October was a special month in my world because my father-in-law hit the milestone of 91 years young! And can I just say, chatting with folks who not only hit that age but who absolutely rock it is one of my very favorite things. Today, I’m giving you a glimpse into Jim’s incredible journey—how he’s not just ticking off the years from his rocking chair, but crushing his time with intention and purpose!
Follow Those Older Than You & Crushing It:
Connecting with, and being inspired by people like Jim light me up. Whether it’s finding incredible women on social media who are just learning, at 60 years old, to do pull-ups or having a real-life conversation with someone in their 90s, the inspiration is off the charts. These legends living their best lives later on serve as reminders of what is possible for us.
I can’t tell you how many times women comment on my Instagram posts saying they feel it’s “too late” for them. They are almost always in their 40’s or 50’s. I don’t have to ask “why,” I already know the answer. We’ve believed this lie because it’s what’s been fed to us from both society and even well-meaning matriarchs in our families who tell us things like, “wait till you get to my age…it all goes to hell!” or “Enjoy those perky breasts now because when you’re my age, you’ll be sweeping the floor with them.” Am I the only one who’s heard that one?
This is why we need to saturate ourselves with inspirational people who challenge the status quo on aging.
Jim's Secret Sauce to a Kicka$$ Life:
Every Friday morning, for years now, we have had breakfast with my Jim and my mother-in-law (a legend in her own right!) and have the best conversation…these are memories I’ll treasure forever! One day I asked Jim, “What’s your secret to outliving all your classmates and most of your friends. His answer, “I just don’t worry about anything.”
Now, before you roll your eyes, hear me out. Jim’s got this chilled-out vibe that’s contagious. It got me thinking about stress, especially for us Type A peeps. We know the role that stress plays on our cardiovascular system and how it can rob us of sleep, peace, and joy. Maybe if we all worked more on our stress we’d live in better harmony with the health God intended us to have in the first place.
And a quick note on his physical abilities. Although he has a bit of a balance issue, Jim is strong and still able to get up and down off the floor with ease. Within this past year, he came to tow my mom when she got stuck in our yard and Randy was out of town. I watched as he grabbed a rope, got on his back under her car to tie the rope, got back up and pulled her out. Come on, now…THAT’S INSPIRING!
Jim’s Wisdom on Eating and Moving:
Then, I asked him about his eating habits, noting that he just doesn’t eat a lot at one sitting. His simple response was, well, I’m not moving a lot so I don’t require as much food for energy. Huh. What if we adopted that same mindset. Days we may be moving less, we just don’t eat as much. Days we’re moving more (hopefully this is most days), we eat a bit more. Simple. Profound. And although it’s also a fact backed by science, Jim was just stating the obvious.
Retirement—Not Slowing Down, but Leveling Up:
Let’s talk about the R-word—retirement. After retirement, Jim never slowed down. How many do you know who retired to slow down? Take it easy? Whose golden years became their sitting years? That wasn’t Jim. He retired and then volunteered more at church. Helped run our kids to their activities. Built more things in the workshop with his new time freedom. Continued (as he still does) mowing the grass, doing some gardening, and so much more. He maintained a purpose and purpose has a direct correlation to long life. All the longest lived societies continue to work in some fashion which keeps both their mind and bodies agile…purpose = body and mind protection.
Dreaming a Decade Ahead:
Thought bomb: Retirement is no time to slow down; it’s the beginning of your next adventure. Jim’s got me all pumped & excited about what’s next. I’m scribbling down intentions for the next decade, and let me tell you, it’s a game-changer. It’s like saying, “Hello, future! I’m ready for you!”
Jim’s story of living life abundantly at 91 can be summed up into: mindful eating, keeping that fire burning post-retirement, and letting God take the hard that we have no control over anyway. Let’s all take a cue from Jim and crush the expectations of aging. Who says growing older can’t be an absolute blast? My advice, be curious about those who are older and crushing it. Be curious. Ask them questions and mine for the secrets they hold to living an abundant life. Not only will this change your own mindset, but it will allow you to transform into the woman who is the “Jim” for those coming up behind you! Here’s to a life well-lived, my friend! 🌟