Utne Blogs > The Sweet Pursuit

The Sweet Pursuit

Former Associate editor Margret Aldrich on the hunt for happiness, community, and how humans thrive


How to Avoid Becoming a Boring Old Person

 by Julie Hanus


Tags: health and wellness, modern virtues, time, scheduling, aging, boredom, Spirituality and Health, Julie Hanus,

No offense to boring people of any age, of course. But there’s an interesting dispatch in the March-April issue of Spirituality & Health about the “most important lesson” of healthy aging, which happens to be the ultimate antidote to boring ruts: Value your time.

“You are how you use your time,” octogenarian Deborah Szekley tells the magazine. She’s authorized to say that: Szekely retired from a career in the health/wellness spa business, realized she was becoming “a little old lady,” and moved to Washington D.C. She ran for Congress, became a diplomat, and now, nearing 90, is campaigning to change grade-school curriculum to include longer, healthier lunch breaks and more exercise.

What galvanized her? Apparently, an old-fashioned calendar and a weekly moment to reflect on it. This is her strategy, as Spirituality & Health reports:

[On Sundays, look back and] ask yourself what was good about each day and how it could have been better. Use five colored pencils to underline on the calendar, in the appropriate color, whatever you did in the previous week:

Black: I wouldn’t have done this.

Blue: I would have delegated this.

Red: I did this for health.

Green: I did this to grow.

Favorite color: I did this with family/friends, for fun.

After you’ve valued your past week, look at what’s coming in the next week, which should be written in pencil. Is your schedule humane? Are there things you should erase right now? Are important colors missing?

Spirituality & Health is a 2010 Utne Independent Press Award nominee in the category of spiritual coverage.

Source: Spirituality & Health (article not available online)

rachael_1
4/23/2010 9:08:12 AM

Oh my, this is pure genius. I love it! I am going to do this starting right now, and you have inspired me to be that kind of little old lady! Thank you for making the world a better place. Thank you for helping to make me a better person.