We all think about the things we lose as we get older or the things we can’t do as well, so I thought it would be fun to highlight the things that older folks do better than young people.
- Remember numbers: I don’t know about most of my peers, but I can’t remember a phone number to save my life…my husband’s cell phone included. Most people over 60 tend to remember phone numbers really well since they have lived most of their lives before speed dial.
- Excel at trivia and history: One of the coolest things about driving my customers around town was learning little factoids about the city I have lived in for 20 years. They have been a part of their community for a long time and know all of the ins and outs.
- Shortcut experts: This also goes with the perk of living in a town for decades, but most of the seniors I know have the best shortcuts! They seem to have a ton of little-known routes to get around town, which has saved me tons of time, since I live in Los Angeles.
- Living history: Those who have lived 70 or more years have lived through the invention of television, the first man on the moon, the evolution of flight and the technological revolution. Anyone who is 80 years old or older has lived through the Great Depression, World War 2 and so much change that it wouldn’t fit in one post. Listening to their stories is far more fascinating than reading about it in a history book.
- Strength in the arts: Back when our grandparents and parents were in school, there was ample funding for schools and they were taught art and music. Do you know that most young people will never learn to read music? I had a client who was an 89 year old bell choir director and she said she felt bad turning away young people because they couldn’t read music and that was the only requirement to be in their group.
- Keepers of family history: Much like they are a living history of world history, they are also the keepers of their family history. They hold everything from passed down family recipes to knowing the family tree.
- Amazing dancers: Back in our parents’ and grandparents’ day, they actually learned real dance moves such as the Fox Trot, Waltz, the Jitterbug and Quick Step. The only dance moves I learned what I was young was the Moonwalk!
- The original life hackers: They lived long before there was a cleaning product for every purpose, dining out was a regular activity and we had stores full of ready-made products. They had to make their own soups, pasta sauce, marinades and salad dressings and figure out their own ways to get stains out. Don’t ignore their advice – their way worked way better than the massed produced products on shelves now.
- The keepers of lost arts: My grandmother used to crochet these intricate pieces that she gave to each grandchild when they got married. None of my aunts learned to do this as it was time consuming and difficult. My other grandmother was a master seamstress who made my cousin’s wedding dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses for 12 bridesmaids. My older aunts have amazing sewing skills, but none of my cousins have picked up the craft. Many of these arts are getting lost as our generations become too busy to create.
- The wisdom of their years: Struggling with raising children? They’ve been there, done that. Are you having a hard time in your relationship with your spouse? They’ve been through relationship ups and downs and know that this too shall pass. Whatever challenge you’ve gone through, it is probably that they have dealt with it as well. We have a lot to learn from our elders.
There are so many other talents our elders have that we don’t. We shouldn’t discount their knowledge and ability just because their exterior doesn’t match what is happening on the inside.