As we grow older, our appetite to try new things does not need to decline. On the contrary, older is wiser, and the older we get the better we know ourselves. We have had our younger years to write a mental list of the all our hopes and dreams. Statistically we have more free time, and resources to devote to taking on the things we have always wanted to do, so now is the time to act, plan something amazing and start making new memories. Here at Lifton Home Lifts, we have come up with the six things you are never too old to do!
1. Never Stop Learning
Never has an ancient adage been as wrong as the one that says ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ Learning something new is a surefire way to keep your brain in the best of health, and what better than to devote your time to learning about a subject in which you’ve always had an interest?
Local colleges and learning centres often run evening classes for every interest going, be that educational, such as a language or maths course, creative, such as painting or flower arranging, or something practical like brick laying or basic plumbing.
If you are keen to complete those qualifications you may have missed out on in earlier life you can enroll in a longer course and study for a GCSE or ‘A’ level.
Many older people wish to study a topic that interests them to a much deeper level, by taking a degree course or masters degree. As a mature student, you have the luxury of knowing you are indulging your own thirst for knowledge, making it a far more rewarding experience than those who are simply at university as the next step in their education ladder.
Once you have finished your course, you never know where it will lead you, further studies, or a business in that field, or onto a related voluntary role… new worlds could open up to you!
2. Reinvent Your Look
Often older people can feel stuck in an image rut, maybe preferring the styles of their youth, or finding that the shops are targeting the older age range with practical styles, rather than ones which truly reflect your inner self. But there are no rules about who can wear what and at what age. By breaking out of the expected fashion norms, older people can feel liberated, and youthful, and get a great sense of ‘self.’
Maybe start with a striking new hairstyle. By changing your stylist to one who views you with the current hair trends in mind you might find a flattering new cut that makes you look and feel more stylish.
Step inside clothes shops that traditionally target younger shoppers which will help you get your eye in to current fashions. You do not even need to buy anything, but if you do, even just one key piece added to your existing wardrobe can shake up your look so that you feel more fashion conscious.
If you find breaking into new trends a bit daunting on your own, many larger department stores have personal shoppers who will work with you to build a style that works for you, your personality, lifestyle and body shape.
3. Travel the World
Travel is one of the best ways of (literally) broadening your horizons, and opening your mind to new cultures and ways of thinking. Often we send our young people off on the path less traveled for a year, so they can meet people, experience different traditions and explore the great wonders of the world – but why should these experiences be reserved for the young?
When we find ourselves retired, with time on our hands, the world is our oyster. Even better, with more expendable cash certainly than students have, we can choose to travel in style. If the backpacking, hostel-staying lifestyle is the experience you want, then go for it, and you are sure to meet lots of fascinating souls along the way and discover hidden gems in backstreets. However, if you prefer the idea of sleeping in comfort and seeing the world with a touch of luxury, now is the time to take the plunge. Of course, a long trip with a mixture of the two can work well too.
Research your trip well, make sure you have good insurance to cover you for any existing medical conditions, and consider speaking to a specialist travel agent to help you plan your trip to suit your needs.
4. Develop an Interest
If you have spent your life collecting old recipes and refining them to perfection, now could be the time to compile your own cookbook. If you have always enjoyed sailing, now could be the time to take your RYA training so you can skipper a yacht. Or if you have always taken part in a sing-along, maybe now you could join the local choir.
With a lifetime of experience of the things that make you happy, use your time now to refine those thoughts and channel your talents into a new interest or hobby. Not only will it bring you joy and energy, but you can meet others with a similar passion, and maybe become an expert in your field. What better than to pass your time doing something that inspires you and might well inspire others too.
5. Get a New Pet
Pet owners often say that the animal in their life is the centre of their world and brings them even more joy than their families do! Whether this would be true for you or not, a pet can certainly be a lovely focus at the heart of your home. Many older people rule out the idea of pet ownership because of the commitment needed, say to walk a dog twice a day, or for vet visits, but by selecting the right pet anyone can have the joy of owning a special animal.
For a very close and more dependent relationship choose a dog, who once trained, will be your best friend and constant companion. Although a dog does require more commitment and might limit where you can go on holiday and how long you can leave them you will be rewarded hugely in unconditional love and attention. A bonus is that the daily walks will make you get out more, and encourage you to stay fit and healthy.
If you prefer a more independent animal, opt for a cat or two. Once they are past the year mark with the help of the cat-flap cats will come and go as they please, making them much lower maintenance. But with luck your favourite furry friend will still seek you out on cold winter evenings to cuddle up on your lap. Do not stop at dogs and cats – there’s so many more to choose from – rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters or fish!
6. Start New Relationships
As we age, we can often be surrounded by many sets of friends we have gathered over the course of our lives, from working lives, old neighbours, university and even school. It’s true that there is nothing better than old friends, except perhaps making new ones. Old friends tend to be spread far and wide geographically and whilst it’s great to arrange get-togethers and reunions, having good friends nearby is also important. In addition, new friends offer new ideas, the spark of finding out things you didn’t know about them and a fresh perspective. Often our friends have connected with us at times when we’ve had things in common, so new friends will be attracted to us because of how we are and how they are right now.
We can meet new people anywhere, but to make friends you need to be open to the idea of friendship and actively pursue the relationship – by making an invitation perhaps. Ask the person you are friendly with at pilates if they’d like a coffee after the class. Suggest that a couple you chat to at your dance class might like to go out for dinner. Even see if everyone in your art class fancies a trip somewhere at the weekend to carry on the art skills.
Do not be confined to friendships. If you find yourself single in your later years, do not think that you are too old to start a new relationship. Something that starts as friendship might well grow into a romance. If you are more determined to find a special someone, you could try online dating which is now the number one way to meet a partner, and has evolved to ensure good success rates. Alternately, by getting involved in things you love, you are likely to meet a like-minded person who could be just right for you.