, and me, and I very much appreciate your support!

  • Rebecca says:

    FANTASTIC article and advice. I tell people all the time “just go have a conversation and look in the person’s eyes – not at your phone!!!!

    • Absolutely Rebecca! I am all about person to person communication and interaction. If we lose that, I believe we lose our humanity. Appreciate you finding this article and am very delighted it resonated for you too.

  • I’m still trying to write down at least a few things by hand every day: my goals, my TODOs, my blogging ideas. They definitely work better as they stick to the brain.

    Hopefully this is going to help me live a better life 🙂 What an inspiration your mom is, Bev, just amazing!
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    • Great to hear that you are keeping long hand writing alive in your world. It really is such a big addition to how we are in the world and it is a great thing for our brain, of course. Everything we do contributes, so keep practicing it if you can. Thanks for seeing my mother as an inspiration and she really is exactly as I talk about her! 🙂 Appreciate you contributing to the conversation here, Delia!

  • Lisa says:

    Wow Beverley, where do I start. Great article! I work with advanced aged patients most days at my day job, I am always in awe of this age group, especially when they are in such good shape as your mom is. The one common denominator I have found over and over is they are active or have been active. Also they lived through the depression era, WW II and they don’t take things for granted..A beautiful group of people in my book. I am so glad your mom is doing so well, she looks so bright and happy. Great article with good information and thought!

    • So delighted to hear you are having a first hand experience with this incredible and inspiring over 90 generation, Lisa. It is amazing that some of us have this unique opportunity to experience them and to hopefully spread the word on how much they have to teach us. So many in the younger generation just see these people as being old and I’m hoping that changes and that younger people get to spend time and learn from them as well. It is true, that the time they grew up in and the fact that they remain active and contributing to society, are big factors in their life quality today. For sure my mother doesn’t take anything for granted either. In fact in the short video link in the piece, she actually says something like this. She ends by saying…”And you’ve got to love everybody”. Simple message we all can learn from. Thanks for sharing you day to day experience with this marvellous older generation. Appreciate your voice in this conversation.

  • Kirsten says:

    So much truth in these comments. My grandma just turned 95 and I wonder if I will be so lucky since I don’t write in long hand (as much) and conversations with others seem to be falling by the wayside (as more communication is done by text and computer). Sad really. But I love your post. Can’t believe your mom is 98. She looks fabulous!
    Kirsten recently posted…8 Reasons to Escape to Bora BoraMy Profile

    • Thanks for being aware that perhaps we are losing something by using technology in our lives more and more, at the expense of our own interpersonal skills especially in the realm of conversations and writing. Glad to hear you have a 95-year-old grandmother and hope she is doing well and is an inspiration for everyone in your family. Thanks for the compliment about my mother to…she is still looking fabulous!

  • Tammi says:

    Technology is a wonderful tool and I appreciate it every day. However, I miss the letters, cards, and phone calls from family and friends. In my business (with my husband) I always send a handwritten welcoming note to new customers. I think it is personal and special. Thanks for a great article.
    Tammi recently posted…Hottest 2015 Jewelry TrendsMy Profile

    • I agree with you Tammi. Giving and receiving handwritten notes or cards is a very personal and caring way of communicating with someone, whether that be a business contact or family or friend. I wonder sometimes what we are forfeiting adding more and more technology to our lives. Although it is wonderful and has a positive place in many ways, we are losing some of the social interaction skills that are so important to us as human beings. Thanks for sharing here!

  • Bekah says:

    So much truth in this post! Things have changed so much between generations and even during them! I had more activity and communication and writing as a child but i’ve changed with the technology and can’t imagine how much more different it will be for children to come. We still need to live our lives and not hide behind screens.
    Bekah recently posted…products re•viewed: where are they now?My Profile

    • Thanks Bekah! Yes it is easy to hide behind technology and I think we all can learn something from the older generation who had a very different lifestyle, yet benefitted so much from that difference. We do still have a choice how we spend our time and how we live our lives out in the world. Thanks for adding you voice to the conversation too!

  • What an inspiration and I love these lessons. They are so true, particularly the first comment about conversation!
    Little White Dinosaur recently posted…Flashback Friday: One year agoMy Profile

    • Thanks for really getting the lessons in this piece. Conversation and personal interaction are so key for all of us, starting from a very early age. Glad you found some inspiration in both the over 90 generation and of course my mother, who inspired the piece.

  • This hit close to home today as I am going through a personal career-related matter. Feeling some discord and these words of wisdom and advice have helped. Your mother is an inspiration indeed!
    Heather @ Life of a Traveling Navy Wife recently posted…Life on Dependa-Street: Words from a MilspouseMy Profile

    • Glad to hear something in this piece resonated and maybe even helped with a bit of inspiration. My mother is definitely a strong and independent lady and everyone who meets her sees her as an inspiration of what is possible in life, regardless of our age. All the best and thanks for adding your voice to the conversation!

  • Love meeting your mother. I know she and I would be friends too. I still draft my blogs long hand, keep tons of notes on yellow lined pads.
    I saw that tv show and remarked that they all had interests, not justthings that kept them occupied, but a joy of life, as does your mom.
    Many lessons to be learnned from those above us.
    Tell mom I said hi.
    Roslyn Tanner Evans recently posted…Aquarians and AmethystMy Profile

    • You most likely would be friends with my mother, Roslyn, as she has the ability to get along with all people of all ages. And yes, like the show showed us all, this generation has remained active and engaged and learned to live life on the playing field with others. I still hope it isn’t too late for the younger generations to really embrace and learn from this almost gone generation of elders. Thanks for adding your voice and will definitely say hello to my mother from you.

  • Ashley says:

    Great list here! I’m working on a course for journaling and yoga and I’ll be talking about writing by hand instead of typing everything too!
    Ashley recently posted…Easy Recipe for Safe, Natural Baby WipesMy Profile

    • Thanks Ashley! I am always so excited to hear about others who really get the value of writing long hand. If only the schools and educators understood the long term benefits of learning to actually pick up a pen or pencil and WRITE by hand. Glad you enjoyed the overall list. Much for us to learn from this amazing generation.

  • You must be my soul-cousin.

    Tina Boomerina
    Tina Boomerina recently posted…The Almost-50 Assembly for WomenMy Profile

    • Sounds very possible Tina! Love meeting new soul-cousins. And I probably have many other articles that are right on target with you and your audience. Thanks for joining in the conversation here!

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