Opinion: Just FYI from AARP


I just received my 304th copy of the AARP Bulletina publication that has arrived in my mailbox every month since I turned 50. I didn’t read it when I was in my 50s because I resented being seen as a senior then. Now I’m in my 70s and I don’t want anyone telling me how to eat healthy, boost my brain power, sleep well, improve my memory or how to choose the best walk-in tub.

In the May issue, I glanced at the lead article: “60 Ways to Live Longer, Stronger, Better.”

Here are some of the actual entries, with a few snide comments by me, added in parentheses.

Take a Do Not Disturb Break: Close your eyes for five minutes and don’t open them for anyone (I tried that this past Friday just before I heard the Amazon delivery truck pull up. I raced outside to get my new headphones and collided with my mailbox).

Store fruit in the front of the fridge: You will be more apt to eat a healthy snack that way(but now I’ve stepped on all the blueberries that scattered all across the kitchen floor when I jammed my arm inside the top shelf to reach the Oscar Mayer Bologna).

Do the dishwasher boogie: Do what you hate and turn it into a party. For example, dance in front of the dishwasher as you load it. This will remind you both how much fun you can have together (Mary Ellen and I waltzed around the recycling bin after we rolled it to the curb Sunday night. The neighbors all laughed at us because they knew pickup wasn’t until next week).

  • Choose fragrance-free products (for Mother’s Day, I bought Mary Ellen a fragrance-free perfume. Did she ever wear it? I’ll never know).
  • Bring plants into your home: Plants make you feel relaxed and free of stress (wait a second, aren’t those plants illegal in Indiana?).
  • Take time to appreciate your partner’s skin: (I thought that sounded very romantic, then AARP added, “Be on the lookout for moles.” Well, that kind of ruined the mood).
  • Once a week, try to learn something new (I did this over the last month and now I have four new things I’m lousy at).
  • Decorate healthfully: If you keep chocolates on the cocktail table, hide them (AARP is assuming if you are old enough to get its AARP Bulletin, you won’t remember where you hid them).
  • Finally, do an hourly posture check: Sit or stand tall with your feet flat on the floor. Look straight ahead, bringing your shoulders back and slightly tuck in your chin (then take a selfie. But it won’t matter. You’ll still look 30 years older than you really are).


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