You wanna know what scares me most about getting old? Becoming calloused, jaded, and crotchety.
To counter that, I try to see the good in the world, surround myself with positive people, recognize the value of younger generations (as opposed to bemoaning their shortcomings), and do things that make me feel young again.
To help with the latter, TIME recently compiled a bunch of anti-aging activities backed by science. Here are a few that stood out:
- Take dance lessons
- Play an instrument
- Learn a foreign language
- Play chess
- Plan daily social encounters
- Wash the dishes
I’d also add eating milk and cookies, engaging in activities that facilitate the wind in my face, seeing new things and cultures, and challenging my beliefs. Anything that makes you smile, really. As Jules Renard once said, “Wrinkles are engraved smiles.”
In other words, it’s the little things that help us stay young at heart. It seems the ones who quit “growing up” are the ones who actually end up old.