Senior Advice: Granddaughter already off to a good start
Mar 23,2009 00:00 by Doug_Mayberry

Q: Our granddaughter is a high school junior. She is an A student and dreams of a perfect life. Her goals are to earn a college degree, prepare for a professional career, find a loving husband, and together have two children. We could not be happier. What do you suggest we do to help her attain her dreams?

A: How fortunate you are. A positive and loving attitude contributes more than 80 percent toward a successful and happy life. The ability to accept what happens and react to it positively creates who we are. Those who learn to transfer negative information into a positive outlook are fortunate. Those who can are able to balance their lives

Other guidelines to mention include suggesting she define her career passion. Her answer does not have to be set in stone, but admission directors are looking for winners with goals. Research course catalogs from colleges and universities she would like to attend. What financial aid and scholarships are available?

Computer skills are mandatory, volunteer or part-time work in her field of interest carries weight. Health care professionals, environmentalists, elder care providers and math teachers are in high demand. Detailed recommendation letters are helpful.

The international field is wide open. Both the London Financial Times and its sister magazine, The Economist, offer broad viewpoints. Both are can be found online, and hardcopies are available at newsstands. Foreign language skills add value to a resume.

In seeking a husband, contrary to some opinions, couples with similar backgrounds generally enjoy more successful marriages. The law of attraction often interferes with this belief.

Discuss with your granddaughter, both pro and con, how you have experienced life. Telling stories, rather than repeating gurus' words of wisdom, tends to be the best teaching method!

Q: As a widow, I have elected to move to a retirement community. Several of my friends have done so. Most are pleased with their choices, but one couple is disappointed and insist they made a mistake. They are moaning and groaning about loneliness, finances, unfriendly neighbor, and new doctors. I want to have fun, enjoy my freedom, laugh a lot, and find friends who have a similar outlook.

A: I suspect your negative friends formed their frame of mind long before they entered their new community. Many people become negative because they seek attention, control and, in effect, practice these habits for a lifetime.

The love, caring, and attention we received from parents manifest throughout a lifetime. Once formed, it is simply who we are. Psychiatrists tell us only after we have had a near-death experience to changes our habits and attitudes.

Your best bet is not to wait to forge friendships until you find others who are also enthusiastic and appreciate your optimistic outlook. When "new bees" arrive, there is a tendency for unhappy residents to seek them out because they brighten their day. Once involved with unhappy residents, it is difficult to move on. With your attitude, you should soon find the friends and environment you seek!

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life after work in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at

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