As we get older many of us feel unhappy, health-wise and security-wise, due to the diminishing importance given to us and our opinions. But, it should not be so, if only we understand the basic principles of life and follow them conscientiously.  

Here are some suggestions to age gracefully and make life after retirement pleasant, inspired by the writings of N. Jambunathan Lyer.

The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.
~Lucille Ball

Never say ďI am old.Ē There are 3 ages: chronological, biological and psychological. The first is calculated based on our date of birth; the second is determined by the health conditions; the third is how old we feel we are. While we don't have control over the first, we can take care of our health with good diet, exercise and a cheerful attitude. A positive attitude and optimistic thinking can reverse the third age.

Health is Wealth. If we really love our family and friends, taking care of our health should be our priority. Thus, we will not be a burden to them. Have an annual health check-up and take the prescribed medicines regularly. Do take health insurance coverage.

Money is Important. Money is essential for meeting the basic necessities of life, keeping good health and earning family respect and security. We should not spend beyond our means even for our children. We have lived for them all through and it is time we enjoy a harmonious life with our spouse. If our children are grateful and they take care of us, we are blessed. But, never take it for granted.

Relaxation and recreation are important. The most relaxing and recreational forces are a healthy religious attitude, good sleep, music and laughter. Have faith in God, learn to sleep well, love good music and see the funny side of life.

Time is precious. It is almost like holding a horse's reins. When they are in our hands, we can control them. Imagine that every day we are born again; yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is ready cash, use it profitably.

And in the end, itís not the years in your life that count. Itís the life in your years. ~Abraham Lincoln

Live this moment; live it fully, now, in the present time. Change is the only permanent thing. We should accept change, it is inevitable. The only way to make sense out of change is to join in the dance. Change has brought about many pleasant things.

Believe in enlightened selfishness. All of us are basically selfish. Whatever we do, we expect something in return. We should definitely be grateful to those who stood by us. But, our focus should be on the internal satisfaction and the happiness we derive by doing well for others, without expecting anything in return and performing a random act of kindness daily.

Forgive and forget. Donít be bothered too much about others' mistakes. We are not spiritual enough to show our other cheek when we are slapped in one. But for the sake of our own health and happiness, let us forgive and forget the hurt (but not the lesson we learned). Otherwise, we will be only increasing our blood pressure. 

Everything has a purpose. Let us take life as it comes; and accept ourselves as we are and also accept others for what they are. Everybody is unique and is right in oneís own way.

Overcome the fear of death. We all know that one day we have to leave this world. Still we are afraid of death. We think that our spouse and children will not be able to withstand our loss. But the truth is no one is going to die for us; they may be depressed for some time. Time heals everything and they will go on.

There is a fountain of youth: it is our mind, our talents, the creativity we bring to our life and the lives of people we love. When we learn to tap this source, we will truly have defeated age.

By Tim Pedrosa