Rule 1: Look your troubles in the eye. Problems not faced do not go away. Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs. Anticipate each dip, and prepare for it.
Rule 2: Never say you can’t, but do say you won’t. Neither be so discouraged that you quit, or so stubborn you won’t stop. Troubles come sooner and last longer for those who wear themselves out.
Rule 3: For whatever you can no longer do, substitute something else. There is nothing more refreshing than a good nap, as long as it’s followed by waking up. Find a way to slow down without stopping.
Rule 4: Don’t hide. If you want your special needs attended to, you have to make them known. Do not be ashamed of your limitations.
Rule 5: Claim your rights and privileges, such as the right to refuse to eat more, the privilege of resting and pacing your activities, the right to assistance, the privilege of cutting back on your work, and so on.
Rule 6: Be humble enough to accept help, and proud enough to ask for it. Do not be ashamed to ask for what you need. Accept help graciously.
Rule 7: Always offer a helping hand and comforting ear. Stay interested in the world around you. Concern for others lightens your own concerns.
Rule 8: Put anger, sadness and regret behind you. It’s perfectly fine to feel anger at the pain and distress of growing old, to stay angry, to mourn the closing of chapters in your life. It isn’t fine to mourn the rest of your life, to regret all the things you could or should have done differently, not to forgive yourself or others. Don’t let your anger today spill over into tomorrow. Look back without regret, and forward without dread.
Rule 9: Always look for the bright side. We win or lose by how we interpret and react to everything that happens. Winning is rejoicing in what you have left. Losing is seeing only what you have lost.
Rule 10: Take every day as it comes, and give it all you’ve got. The thing to be afraid of is not what you fear, but letting the fear keep you from going on.
Rule 11: Enjoy what each day brings. Be open with wonder and excitement to new experiences; even those that come with decline. Enjoy the ride down, even when you know there is no going back up.
Rule 12: Stir up the tiger in your tank. Your body will still be the same old jalopy, but life will be more energetic and satisfied.