What would your 90-year-old-self tell you about living life?

by Irwin Lengel

Such a question does make one stop and think about life and how we are living it. One thing it does is cause one to think a lot about getting older, and yes, especially when heading in to the octogenarian years, a little bit concerned that time is in fact not on one’s side anymore.

Will I reach a ripe old age? What is considered a ripe old age? What will I do with the years leading up to my nineties?

Questions, questions, questions???

Then I asked myself – “So Irwin. What would your 90-year-old-self tell you?”

I think he would tell me to “suck it up buttercup,” it isn’t going to get any better but be like the heroes we see in the movies….. you know brave and fearless. Baby steps or as some might say…one foot in front of the other will get you where you need to go.

If there is one thing I have learned over the past 77 plus years it is that time goes by rather quickly. With that thought in mind, I think my 90-year-old self would say: “There’s a lot of crap going on in the world – do not be a part of it. Take life one day at a time and go lightly. Be sure to have and keep a sense of humor. Look at each day as the present it is – make sure to enjoy the fact that you woke up while others may not have. Do not long for things you don’t have or how you think your life should have been.”

A better way might be to put it would be to merely say: “Don’t sweat the small stuff!” Enjoy what you have while you have it.

Other things my 90 year-old-self might tell me:

Enjoy your retirement years but most of all enjoy each day you wake up. Smell the roses or in my case the coffee. Life has the tendency to sort itself out. Enjoy the here and now and do yourself a favor, let tomorrow take care of itself.

Keep moving – don’t allow your bones to get brittle or your joints to tighten up. Even if only thirty minutes a day and those thirty minutes can be accomplished in three ten-minute segments.

Find something you love and have always wanted to do and do it. Remember the saying: “Time waits for no man or woman.” If you are not going to do it now – when are you going to do it?

Some choose to travel while others take this time to make themselves healthier by losing weight. Some, like us, tell the kids that we are going to spend their inheritance so don’t expect any money when we go.

If you don’t feel old why act old? I mean, at 77 and 80 with me soon turning 78 this year, one thing my wife and I are proud of is that we do not act our age. Besides, where is the fun in that? You have got to let that child out sometime!

While I know, at times we do wake up with some aches and pains we have not been accustomed to – fact is that no matter how we feel when we wake, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to be positive.

Moan and groan and people will not want to be in your company. After all, truth be told, on certain days – usually those days we do not have to go anywhere – we (my wife and I), have those type of days too and let’s face it – even we do not like ourselves. What makes us think other people would want to be in our company when we are in one of those moods.

When in the company of other individuals, we should do our best to be energetic and positive. Besides, if we are trying our best to be upbeat and positive – what good will it do to talk about our aches and pains and worries. Being upbeat and looking on the bright side of things is so much more energizing.

And for those of us that are still married – that old rule about not going to bed mad at each other still holds true. Always make it a point, should you have an argument with your mate during the day, to kiss and make up. Saying you are sorry and going to bed with a smile on your face goes a long way in assisting with a good night’s sleep. No sense of going to bed with negative feelings because all you are asking for is to wake up in the same mood and how is that going to help you wake up to a better tomorrow.

One of the things that keeps me going is my desire to learn something new each day even if only a new joke or saying I can share with those around me. At the moment, even though I must admit it is rather frustrating, I am in the process of doing my best to learn how to use an old Microsoft Surface laptop because this one I am writing on has decided to show me that it too is getting old. The learning curve for someone my age is not as broad as it used to be, but as we were told when we were much younger, “Practice makes perfect.” So, I keep on trying!

Which allows me to segue into yet another thing we should do as we get older and that is to make sure we are observant of all that is going on around us. Take a walk and look at the trees, flowers, rabbits scampering to and from, squirrels running from tree to tree, listen to the birds chirping away. Do your best to find something beautiful to stop and gaze at and admire. On days when I go for my morning walks, by taking in sights similar to those just mentioned, well they just make my walks worthwhile, not to mention the health benefits I derive from the walk itself.

We can all look upon life with our eyes half open or we can make sure we keep them wide open and in doing so find something beautiful and breath-taking to take in reminding us that hey – life isn’t all that bad and getting old, well, that’s just another part of life.

I used to think that achieving this or that was what made people sit up and take notice, but the older one gets, the more one realizes that it is how you make people feel that counts not what you have achieved. If people know you for the little things you do helping where you can and being available when needed, that is what counts in the end not all your grand achievements. So, even as we get old we need to continue to do good and be nice to those around us.

Stay in touch with friends be they your online friends or those you have known for years. Sometimes just sitting back remembering the good times spent together in years past is enough to keep your spirits up and sharing those thoughts with friends might just bring their spirits up as well should they be down. I’ve often thought of the many friends I have met since I started writing and wondered what it would be like to meet in person the next time we might be traveling through the area where they live. Wouldn’t that be a hoot!

One of the problems I see with getting old is that at times we are tempted to sink into what one might call a comfort zone and not do much of anything. To me, that is the worst thing we can do as we age. Talk about boring and a way to lead into depression. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves – something that gets us up and out every day. And if we can’t get out, try something new inside the house every day. Something that will enable us to improve our self-confidence daily.

Be thankful for what we have whether we do so the first thing in the morning when we wake or the last thing we do at night before going to bed. I always like to remember the fact that no matter how bad we think we might have it, not that I think we have it bad because we do not, someone has it worse. Okay, I’ve done ranting and raving.

What would your 90-year-old-self tell you?

Comments for What would your 90-year-old-self tell you about living life?

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by: Irwin

Excellent point. Thanks Loyce

by: Loyce in California

Life is a battle so fight the negativity and gravity and reward thyself with tasty food, good friends, great entertainment and a comfy home with sweet pets.

Recent post
by: Irwin

The only way to take each day.


90 year old self
by: Cindi H, Ohio

Well said, Irwin. You pretty much covered it all. I am happy to say that my husband and I have a similar outlook on life. Makes it all worthwhile.

Recent post
by: Irwin


Working on it. Doctor says it is a "viral infection" and is treating it with non-antibiotic meds. While I am feeling better, not quite up to par but hopefully soon.

Glad I am able to bring a smile or two to others' faces with my wild and crazy rants.

Hopefully I will be posting something here again on Retirement-online within the next few days or so.

Take care of yourself and as a cartoonist I once knew used to say in closing: "See you in the funny papers!"

Hey Irwin
by: Sherry/NC

I hope you are feeling better now!! I am thinking of you. Take good care and get lots of rest and drink a lot of fluids so that your body can get rid of all of that toxin!!

90- year old self
by: Irwin

Sherry, Larry, and Anonymous

Thank you all so much for your responses to my post. I would have commented sooner but I have been down with the flu or something and am not cooking on all 4 burners yet. See the doctor tomorrow and hope she gives me something to shake it.

I do appreciate your comments though and hope to be back posting again this weekend.


These past few days have me feeling my age...now where is that bottle of geritol? 😁🌞

Getting on with Life
by: Sherry/NC

Hey Irwin, if you weren't married I would ask you to be my boyfriend!

I think you are great!

There is one thing that can happen to you to make you so glad you are older, wiser, secure and more confident and have the time of your life. You can win the lottery and become a philanthropist!!

I would love to buy myself a luxury suv and give the rest away and see the look on folks faces!!!

Well said Irwin!
by: Larry Steward / SC

Your very upbeat and positive comment was the first thing I read this morning. You made my day. Those are words we should all live by. These golden years are too special to not take advantage of in any way we can.

Thanks for helping us put our focus in the right place.

Magnesium levels
by: Anonymous

Sage advice for anyone at any age.


I would like to do some great things again, may have to settle for just good.

I am a person who thinks of ideas that others seem to never consider.

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