Ninety years, 10 insights

Don’t we all wish we knew then what we know now? Mary Kennard McHugh ’50, a writer, is divulging wisdom gained from her 90 years of living in a new book. She shared the highlights:

  1. You can’t expect people in your family to act the way you want them to act unless you spell it out for them.
  2. Don’t act like a “little old lady.” Avoid cackling or talking about your health issues, walking around with scrunched-up hair, or telling long, pointless stories. Be open to new things, make new friends, travel and say “yes” as often as possible.
  3. Helen Keller’s motto was: “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Make that your motto. Be willing to try almost anything.
  4. Don’t make up your mind about a person from the way he or she looks. Talk to that person. Every single person has something of value to discover.
  5. Growing older is fun. Who knew? You don’t have to worry about getting a job, finding a spouse, raising children or anything but doing what you feel like. Old is in.
  6. Find a way to help other people that’s fun and interesting. Go to a studio or read novels to the blind and dyslexic. Read or play music or talk to hospice patients. Assist in a nursery school.
  7. Pursue counseling or therapy when you’re going through devastating circumstances.
  8. Program an activity that you really love doing into the middle of your busy life. Make a date with yourself once a week and just have fun.
  9. Take a course in money management.
  10. Wear a hat. “I bought a little black hat with a veil that looks like it was made in the 1920s. Whenever I wear it, people smile and start talking to me about how much they like my hat and before I know it, I have a new friend.”