"Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears." - John Lennon
I love this quote from John Lennon not just because It’s a beautiful sentiment but also because the Beatles were of course being played constantly when I was born and my first song was apparently ‘She loves you’ with me joining in for the yeah yeah bits! I grew up with the Beatles and as a teenager would play their songs on the guitar and perform them along with other songs in a singing group with my sister and two friends.
Music has always been a big part of my life. I love to sing and have been in many choirs. In fact I love a road trip as it means I can have a good sing along and usually pick out the harmonies. I was also a dancer as a child and one thing most of you don’t know is that I used to teach drama and dance when my girls were growing up in Caithness. I wrote lots of panto’s and plays for children and did all the choreography. Twice yearly I entered children for exams in ballet, tap and modern dance and I absolutely loved it.
When I was thinking of writing a wee series on ‘Turning 60..’ I started thinking of all the usual things people worry about with age, their health, their wrinkles, their bones and their brains and I will come back to those in the series and share some of my personal tips. But I wanted to start with what I believe to be the most important medicine for health and the best antidote for ageing and it’s finding joy!
The quotation above fits perfectly with this because what matters most in life is love and community, laughter and sharing. During lockdown we saw the damaging effects of loneliness and watched our nearest and dearest age overnight in some cases. We don’t need many friends and in fact we only need a small handful of really close friends to share our good days and bad, our joys and our worries. But as we go through life we meet many people who touch our lives in so many ways, they encourage us, they guide us and they remind us what it is to be human as we share our vulnerability. More importantly they make us laugh. Isn’t it interesting when we think of old friends we tend to think of funny occasions. And as soon as we meet them even decades later it's those funny memories which resurface, celebrated in fits of hilarity as fresh as the day they first happened.
For me finding joy also comes in playing with my granddaughter Heidi and her partner in crime Molly the cutest jack russell ever! And did you know that spending time with your grandchildren keeps you young and is good for your health? No surprises there! I also find joy in country walks and having grown up by the seaside of Whitley Bay, I am very drawn to the sea which always makes me feel alive, even more so when it is the Cote’d’azur in the South of France! My job is also a source of great joy as there is nothing better than being able to help someone find their way to optimal health. I’m very blessed to have married my bestie and he always makes me smile. While we have shared 37 years together and many tears, health challenges, redundancies and financial worries we have also shared many more smiles and he is still my bestie. As I reflect on my life, I always say life is less about the challenges and more about who we face them with and how we face them.
It’s interesting when you are in business as the gurus out there will suggest that we should be aiming high, earning loads of money and climbing to the top of an invisible mountain. We live in a culture which still defines success in life in monetary terms and the trappings of materialism that come with that. While we all need to pay our bills and to be warm and well fed and comfortable, that concept of ‘success’ doesn’t bring joy. Joy comes from living in the present and enjoying the simple things in life, a beautiful sunset, birds singing, a nice cup of tea and in my favourite season which is summer, life doesn’t get better than feeling the sand between your toes!
Last year when we faced uncertainty and embarked on so many big changes in our lives and ultimately had to sell our house, the thoughts I share above are the things which always gave me comfort. You see, our friends out there don’t change and nor do the things we love, they remain the same and they will always be there as long as we search for them. The birds don’t sing a different song in Richard Branson’s world, nor do the sunsets share a different colour. Indeed, the natural world is one of the constants in life which always reassures and affirms and it is there for all of us to enjoy even if just from a window.
Finding joy is also about sharing it with others. So if you do have a funny memory or a happy time you’d love to share, phone that friend or relative who would just love to share it with you. Laugh together, cry together, but just share. We all have those days when we don't feel so great or even pretty awful and out of the blue we get a call from someone special, bang on cue. It's almost as if they knew we needed a friend. But somewhere out there right now is someone who’d love to hear from you and that moment when they recognise your voice is just priceless. There isn’t a pill for that or a supplement, just do it….
So to keep ourselves young, we need to find our joy and to keep doing it and sharing it as long as we are privileged to be here.
Amazon Associates Disclosure
Nourishing Insights is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING
“I did Nutritional Therapy with Beverley and it was life changing. I highly recommend it!” Allison Blakely (Glasgow)
Want to speak to us by phone? Book a call back here.