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Age Is Just a Number

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Q: Why do some individuals appear to be old at 32 while some 72-year-olds appear younger? I find it difficult to understand. Regardless of why, what is the secret of feeling younger and not looking older than my actual age? Is it too late for me to change?

A: No. Because you have awakened to the idea your life could be happier if you learned to be more positive. Change is always possible, regardless of age!

Make a list of achievable goals. Think it out. Do you prefer living in the future or the past?

Are you living in your now?

Every individual ages differently. Accepting what has occurred in your past and what may happen in your future is a major challenge. As we age, we do not change as much as we do from 30 to 40, nor as we do from 55 to 75. We all age at different rates. Our hearing begins to go in our 30s and our muscular strength and reproductive powers pass our peak.

Our bonus is that our brain continues to grow, often well into our 80s and even later. Take an interest in our world and learn at least one new thing every day. Don't hit the skids because of your birthdays. For example, poet Stanley Kunitz was named U.S. poet laureate at age 95.

As we gain knowledge and brainpower, we are able to enhance our ability to survive and to love our families, and to maintain better health, welfare, independence and happiness!

There are always obstacles in life, but you will feel and look younger if you keep positive and adjust! — Doug

GENERATION GAP

Q: My grandson just turned 10, and I want to be able to talk to him directly, rather than having his parents mediate.

Especially as I'm getting older, I'd like to have a closer bond with him while I'm still around. Writing letters to him recently, I found out that his school no longer teaches cursive to its students. He likes email and texting better, but I don't feel comfortable with those. How can I bridge the generation gap?

A: One of the most important things in any relationship is compromise, which means that both you and your grandson will have to step a little out of your comfort zones. As long as you want to have a bond, you need to recognize the effort it will take — but also recognize the reward for your work at it.

It sounds like both of you have limitations on what you can use and what you're familiar with: He can't write cursive and isn't used to letters, and you are uncomfortable with technology and like writing traditional letters. You need to find something that works.

Phone calls may be a good intermediate option, but hearing can always be an issue. Plus, letters make great mementos. You might want to compromise by writing to him in print, and perhaps (if he's better at typing that writing) he could type his replies and mail them to you. Both of you may have to give a little, but you will always treasure your relationship. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at deardoug@msn.com. Betty is a friend of Doug Mayberry, whom she helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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