In the very first chapter, Dr. Erica Miller tells readers she is convinced that a huge part of why aging seems to come upon us so suddenly and so overwhelmingly is because we don’t take steps now to give ourselves the best possible chance to live long, healthy and meaningful lives. She also tells us two key things about herself:
She is “a spry eighty-something dynamo, actively and passionately engaged in this mysterious journey we call ‘life’ — compelled to invite others along for the ride” and
She’s convinced she will die healthy at the age of 123.
So she clearly walks her talk. In fact, Miller is an effervescent, dynamo whose enthusiasm is contagious. A Holocaust survivor, she has always thought of herself as a citizen of the world. She holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, once owned and operated a chain of mental health clinics and is currently the CEO of Miller Properties in Austin, Texas. It’s a good thing she is “chronologically gifted,” since it has allowed her to pack so much into her life. (Including, in June 2018, a climb to the 17,000 foot base camp at Mt. Everest.)
Chronologically Gifted is a well-researched book, tightly written in just seven chapters. Those who are impatient will be pleased to learn that despite excellent documentation, the book is a quick read. Should you want to review the references, which number over 100, they are footnoted, with all the specifics loaded into the Reference section at the back of the book.
Dr. Miller’s thesis makes a lot of sense to me, because I am lucky enough to have two living parents – both who will reach age 89 sometime this year – who have a similar passion for life. My mother maintains an upbeat attitude, despite having outlived more health issues than I can count. She is a marvel of positivity.
But it’s my father, who likely has the best chance to join Dr. Miller in both living well, and living well beyond the age of 100. First, he’s got the genes for longevity. His grandfather lived to 103. Beyond that, he continues to be active and involved. In addition to running his own engineering firm for roughly 50 years and counting, he’s constantly involved in a handful of volunteer projects, and still physically active. He walks daily and has his entire life.
These days he’s not only active in church and his Retirement community, but he belongs to both a dance club and a singing group that travel the Midwest. And he has a wanderlust, traveling frequently and actively. (Last summer on a two-week cruise around Italy, one of the excursions he elected was a day-long hike. A few trips back, he was in a group who climbed Machu Picchu, the 15th century Inca citadel in southern Peru.)
So living a long and active life is certainly something I personally know is possible. I believe, as Miller posits, that physical activity, positive attitude and active participation in life are key to a long, happy life. That is why I am delighted to recommend Dr. Erica Miller’s book. Everyone – no matter how old or what their current condition – can benefit from her thoughts on how to face the aging process with a healthy mixture of acceptance and enthusiasm.
In closing, I’ll promise you that Miller covers a lot of ground in Chronologically Gifted‘s seven chapters, but she condenses everything into ten simple principles, which she notes, are suitable for refrigerator posting.
I won’t list all the phrases here, because I want you to read the book and discover them for yourself. But I will tell you that the first principle is to banish the phrase, “I’m too old for that,”from both your vocabulary and your thinking.
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