I just knew when I bumped into Mary Stevenson with a sign that read, “Occupy Port Jefferson” that I had to interview her for my blog. Even though it was a bitter cold January day, I could see a woman full of warmth and vitality with a definite sense of purpose. I knew that learning her longevity secrets would be beneficial to my readers so I asked her if I could spend an hour or so with her. Here is what I learned….
|Mary - Age 73|
Background Information - Mary is 73 years old and lives in Long Island, New York. She’s been married for 53 years, has three children and three grandchildren. Mary is retired from a job she “loved” and spends most of her days as a political activist and doing community service as well as taking very good care of herself. Mary said it is important to be physically active as well as mentally active. Here is her advice to you…
1. Investigate – Mary says it is important to be politically active. She spends several hours a day reading and educating herself about politics. In addition, she has joined a local organization (http://front.moveon.org/) which conducts monthly meetings as well as weekly protests about the current state of government affairs. She also attended Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan. Mary is very outspoken against the Keystone XL Pipeline as well as other environmental issues. Her passion and enthusiasm was very transparent to me. “Future generations are depending on us”….she said.
2. Eat Healthy – “Until something happens, people don’t listen. It is important to do your own thing despite people not liking it.” Mary tries to eat as healthy as she can doing what she believes is in her best interest including growing her own organic vegetables which she freezes for use over the summer months. She stresses how important it is not to smoke or drink soda. She is not a vegetarian but tries to limit meat. The meat she purchases is pasture raised or of high quality. She tries to serve as a role model for her family but finds that people usually do what they are comfortable with. “It’s important to stick with what you believe in.” She was told by her doctor that her HDL is higher than her LDL, which is rare and that she would live to 105!
3. Listen to Rap Music – Mary walks with her dog every day for 40 minutes, even in inclement weather. She also tries to dance as much as she can….even in the car! She frequently puts on rap music so she can “bop” around the car as she’s driving. “Earth Angel is NOT going to do it,” she said.
4. Get Involved with your Community - Mary is a volunteer at Kent Animal Shelter. She enjoys helping the animals find a home. Mary is also a member of the Mount Sinai Garden Club where she has opened up her house to summer garden tours. She stresses the importance of giving back to the community in which you live.
5. Get into Nature – Get outside! Aside from gardening, Mary is a member of the Sierra Club and has attended some of their weekend outings. However, one of her favorite things to do is feed the animals in her own backyard. Mary says, “It is fun to see deer and squirrels eating my food.”
I certainly learned a lot from Mary Stevenson. It doesn’t matter what age you are, life is what you make of it. You can retire and sit in the house and do nothing all day or you can get involved in politics and your community and make a difference. It is your choice........