22 Rules for Aging Brilliantly

We've found new ways to make sure you keep blossoming into an ever-better you.

Get Out of the City

"I am lucky to live in Kenya near a forest where there's a constant parade of zebras, buffalo, and giraffes. I often walk to a hill to watch the sun set and wait for a million stars to light the sky. Take every opportunity to unburden yourself of urban life when you can. Its clutter makes you old."
Oria Douglas-Hamilton, wildlife conservationist, age 80

Imagine the Possibilities

Renowned adventurer Roz Savage helps you chart a course toward your future—whether you decide to go this way or that.

Hang Out with...

Younger Women
I have two friends young enough to be my daughters. One, a Midwestern cousin who's also an actress, rescued me at a recent wedding from my table of midlifers—we were reminiscing about the groom as a child—and insisted I hit the dance floor, '70s moves and all. The other, an endlessly curious marketing exec I met through work, makes a lunch date feel like an aerobic workout for my brain. They both roll their eyes if I say anything timid, even if I'm just wondering whether I can pull off the trendy oceanic nailcolors they prefer. Together they represent a free pass out of the age ghetto—that constricted mental zip code where we too often set up house.

A few years back, when I started commuting cross-country for work, some of my same-age friends questioned my sanity. But the 31-year-olds just said, "What, fun!" Their elastic view of the universe regularly forces me, at 63, to examine whether I'm making the cautious choice. I like to think I help keep them wise, while they keep me willing.
Karen Stabiner

Older Women
In my mid-30s, my life was strangely devoid of people over 65—until I started writing a book on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which meant spending time with a bunch of bawdy, energetic women who voted for Eisenhower. Over the past couple of years, my new friends have taught me that aging does have its perks:

  • Being immune to fashion trends. When you've seen bell-bottoms come and go and come again, you learn to just wear what looks good on you.
  • More perspective. Older women take the long view on leaky roofs and trying bosses.
  • Playing the senior card. I had no idea you could get your way—or, at least, a table at a packed restaurant—by saying, "Can you help an old gal out?"
  • An active love life. Sybil, my septuagenarian friend, once told me about an overseas suitor she'd had for years whom she couldn't be bothered to marry. Decades-long marriages are inspiring, but it's nice to know we have other options, too.
    Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
  • Learn to Adapt

    Given that their kind has been roaming the oceans for over 200 million years, you might say six-gilled sharks are the senior citizens of the marine world. One of the reasons they've been around for so long: Though they typically stay in deep water, they'll periodically head to shallower waters to locate food and mate. In other words, they're willing to move beyond their comfort zone to find what they need to thrive. We should be as bold. — Christopher Lowe, PhD, director of the California State University Long Beach Shark Lab