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Tips for a long life from my Aunt Rose

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Stephanie Staples and her 94-year-old Aunt Rose.

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Stephanie Staples and her 94-year-old Aunt Rose. Photo Store

How old are you going to live to be? If I live to be 94, then I am exactly middle age. This would mean I only have 47 more summers, birthdays and  New Year’s Eves  to enjoy — yikes, that doesn’t sound like enough!

How about you, if all goes well how many birthdays do you anticipate having left?

It may sound like a morbid question but there is nothing like a little shock about our imminent deaths to make us think differently about life.

This week we made the eight-hour driving trek to visit my Auntie Rose who lives all by herself in the same home she has been in for over 50 years. At  exactly double my age (94), she is an amazing woman: strong, independent and determined.

I sure hope I inherited some of her genes and aspire to age as wonderfully as she has.  Over the four days we stayed with her I made some casual observations of what she was doing and came to the conclusion that her daily habits would benefit the majority of us who would like to reach an advanced age in above average mental and physical health.

Take a look at the list below and see how many you do as regularly as she does.
Aunt Rose:

1. Does something active every day. For example, she takes the stairs to and from her basement 4 times a day.
2. She eats only when she is hungry.
3. She stops when she is full.
4. She gets fresh air everyday
5. She enjoys her own company. She is not afraid to be alone and can amuse herself just fine, thank you very much.
6.. She treats herself well
7. She doesn’t let others do for her what she can do for herself
8. She listens to her body, which means that she stops whatever she is doing when she is tired or something is hurting, etc.
9. She talks to herself to shake off any negative thoughts when they pop up.

All in all I think the things she does intuitively are the things that — if we did them purposefully, deliberately and intentionally — would aid in the quality of our health and lives in general.

How about we each pick one of Auntie Rose’s habits and make it our own? However manys years we have left, let’s make them good ones!

Stephanie Staples is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Contact her at stephanie@yourlifeunlimited.ca She also  hosts/produces Motivational Mondays in Winnipeg. The next is on Aug. 12, 2013. They always sell out so grab your tickets now for only $10 at www.MoMonday.com.

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