Rx For Staying Young – Live, Love, and Laugh a Lot

By John Leighty

The late humorist George Carlin’s top ten list for aging gracefully featured this sage advice: “Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.” 
Other tips for graying Baby Boomers by the irreverent standup comedian were laughing often, long and loud, enjoying simple things, and acknowledging people and things you
Head shot of George Carlin
George Carlin
love. “Laugh until you gasp for breath,” the comic quipped. 
Carlin prescribed finding hobbies such as gardening or arts and crafts to keep the senior brain active and alert as well as eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and learning to endure grief to live a happier and fuller life.
“Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever,” was Carlin’s formula for healthy aging. “Your home is your refuge.”

Carlin left a list of 10 ways to age gracefully. Among them:

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them. 
2. Keep only cheer friends. The bummers get you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's. 
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Read humor books.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive. 
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable,improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. 
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
10.Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. 

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.


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