People + Culture

JC’s Advice for Healthy Aging and Finding Your “Badass” Self


Is it extreme irony or just some kind of cruel joke?

September is “National Healthy Aging” month, which offers a perfect set-up for my first blog post here at 2e. Being 65 and freshly retired, with my newly minted Silver Sneaker senior citizen fitness club membership card in hand, who better to offer time-tested advice for healthy aging, right?

The truth is, I’ve only used the Silver Sneaker card to go swimming on a 104° day in late July. And, after doing research on which Medicare Advantage Plus plan to select in the open enrollment period (and listening to my graceless financial planner harass me for not saving enough to gracefully retire at my current lifestyle), I quickly discovered I needed to get a better perspective on “Healthy Aging.”

No problem. This is the digital age. There’s an app for that. Buzzfeed’s gotta have a “Top Ten” list on healthy aging.

After doing a little research, I quickly learned I was right. From “Seven Habits of People Who Age Well” to “22 Tips To Help You Age Brilliantly,” there are tons of lists out there in varying lengths, sizes and shapes, and for the most part, they’re helpful, sound and fairly holistic.

Guess what, Mr. Financial Planner Guy, my lifestyle is going to change — in fact, my lifestyle better change.

Sure, skim through the checklists. Go more in-depth by reading industry journals and professional resources. Know and understand as much as possible about the demographic, psychographic and socioeconomic data related to the aging populations throughout the United States and globally.

But, when it comes to understanding yourself, and doing something about preparing your “badass” self for the future in this rapidly changing world, I highly recommend you read this “badass” book.

Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares is a memoir by Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, who upon entering mid-life was struck by an urge to change and reinvent her life. She created what she called, “The 52/52 Project“ — a year-long endeavor where each week for 52 consecutive weeks she would challenge herself to go outside of her comfort zone.

Reading this book has inspired me to shake-up my own inertia and assemble the courage to learn a few more truths about myself, and about life. To once again experience the simple joy of finding humor in the moment, to rediscover the pure joy of absolute silliness and to regain the honest joy of being able to laugh at myself. Just as Ms. Stanfa-Stanley intended.

So the real question is, what are we going to do about it? The difference between doing it and not doing it, is doing it, right?

Affecting real and lasting change takes every ounce of inspiration, courage and confidence we can muster. It means constantly challenging ourselves and one another to stretch our boundaries to the new possibilities, new discoveries, new therapies and new hope surrounding us all. It’s brutal, but it’s something we challenge ourselves to do every day here at 2e.

New hope. New beginnings. Affecting real change. Sounds pretty badass, huh?

Happy Healthy Aging Month!

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