The other day, I started to write a letter to myself to read when I reach the age of 90.
Let me explain a little about writing a letter to myself….

My parents are both ninety years old.
I have been observing them for quite awhile.
I have also observed other older people including my grandmother who lived until age 95.
I am always interested in watching people and observing their actions, and often times I try to figure out why they do what they do.
As you would expect, most of the time I come to the conclusion that I have no idea why people do what they do.

One thing that comes out of this though, is that I learn stuff about myself—who and what I want to be, or who or what I DON’T want to be.
I talk to a lot of people about their caregiving situations. We are a generation in the middle. We have child care and parent care.

As my parents are both ninety, there is a good chance I will experience their longevity; hence, the idea for the letter to my future 90 year old self.
My original intention was to have different letters to read along my path as I navigate the years.

However, after getting started on this one, I realized this letter is the only one I need to guide me into being the kind of person I want to be as I age.
And actually, it is not in a letter form. It is a checklist.
I want to remember either to do these things, or in some cases, to NOT do these things.

The astericks* indicate circumstances if/when handicapped in some way, or unable to drive, etc.)
I would love to hear what YOU would put on your list.

My Life List:

Do not waste time feeling sorry for yourself.
Make sure that by insisting on your independence you are not creating more work for others.
Let go of all resentments-don’t waste energy on that.
Don’t complain.
When people take you for errands, combine them-do not go to one place for milk, one for produce, one for blah,blah,blah—it is really a pain in the- well, you know. *
Have medications delivered by the pharmacy on a regular scheduled basis. *
When people call/visit, ask them about themselves, their families, their work and their interests.
Exercise-Hire a trainer if possible.
If you can’t hear, get a hearing aid. If you cannot see, get eyes checked regularly and wear glasses. If you keep falling, get a walker or cane.
Use nice things-don’t save stuff for a special time. The special time is now.
Smile. Accept and give hugs.
Get rid of old stuff. There is good old stuff & there is bad old stuff. You know the difference. Get help with this if necessary.
Stay as informed as possible on current events.
Use the computer, and do puzzles and other activities that challenge the mind.
Read. Listen to music. Dance, even if you can only wave your arms. (It’s still dancing if dance is your intention.)
Do volunteer work.
Make sure you eat properly even if you don’t feel like it.
Don’t continually talk about the past unless someone asks you about it or you have such an exciting story that people always want to hear it. (I have got a couple of those, but even I am kind of bored with them. Imagine if you had to listen to them repeatedly!)
Find something each day to be grateful for and smile.
Write cheerful letters to people.

I figure if I make sure I follow these “rules” now, I will be happy all my life.
Please write with your comments. Let me know your thoughts and experiences in this area.

Author's Bio: 

Diana Fletcher is the author of several Self-Help books, including Happy on Purpose Daily Messages of Empowerment and Joy for Women. Her books are available on and and her website:
Please visit Diana's website for more information and freebies!