THIS column is culled from one of the many e-mails of my dear and esteemed friend, Dr. Alice Francisco.

It is her compilation of tips, advice and lifelong observations.

They are all very timely for people of all ages.

Let’s read.

“Some of us have reached our golden years, and some of have not. But these should be read by everyone. They have been collected from many a senior, each with his or her piece of advice. Some may surprise you, and some will remind of what’s important.

“So read well, and share with your loved ones.

“Some people embrace their golden years, while others bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. So spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it’ll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better. Spending time with bitter people will make you older and harder to be around.

“Never use the phrase: ‘In my time...’ Your time is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time. You may have been younger, but you are still you, having fun and enjoying life.

“Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, dance. You can adopt a cat, or a dog, grow a garden, play cards, checkers, chess, dominoes, golf, paint, volunteer at an NGO, or just collect certain items. Find something you like and spend some real time and having fun with.
Even if you don’t feel like it, try to accept invitations, baptisms, graduations, birthdays, weddings, conferences. Try to go. Get out of your house, meet people you haven’t seen in a while, experience something new (or something old). But don’t get upset when you are not invited. Some events are limited by resources, and not everyone can be hosted. The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go walk through a field. Get out there.

“Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them but accept them as a part of the cycle of life we are all going through. Try to minimize them in in your mind. They are not who you are, they are something that life added to you. If they become your entire focus, you lose sight of the person you used to be.

“If you’ve been offended by someone — forgive them. If you you’ve offended someone — apologize. Don’t drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter. It doesn’t matter who was right. Someone once said: ‘Holding a grudge is like taking a poison and expecting the other person to die.’ Don’t take that poison. Forgive, forget and move on with your life.

“If you have a strong belief, savor it. But don’t waste your time trying to convince others. They will make their own choices no matter what you tell them, and it will only bring frustration. Live your faith and set an example. Live true to your beliefs and let that memory sway them.

“Laugh. Laugh a lot. Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never get to this stage of life, never get to experience a full life. But you did. So what’s not to laugh about? Find the humor in your situation.

“Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise, eat well and get your sleep. It’s easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. That is why you need to keep yourself in good shape and be aware of your medical and physical needs. Keep in touch with your doctor, get tested even when you’re feeling well.

“Always buy the best most beautiful items for your significant other. The key goal is to enjoy your money with your partner. One day one of you will miss the other, and the money will not provide any comfort then, enjoy it together.

“Don’t stress over the little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don’t let the past drag you down and don’t let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now. Small issues will soon be forgotten.

“Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love your partner, love life, love your family and remember: ‘A man is not old as long as he has intelligence and affection.’

“Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideals as you, but they are the future, and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them of yesterday’s wisdom that still applies today.
Always stay up-to-date. Go online and read what other people are saying. Make use you have an active e-mail account and try to use some of those social networks. You’ll be surprised which old friends you’ll meet. Keeping in touch with what is going on with the people you know is important at any age.

“Take no notice of what others say about you and even less notice of what they might be thinking. They’ll do it anyway, and you should have pride in yourself and what you’ve achieved. Let them talk and don’t worry. They have no idea about your history, your memories and the life you’ve lived so far.

“There’s still much to be written, so get busy and don’t waste time thinking about what others might think. Now is the time to be at rest, at peace and as happy as you can be.”

With the dawn of the New Year upon us, let me greet you all — my friends, readers and colleagues at the Filipino Reporter — with a Happy, Prosperous, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

To the year 2015 — thank you so much for so many things.

And to the coming year 2016, we welcome you with our whole hearts.

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