07/29/2014 07:56 am ET Updated Sep 28, 2014

Advice On Aging From A Nun. And A Psychologist.

When I was pregnant, I got tired of talking about having a baby.

When I finally had my little darling, I became weary of talking only about nap time and Sponge Bob.

Now I find I am getting a little frustrated with this whole "getting older" thing.

Don't get me wrong. I am at times hypnotically drawn to the "5 Things You Can Do To..." lists. Be they about achieving spiritual peace or being able to get up off the floor. I might learn something important. Something vital.

I would rather turn my attention to life.

I have never understood that saying, "Time flies by as you get older". Krulwich, in his NPR article, reports that it is because youth is filled with novelty, and novel experiences are remembered by the brain in a more complicated, richer, thus slower manner.

Thus far, that has not been my particular reality. I am aware I have fewer hours to live. But time simply does not go faster.

Maybe I should write a list.

10 Ways To Slow Life Down As You Age

1) Skip more. Translation? It's okay to play.

2) Get a teenager to show you how to text or Snapchat. Don't fall too far behind the times.

3) Talk to a teenager! Have younger friends than yourself. Be interested in what's going on in their generation. In their thinking.

4) Enjoy nature in some way. Soak up some sunshine.

5) Swim or do yoga. Use your body.

6) Learn something completely new. Be creative!

7) Uh oh. This is beginning to sound like one of those other lists.... Laugh at yourself! All the time!

8) Don't talk about your age.

9) Don't talk about your illnesses or your pain. What you focus on grows in its significance.

10) Be kind. You can do that at any age.

However, my little list pales in comparison to the one below. This advice is the best yet. My mother had this hanging in her dressing room. Now it's where I see it every day.

It's called "The Seventeenth Century Nun's Prayer". Written by an unknown nun.

LORD, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking i must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends in the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is growing sweeter as the days go by. I dare not ask for grace to enjoy the tales of others' pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and less cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be saint -- some of them are so hard to live with -- but a sour person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. AMEN.

Much better than any list I could write.

They had it going on in the 17th century.


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