Forever Young

Have you ever read something (other than politics) that just pisses you off?

I read a post on Sunday by a fitness guy I follow who said “what do you think of when you think of the average 62-70 year old? Shuffling along, stooped over, looking down at their feet to see where they’re going so they don’t trip, right?”

I’M INSULTED! After reading further, I realized that his ultimate point was that our bodies are designed to be strong and capable well into old age, but only “IF you never stopped moving, playing, lifting, climbing, and running… from childhood on.” Our society has become too sedentary, thus, too unfit and unhealthy too early. But, not us, right?

MY FIRST WAY to stay “young” is to stay strong and flexible. If you are playing, chasing, lifting and entertaining your Grands, do it as much as you can. If they wear you out, don’t start sitting on the sidelines, get stronger – for them and for yourself.

There are so many ways to accomplish this. What is my routine? I’ve done Nia Classes taught by my dear friend Holly ( for more than 20 years. Now I do them on Zoom with people from all across the world!
I also walk briskly 2-3 times a week, do crunches after walking, Plank daily, yoga stretches and crawling/playing on the floor regularly.


While walking is great, it doesn’t engage your whole body; add some Yoga, Chair Yoga, Nia, Pilates, Zumba, Bicycling, Water Aerobics, Light Weights training, or Kettlebell. Just find something you love and go for it!

THE SECOND WAY to stay “forever young” is to develop intergenerational friendships. I have been very lucky to have friends both much older and much younger than myself.

The young stylists I met at work were a tough crowd, LOL. We could have easily dismissed each other because of our age, but they teased me into learning the latest technology, fashion trends, and music, while showing me a lot of respect for my life-skills . They are what I most miss about no longer working in the beauty industry.
Other friendships were formed over a love of good food, photography and art, and mutual admiration. These talented young women have been willing to include me in their lives. I am honored.

My older friends guided me with nurturing, encouragement and the benefit of their life experiences. Two set great examples of being young at heart, and were certainly stand-ins for my Mom after she passed in ’98. They were always generous, engaged, and active.

Nancy became client in the mid-1980s, and we became fast-friends. She was a little-bit coastal-grandmother – her family had a large Victorian summer-home on Rhode Island – and a little bit hippy. She hiked for years, and did yoga into her 90’s. She read widely, had been a librarian. I loved her style, her thoughtful way of speaking, her comfortable cottage in South Austin. We lived near each other, and I especially enjoyed being invited to lunch at her home.

We shared a love of blue & white Asian bowls, and on one of our last visits, I photographed these on her sunlit shelf, creating this watercolor.
She was always open-minded, curious, and inclusive. I miss her terribly.

NANCY’S NEW CUT (that bone-structure!)
Nancy’s Bowls

I met Lee at BookPeople in Austin, when we attended a book-signing for three women we both knew. She “took me under her wing,” became my friend, and was always a steadfast cheerleader as I wrote my book and struggled to regain my health. She is the first person I acknowledged in my book, and I don’t know if I would have finished it without her checking in on me.

Lee and I shared a love of hair and fashion, and Lee loved being right in the thick of things, in the spotlight if possible. Being shy, I admired that quality a lot!

She was a successful public speaker, who left Exxon to pursue her own career, then created a school to train hundreds of others to do what she did. Lee’s 90th birthday party (below) was an amazing gathering of all the people whose lives she had touched. She pledged that night to have another for her 100th, but passed away last year, 4 years shy of her goal. I really miss our annual birthday lunches, and her bright, cheery voice!

Lee’s 90th Birthday Party
Lee @ 93 Our Annual Birthday Lunch @ Cheesecake Factory

I came across this photo the other day which I’d saved, and it’s a reminder to myself after I found myself thinking, “what does it matter if I go out looking like this?”
This is the THIRD WAY to stay youthful, and this picture really is worth a thousand words.

We’ve gotta live like we’ve got lots more life ahead of us, because we may have. What we do today will affect our tomorrows.

Thanks for being in my life. I loved all of your comments!
XO Donna

14 thoughts on “Forever Young

  1. Laurie Scott Mahaffey

    Loved the photo of Nancy & your other friend! I had many mentors at APL & treasured the friendships. I lost my mom 2 1/2 weeks after starting to work there in summer 1974. These ladies mothered me, clucked over me when I got pregnant each time, and helped me cope with being a working mom. Glad you are working to stay healthy! So am I: Pilates weekly, dog walking 4 times a week, eating right, and keeping up friendships! Take care!

    • Hi Laurie!!
      It was such a wonderful place to be – at such a wonderful time. So many sweet, kind, loving people!
      Glad you are doing everything to stay well! Thank you for saying ’hi.’ I’ve missed you, but lost your email in an upgrade. XO

  2. Joan

    So true….my husband was 82 yesterday and he is amazing. He rides his bike at least 13 miles every other day and goes on longer 30 mile rides several times a week with 4 men friends…who are all younger. He walk/runs on the treadmill and lifts weights the days he
    does not ride his bike, and this is his routine 7 days a week. We’ll celebrate our 26 wedding anniversary in October.
    I am the same age but I no longer ride a bike due to osteopenia, have had one hip replacement, and arthritis. The only medication I take is a twice a year injection of Prolia for my osteopenia. I walk everyday in my neighbor hood 30 minutes, and take a longer hike with my husband on the weekends, weekly yoga on Zoom. I also garden, keep up the house, shop, cook, and do artwork. I am a collage/assemblage artist.
    I do have to sit down to rest and read a novel as I become very tired through the above activities. But I am thankful that I have always HAD to exercise due to a propensity for depression and exercise is beneficial in so many ways. Also diet is important and since
    we’ve been whole food, plant based for the past 11 years, I was able to stop taking statins for my genetic high cholesterol.

    • Happy Birthday to your Ironman! And you are an inspiration to all of us! (I like to sit down and rest with a book, too.) Recharging is just as important as staying active, and you are a busy bee, Joan! Thank you very much for saying “hi” and sharing your routine and its healthful benefits. XODonna

  3. Janelle

    What an inspiring post, Donna. I’m trying my best to stay active, a new puppy helps! We can’t wait until the weather changes so that we can be outside more and according to the forecast it’s coming soon. PS: I get so many comments on the cards I bought from you every time I send one. Thought I would pass that along to you. They’re beautiful!

    • Thank you, Janelle, for all of your kind comments! A new puppy is wonderful, especially little puppy kisses! I look forward to cooler weather, too, I hate walking BEFORE I have coffee, but it’s just too hot to dawdle then go walk. LOL Doing our best is the BEST thing we can do, keep at it! XO Donna

  4. Jamie

    Loved this post! I’m 59 and work at a recreation center where I am inspired daily by women and men older than me living active lives. They’re running, walking and lifting weights and taking classes. Even the ones that have health challenges are doing what they’re able to do.


    • Wow, thank you! I was a hairstylist, and did make-up for 30 years. No, that’s a stranger, saw it on Instagram and it was a perfect example of the point I wanted to make.
      I do plank for 1 minute now… do check out my friend Holly – you will adore her, and her classes. She’s been teaching Nia for 29 years now! Not me in before/after, but that’s me on the floor! Great to hear from you. XO

  6. Lorraine Dorsey

    You look awesome. I think that you are totally right. I really have to start doing more different things. Thanks I needed that reminder. Lorraine

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