October is my favorite month of the year. I love the cool, crisp mornings that make outdoor activities more pleasant. Daytime skies are bluer, and the evening skies seem filled with more stars.
And lest I forget another October highlight: I celebrate one of those milestone birthdays in a few weeks. I will be officially old enough to live in The Villages.
Author Amy Bloom recently said in AARP The Magazine—yes, I’m old enough to enjoy AARP benefits, too—that from age 50 to 80, time no longer passes in minutes but rather in seconds. It certainly feels that way. Only a few seconds ago, I was writing my very first column or so it seems.
Recently, I decided it was time to replace my two-year-old “Full Circle” photo. Too many folks were saying, “You don’t look like your photo. Is it the hair?” No—I had to be honest—it was just that the seconds had flashed by, and my mother was staring back from my makeup mirror more often than not.
When I look at the new photo, I see a much more mature (a popular word in the AARP vocabulary) woman than the one in my original photo. I have a hard time letting go of former images of myself, as I think most people do. Ever notice how many obituaries feature photos that were taken at least 40 years ago?
My grandmother, who lived to be almost 90, once told me that she felt 23 in her mind; then she’d look in the mirror and wonder, “Who is that old woman?” I hope I’ll remember that conversation when I turn 90.
Getting older doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. I read in a bucket-list type book called Ten Fun Things to Do Before You Die that “being a fun person is the hallmark of true maturity.”
I am lucky. Even before I read that book, I usually found fun in the most boring of circumstances. Just people-watching in a waiting room or in a long line can be quite entertaining. “This too shall pass,” I often say to myself whenever I encounter a bad time, like when getting my teeth drilled or watching the recent stock market roller-coaster ride. For the most part, I seem to have inherited a positive outlook on life from that same grandmother who found ways to make her life interesting.
Of course, when you look as if you are always having fun, you have to work harder to get people to take you seriously. Some mistakenly think that you have no troubles or can’t relate to sadness. Not true. But don’t let their furrowed brows stop you from thinking positive and looking for the joy in a situation.
The secret of life, I think, is finding other fun people to share it with. That seems to be harder as we get older, but it’s not impossible especially in Lake and Sumter counties where thousands of active adults enjoy life. Just thumb through the pages of this magazine and you’ll read about folks who are leading fun and interesting lives.
We are also blessed with spectacular fall weather and beautiful natural scenery, also highlighted in this issue. I promise you’ll feel better if you go outside and discover a new activity or a peaceful place to relax.
And most of all, if something looks like fun—and doesn’t break one of the Ten Commandments—just do it! Remember, the seconds are ticking by.
Mary Ann DeSantis
is the associate editor
of Lake & Sumter Style
and lives in The Villages.