The Fairy Tale of Growing Old

I hear the "I'm too old" excuse a lot.

"I'm too old to see other countries."
"Dating at my age?" (followed by laughter)
"My best years are wayyyyy behind me." 
It's true. 
If you choose to believe it. 

But I don't...and I'm 54.
And neither does Dr. Irene Conlan.
And by the way...she is 81

Besides having her own blog, Irene has been the host of The Self Improvement Show on the VoiceAmerica radio network since 2010. For one hour every Thursday, Irene talks about subjects that help us "be better, do better, and achieve more." She has missed only three episodes in the last seven years...except recently when she took three months off after finding her "Mr. Amazing."

Yep...that's right.
In her 80's...Irene just found the "love of my life."

This woman definitely has lessons to share about "How to Live with Awesomeness"...
so I thought I would ask her a few questions and learn.

1. At age 81, what is your secret for living so vibrantly?
"I'm not sure it's a secret, but I am careful with my thoughts, and stay in the positive. I find things to laugh about as often as possible, and I smile for no reason. I do things I love, and I find adventures...even grocery shopping can be an adventure if you make it one. Oh...and get a dog! They make you get up and do things whether you want to or not." 

2. What are some "staying healthy" secrets you can share?
"Love yourself. If you love who you are, you will take care of you. Eat healthy and get as 'sugar free' and 'junk food free' in your life as possible. Get some form of exercise every day. Walking is free and it works. And if you are alone, get a dog or a cat. They make you move, and give you something to love."  

3. What thoughts would you share about dating for older people who may have given up on finding "love" again?
"Don't stop looking. Don't give up. There are dating sites for Seniors. Join a couple. Don't let loneliness get in the way of good judgment and enjoy meeting and talking with new people. If nothing else, you will make some new friends and have something new to think about." 

4. What have you learned about life that you wish "younger Irene" would have known? 
"Patience is, indeed, a virtue. Don't rush through life but don't dawdle too long, either. Smell the flowers, pick a few, and enjoy them outrageously. Whatever it is that you really want, go for it. Find a way. Make it happen. Don't wait for everyone's approval. The only real approval you need is your own." 

5. If you could share one lesson about life universally...what would it be? 
"You are in charge of your own life. You create it with your thoughts, decisions and actions so create well, forgive quickly, and laugh a lot."  

When age creeps up on us, and we start believing and reciting the "I'm Too Old" fairy tale... people like Irene Conlan remind us that belief, passion and purpose don't have to grow old.

Unless we let them.

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Shawn Anderson                                                 (310) 402-4826