Happy Leap Day! Aging with zest is a choice, so on this rare February 29th, let’s talk about leaping forward! 86-year-old author Margareta Magnusson shares how in her book on the Swedish art of aging exuberantly. Her wisdom? Embrace the chores and challenges of daily life with gratitude, a concept known as “kärt besvär.” This attitude transforms nuisances into joys, reminding us to cherish every moment, even those that test our patience. It’s about finding happiness in the responsibilities we have, viewing them as cherished pains that enrich our lives.

Magnusson also highlights the joy of intergenerational connections. Surrounding ourselves with younger people injects fresh perspectives and vitality into our lives. Research supports this, suggesting that engaging with the young can sharpen our minds and enrich our emotional world. Breaking down age barriers by opening our homes, sharing meals, and listening more than we speak keeps us connected to the vibrancy of youth and the world around us.

Lastly, Magnusson champions saying “yes” to life’s opportunities, challenging the misconception that aging brings rigidity. By combating internalized ageism, we open ourselves to new experiences, community, and the joy of unexpected adventures. Her message is clear: A closed mind ages us more than time itself. Embracing life with an open heart and curiosity can make our later years some of the richest and most fulfilling. Aging with zest is about saying “yes” to the opportunities life presents, keeping our minds and doors open to new experiences and connections.