Many elderly individuals lose their spark of happiness with age. But, according to author Margareta Magnusson, it is absolutely possible to look forward to aging and enjoy it while you’re at it! Ms. Magnusson, the author of “The Swedish Art of Aging Exuberantly: Life Wisdom from Someone Who Will (Probably) Die Before You”, knows life is worth living. She has lived an extraordinary life as an artist for 86 years all over the world but has settled in her country of birth Sweden. Living in Stockholm, she has penned several books all on the subject of aging.

Finding Joy in the Mundane While Aging

Jancee Dunn, from the New York Times, asked Ms. Magnusson for her advice on living a worthwhile life – no matter the age you are. Ms. Magnusson started off by explaining the Swedish phrase of kärt besvär (pronounced as “shairt bessvair”), which is a combination of “dear’ or “cherished” and “pain”. A very odd pairing, but is explained as an obligation, such as paying bills. They’re annoying, but, you’re grateful you have the money to pay them. An obligation in your life may be to take care of a loved one. As a caregiver, stress and frustrations run high. Continuous fatigue can leave you exhausted. As difficult as it may be, Ms. Magnusson says to use kärt besvär to find joy in mundane and everyday activities. Start off with one “joyful” day and you will start to appreciate it more and more as the days go by.

Younger Perspectives and Happiness

Young people are the very definition of happiness to Ms. Magnusson. She surrounds herself with young people. She feels she will improve her cognitive functions, and also gain their perspective and ideas. Magnusson loves to connect to the young person she once was, by connecting to young people’s plans and prospects.

Aging Happy and Saying Yes

Ms. Magnusson says to age “Happy” say “Yes” to everything- it’s like saying “yes” to life. Be social, curious, and community-minded. She now can remember all the “Yes’s”- dinners out, museum trips, or a special purchase. Before she refuses, she says “Is it that I can’t do it, or I won’t? Give it a try, whatever it is.”
Ms. Magnusson’s advice can help everyone stop and find the nuances in our everyday life every chance we get.

Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
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