If there's one question that every senior asks him- or herself, it's how to feel young again. It's long been thought impossible for people to turn back the clock: after all, there is no such thing as the Fountain of Youth.
But that thought is changing, to a certain degree. Although there's very little we can do to arrest our natural, physical decline, our mental, emotional, spiritual and financial wellness needn't suffer as we age.
And that's the core principle behind the positive aging movement.
People who take steps to preserve and protect their holistic wellness, as they age, are more likely to maintain a positive outlook in their later years, and that makes them feel more vibrant, more optimistic about the future, more hopeful — in short, they'll feel younger.
So, how can a senior living in Louisville feel young again? Are there activities or sights here in the River City that can inspire older people and help them feel that sense of wonder that we all felt in our childhood?
There sure are! Let's talk about a few of them today.
1. Take a Bourbon Class with the Whisky Chicks
What feels younger than cutting loose, savoring some of that smooth Kentucky bourbon and becoming an expert on the Bluegrass's state libation? You can, courtesy of the Whisky Chicks.
In February, the Chicks will host an evening-long Bourbon Basics course for people who love the spirit, but don't know too much about it. It's a perfect opportunity to improve your palette, impress your peers, and see an old favorite in a new light.
Or, if you think you've already mastered the basics, you can reach the next step by taking the Chicks' February "Certified Bourbon Steward" course, presented in partnership with the Stave & Thief Society.
2. Senior and single? Invite a special someone out to dinner at one of "Louisville's originals."
Maybe you lost a partner or spouse and you've been reluctant to start over. Maybe you're divorced, or you were so busy that settling down got away from you. Maybe you're interested in dating again, but feeling some trepidation about diving back into the pool.
Valentine's Day is coming up. Spring is on the way. It's a great time to test the waters with that special someone who's caught your eye. And luckily, there are a bevy of unique, romantic restaurants here in Louisville where you and your date could enjoy a nice dinner out.
From a sophisticated dinner and wine pairing at Napa River Grill, to an authentic Italian meal at Vincenzo's, to a casual pub night over at the Rover, you'll find exploring Louisville's rich food and beverage scene with a significant other a heartwarming — and belly-satisfying — experience.
3. Hang out in the hip neighborhoods without an agenda.
Remember the joy we experienced when we were teenagers and first beginning to assert our independence from our parents?
Remember having few responsibilities, wandering about in unfamiliar places on your own and having nothing else to do after school but hang out in coffee shops and record stores, or shop for clothes?
Well, when was the last time you bummed about the Highlands with no particular place to go and no goal in mind? When was the last time you headed up to Crescent Hill, had lunch and people-watched?
How about going out for the evening and scoping out the happenings downtown? Who says you can't go dancing or bar hopping at your age?
Age is nothing but a number. If you're retired, feel free to act like a teenager. The only people judging you are the people who envy your ability to chill out with the youth.
4. Go outside and play.
You really want to feel young again? Next time you visit the grandkids, go outside and play with them. Or, make friends with the neighborhood grade schoolers.
Play tag. Play "Ghost in the Graveyard." Shoot hoops or play H-O-R-S-E on the driveway. Go exploring in the woods and help them build a fort.
Host an impromptu lemonade porch party on a hot summer day. If you have a pool, invite them to come swim at your place whenever they have their parents' permission and you're around to supervise.
Kids never expect seniors to act like kids, and you'll be amazed at the giddy reactions, hi-fives and hugs you'll receive when you meet them on their playful level.
Whatever you choose to do, choose to do it joyfully.
That's really the key to positive aging. So your back gives you trouble. So your knees ache. So what? Buck up, bear it and don't let the creaks and cracks of old age get you down.
There's plenty you can do to maintain your positivity and emotional health as you grow older. You don't have to overdo it. But you do have to decide to act as young as you want to feel.