Senior Living: It’s never to late to start on that bucket list

Look for ways to improve your organization, fitness, social life and more

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A friend and I were discussing the recent column I wrote about things I will never do again and others I have never done before, when she remarked, “that was a real wake-up call.” This took me by surprise and made me think. So here is a “wake-up” list for my contemporaries — ours is called the Silent Generation —­ but even more for the generations following ours, the Baby Boomers, Gen X, the Millennials. And for me, too.

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WAKE UP to travelling

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Go ahead, book that trip to a place you have always wanted to visit — perhaps it is Machu Picchu in Peru (lucky me, I have been there), or, closer to home, explore an attraction in your own city or province you “never had time” to visit. Use all the means available to get there — travel agency, cruise line, airplane, your car, transportation in your own city. You never know the day when you might have to slow down and a cane or walker becomes your “travel companion.” Trust me, I know.

WAKE UP to reading — and not just to checking news on your smartphone

Read all you can on topics of interest to you — buy the books, visit the library, reread books you already own. One day you will be glad you did — the day your eyesight might falter and books on your bookshelf become part of the decor. Ebooks to the rescue!

WAKE UP to moving

Go ahead, take a brisk walk, exercise, dance the night away while you are still able to do it. Or perhaps you love to ski, swim, cycle or play tennis — now is the time to hit the pool, the slopes or the tennis court. Again, one day when problems appear you will be glad you enjoyed your favourite sport and moved a lot while you could.

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WAKE UP to listening

Listen to — or even practice — music or enjoy a theatrical performance. Go to concerts, the theatre, movies; listen to what people crossing your path have to say. Just in case the day comes when you will need hearing aids and even listening becomes difficult. Sorry, but I am one who knows!

WAKE UP to entertaining

Go ahead, invite your friends to that lunch or barbecue, or organize a dinner party in your home. Send out those invitations to your friends while they are still available and well enough to attend — and while you are still the star host or hostess. Don’t forget family gatherings, either!

WAKE UP to shopping

No, I am not encouraging you to overload that credit card but yes, go ahead and splurge a bit. Go buy that outfit that catches your eye. After all, you still need to look good in your everyday life — at work, on social occasions and even to impress once in a while. And don’t forget to indulge your taste for delicacies and sweets, either. Don’t wait for a time when the wardrobe is full but the occasions are lacking.

WAKE UP to organizing — your life, your affairs, your spiritual life

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Make those lists for loved ones — mentioning important items they need to know. Draw up those documents. Organize and perhaps even downsize your surroundings, if that is what is called for (I must take my own advice on this one). Organize your spiritual life, too — with prayer, meditation and reading — to make sense of it all. As the years go by, this will prove to be a strong support.

In the 1970s, I was taken by my relatives to see the Broadway musical Pippin in New York. The lyrics from a song in that musical still resonate with me all these years later and sum it up well.

Here they are.

Oh, it’s time to start livin’

Time to take a little from this world we’re given

Time to take time, cause spring will turn to fall

In just no time at all …

So let the alarm clock go off on whatever we need to wake up to!

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