There’s an underlying foundation to this book that goes beyond its subtitle: “Tips and Truths About Aging”. That foundation is built of one thing – in my NOT so humble opinion:
He’s clearly joyful writing it… and I’m definitely joyful reading it – er, listening to it. See, I’m listening to the book being read by the author in my car, to and from work. I’ve mentioned my habit (and bliss) before (last mentioned here) so I won’t go into a whole thing again. Suffice it to say, I love hearing books read by the author!
What I will say is that Van Dyke is a fabulous reader and it honestly feels like he’s sitting in the passenger seat having a chat with me. Just me! To get this kind of feeling (while listening) is very rare, indeed. I should know… I’ve “read” hundreds of books by listening.
Yes, the book is filled with tips and hints and ideas to keep young (everything from his morning exercise routine [done religiously] to what he allows himself to eat [hint: anything he wants] to keeping his mind sharp with games, puzzles and Jeopardy)… and yes, there can be joy in those things. It’s more, though. There’s something… so… darned… engaging!
It’s not just the words he’s reading… it’s in his voice. He has a smiling voice that invites you into his world. And his world? It’s filled with laughter, fun, music and dancing.
You may remember him from the Mary Poppins. That’s when I remember him first… and while I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie, I was a huge fan of HIM. Of course, I also remember him from The Dick Van Dyke Show. I’ll tell you what I remember most about those years… my dad reminded me of Van Dyke and my mother reminded me of Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore). Yeah, I was a little kid but they were contemporaries of my parents, and they really did resemble them! In fact, Mom was once stopped at a department store because a shopper was convinced she was MTM (during the Mary Tyler Moore Show years). By then, I thought my dad looked more like Alan Alda, but I (as usual) digress.
Today, as I drove home, I listened to Van Dyke talk about not worrying about what other people think if you move to the music in the market… or sing along to the radio… or stand up and dance at a recital… sometimes, he says, he just can’t stop himself.
And I thought of myself… so many times when I was younger… worrying about others opinions. Part of getting older, at least for me, has been a loosening up of those fears. I’m already halfway there… might as well throw the rest of my fears out the window.
In Van-Dyke-years, I’m still young (he’s in his nineties! I’m *only* in my fifties! Yeah, okay, it’s the last year of my fifties but I have 345 days (give or take) of being 59).
Why not now? Why not, indeed!
Oh yeah, and this book isn’t just for oldsters like me. It’s excellent advice for people who want to live young… no matter what age you are. Go read it… and get ready to smile. 🙂